LNCtips.com: Analytics for LNCs
First Scenario: You created a website whose visitors spend over 4,000% more time on your site than they do on other similar sized websites. In its first year, your website had nearly 20,000 page views, which is over 10,000% more than the 192 or so yearly page views by visitors on other websites of your size.
Second Scenario: You created a website about your legal nurse consultant business and you're pretty proud of it. However, you have no idea how many visitors your website gets each day - if any.
Which scenario would you want for your business? I chose the first scenario; those are actual statistics from my website, LNCtips.com. Along with some search engine basics and a regular newsletter, the difference for me between the two scenarios was information. In the second scenario, there is no information about the website's visitors. In the first scenario, there is a lot of information which can be used to refine a website and reach out to potential clients.
How do you get this information? The answer is by using website analytics. Website analytics (or just analytics, for short) measure statistics from your website and interpret your website's traffic behavior. According to Ezine Articles, there are three major benefits to using analytics.
1) You can monitor the visitors to your site, the keywords they used, how long they stayed on your site, their geographic location, what pages they viewed and how they came to your website. Analytics won't give you the names of your visitors or tell you if they are potential clients but you'll get a good indication of why your visitors come to your site and what they're looking for.
2) Using analytics can help you refine your website. Let's face it. Many LNCs have variations of the same website - a home page, a page that describes their services, a contact page and maybe a page cajoling potential clients to hire them instead of someone else. With analytics, you can adjust your website based on the statistics of your visitors' behavior. For example, if no one uses your contact page, you could drop it and place your contact information on your other pages. If your most frequently visited page is about your clinical expertise, you could expand that page. If you have reviewed medical-legal cases, you could change identifying details and devote a page to each case or type of case.
3) Analytics can help you formulate part of your marketing plan. Once you know (as opposed to guess) what potential clients want, you can tailor your website to your target market.
How do you get started with analytics? Many websites, including mine, use free analytics programs. Google Analytics is one of the most common free analytics programs. It offers comprehensive analytics and a benchmarking service. If you have a webmaster, that person can set up your Google Analytics account. If you're a do-it-yourselfer, Mahalo offers a very detailed guide on how to set up and use Google Analytics. It also provides links to instructional videos on Google Analytics for beginners. Piwik is another program that provides analytics reports in real-time. I think Piwik's reports are easier to understand than Google Analytics. Piwik has an installation page with instructions on how to get started.
So what's it going to be? A website that just sits there or one that helps your business? Analytics can help you increase your page views and your potential clients.