Taking the initiative to add Web 2.0 technology to your website is a must in order to drive traffic and promote your business. However, simply placing these applications and features on your website and then never looking at how they are helping is the wrong thing to do. In order to make these technologies work to their full potential, you should track, analyze, and revamp your site based on the results. And then, you should track, analyze, and revamp your site again. As you can see, web site analytics are of huge importance in a successful Web 2.0 site.
Web Analytics: the consistent and ongoing measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of site data and metrics for the purpose of understanding and optimizing web usage.
A lot of people make this mistake: they get off to a great start creating an extremely interactive site, but once it is in place, they leave it alone and forget all about metrics. Even those that do decide to monitor the effectiveness of the new interactions tend to do one of two things: they do nothing with the results they get from the analytics, or they measure metrics that give them little feedback that will help them revamp their site. These are the two biggest mistakes marketers can make in analytics.
So, what are the “right” metrics? There was a recent article published by Marketing Web in which they discussed the new range of measurements that should be used with these new types of interactive media that have become so widespread. The simplistic counts of page impressions, click throughs and conversions are the metrics of the past. As the article states, these basic measurements are not enough, and the Web 2.0 space:
“is all about getting customers to participate in a relationship with your brand, establishing a dialogue with them, and connecting them to your company, brand, or product. In short, it’s all about getting customers to engage with you.”
In order to get a more accurate and complete picture of how users are spending their time on their site, more valuable information should be captured, beginning with the amount of time users spend on each page of your site, and in which order they view those pages. The order in which users interact with a page is also something that is measured, as well as the degree to which users interact with different types of features. For example, if a user is viewing a YouTube video embedded in your site, do they simple view the video? Do they pause it, fast forward, or rewind it? How many times do they do this? This is the type of thing these new metrics should be measuring on your Web 2.o site in order for you to stay informed on how your viewers are interacting with you and your company.
The importance of these metrics are twofold. The first is that you can understand what’s working and what’s not on your site, and it can be changed to maximize your site’s potential. The second is that of credibility. In order to prove to potential advertisers and investors the success of your site, you can give them more than simple page views to indicate your site’s popularity. So, what should you be measuring? To start:
- Time spent on the site
- Time spent interacting with different features
- Order in which a user interacted with the site
- Order in which user viewed different pages of the site as a whole
To learn more about New Web Analytics, visit the Web Analytics Association, an organization committed to setting standards in the industry.