SUMMARY: Your product website is a window between your brand and target audience. You might not be able to talk to one another, but what your audience does behind that window can tell you a lot about how they’re thinking about your brand.
I really don’t care about website visitors when I examine analytics because they don’t mean that much. I DO care about how people came to my website, where they went when they left, and what content they viewed while on my website. To that extent, here are the website metrics I like to view first:
1ne: Clickstream analysis – clickstream analysis (also called clickstream analytics) is the process of collecting, analyzing, and reporting aggregate data about which pages a website visitor visits — and in what order. The path the visitor takes through a website is called the clickstream.
What’s so good about clickstream analysis is that it can actually tell you how your audience is considering your therapy. If, for example, they are looking at a page that lists disease symptoms, then they might be self-diagnosing and want more information about the health condition your product treats.
2wo: Upstream/Downstream Analysis – Offered by third-party analytic companies, these metrics tell you where people came and where they went after visiting my site. This allows you to understand better if they are “shopping” your product and how they came to your brand page beyond search.
3hree: Bounce rate/time on site/pages viewed – Perhaps the most important web analytics for any marketer. A high bounce rate needs more analysis but could indicate that your home page design isn’t bringing people into the brand. Time on site could indicate that they didn’t understand your site’s information or the content wasn’t optimized for your audience. Finally, pages viewed tell you what’s important to website visitors.
But what about total visitors?
I do like to look at this and match it to currently running DTC. I found, for example, that when a company started to afford more GRP’s to their TV the website traffic didn’t show a correlation. The brand was a product that has been on the market for a long time and awareness may be high but interest low.
For new brands, I have seen a direct correlation between TV and website visitors. TV is the best way to communicate new products to your audience, but it’s your website that allows them to interact with your brand. You only get one chance to make a first impression which is why your website should undergo extensive usability testing if you’re going to rely on TV to announce your brand.
Let me also be clear about something. You can really dive into website analytics for a lot of data that is meaningless. Your digital people should only be presenting you with actionable insights supported by data, not data that doesn’t help you improve your brand.