Skip to Content
Skip to Content

How to Track and Measure Web Analytics

With the right metrics in mind, you can be strategic with data analysis and create a plan that makes your marketing much more effective.

When we talk to marketers, one of the biggest questions we get is about web analytics. Analytics have become a top priority for business leaders who are looking to build data-driven strategies to identify what’s working and what’s not.

In the past, you might have just dropped some Google Analytics code onto your site and think that you’ve done all you can. However, it’s possible to be more strategic with your data analysis and create a plan that gives insights to make your online marketing much more effective.

First off, let’s clear up some definitions.

What are web analytics?

You can use web analytics tools to answer questions and provide insights. A proper strategy allows you to act like a detective and get to the bottom of what’s happening on your website and make decisions about what to do next.

“You have to figure out what you care about in order to know how to use your analytics to its full potential.”

If you are thinking about data in the right way, your web analytics platform isn’t just providing historical data (e.g. 200,000 page views). Instead, you can use the tool to interpret past data to make effective decisions about the future. For example, you might find that prospects are more likely to convert on your pricing page instead of your product page. 

Like most things in marketing, you have to approach your decisions with a goal in mind and a real strategy. You have to figure out what you care about in order to know how to use your analytics to its full potential.

How do I develop a web analytics strategy?

One of the challenges with implementing a web analytics strategy is that every business is different, and has different goals, challenges, and metrics. It’s tough to choose a one-size-fits-all answer to tell you what to care about and what to start tracking, but here are some pointers to lead you in the right direction.

What does your business care about?

  • Making money? 
  • Getting a list of email subscribers?
  • People downloading and installing your app?

Figure out what those key metrics should be so that you can work out the value of what makes you successful.

Understand what you want to know and then figure out how to track it

Work backward from your end goal — that will lead you to an idea of what data you should care about.

Let’s say your end goal is to sell a marketing automation product. Working backward from that, you can create a basic customer journey:

  • You want to sell your product. How do you go about it? A prospect talks to a sales rep.
  • How does the prospect get connected with a sales rep? You have to create the opportunity for a conversation.
  • How do you start a conversation? You connect with your prospects and get their contact information.
  • How do you get the prospect to want to give you their contact details? Give them helpful information.

This is a simplified flow, but it provides a general idea of what your business cares about and helps you start figuring out what data to track to meet your goals.

Based on the above answers, you should be tracking:

  • Form conversions
  • CTAs
  • Information that is most useful for your users

Ultimately, you need to understand which high value CTAs resonate most with your audience and create the opportunity to begin a conversation.

How do I put data analytics into practice?

Here are two examples of how you can set up web analytics tracking to help you make more strategic decisions.

Example 1: Audience Tracking

Your audience can be broken into two main groups: 

  1. Prospects: people who don’t use our product and are looking for a new solution
  2. Customers: people who have bought our product and want to know how to get the most out of it

You’ll probably have different business goals depending on whether someone is a prospect or a customer.

You should encourage prospects to visit your product or pricing pages, and then go to a high value CTA to convert and begin a conversation with a sales rep.

Customers want to engage with learning content and be able to self-serve so they can find the information they’re looking for.

So, how do you know if your site is working for those two sets of users? Web analytics!

You can use Google Analytics to determine whether someone is a customer or a prospect, so now you’re able to sort users. Now you can report on what customers and prospects are doing on your site, and understand the differences. 

Those insights will allow you to make key decisions about how to position content for different users. Plus, you can report more accurately on how your customers and prospects actually use the parts site designed for them.

By defining goals for each type of user — and tracking what they’re doing and where the disconnects happen — you can build a site that meets the needs for both your customers and prospects.

Example 2: CTA Metrics

Effective use of CTAs on your site can drive users to helpful information and get them to convert on a form.

It’s vital that you understand which CTAs people are interacting with so you can see which are most successful. You can also use your analytics platform to see at which point people are clicking on a CTA and if there are points in your user journey that cause a user to bounce.

What is a CTA?

A call to action (CTA) is a clickable link that sends the viewer to additional information and moves them to the next step of their journey.

Custom event tracking allows you to see which offers are being clicked and from what pages. It’s very possible that you’ll also find CTAs on your site that nobody is clicking on. This information is crucial in understanding where your customer journey is failing, and allows you to focus your attention on only the most effective CTAs and campaigns. 

Most analytics platforms allow you to create separate event categories for different types of CTAs. This means you can distinguish between marketing and customer care CTAs,  and evaluate how different types of users are interacting with the site.

By setting up these events, you can break down which CTAs are the most popular on your site and on which page a user is most likely to interact with each type of offer.

For many businesses, form completions are the key to generating leads. Understanding how pages are being interacted with. From there, we optimise your form conversion rate, increase your leads, and ultimately grow your business.

Add web analytics to your toolkit

The truth is that web analytics is an essential part of a marketer’s toolkit. Using your analytics platform, you can dig deeper into data, segment it based on the type of user, and see the success of programs on your site.

This is just the first step in using web analytics to understand how your customers are interacting with you. As your business increases in complexity, the opportunities for tracking and evaluation grow too. If you remain focused on measuring what’s important and use the data to inform your development, you can’t go wrong. 

Want more expert advice? 

Download our 50 Pro Marketing Tips ebook for advice from industry experts on improving ROI, creating cohesive customer journeys, building audiences, and more.

Want trailblazer tips and thought leadership straight to your inbox?

Salesforce Staff

The 360 Blog from Salesforce teaches readers how to improve work outcomes and professional relationships. Our content explores the mindset shifts, organizational hurdles, and people behind business evolution. We also cover the tactics, ethics, products, and thought leadership that make growth a meaningful and positive experience.

More by Salesforce

Get the latest articles in your inbox.