18. August 2021

The Importance of Website Tracking and Data Collection Explained

Reliable data collection is the foundation of every data-driven marketing strategy.

Intro

As digital marketers, we are highly reliant on data to figure out which channels and tactics are performing and where we need to shift budget or adapt our strategy. If you work on a website or product, website tracking and product analytics are a fundamental part of your daily life. In this respect, tracking is what helps you optimize a site, fix bugs, improve UX, and achieve business growth. 

But let’s start at the beginning.

Why is website tracking important?

There’s an old business adage that whatever is worth doing is worth measuring. Website tracking and analytics help companies measure and benchmark key performance indicators that drive business growth. We as marketers constantly need to use website tracking for:

  • Traffic tracking to measure website traffic, e.g. with Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Matomo, Piwik PRO, Mixpanel
  • UX tracking to measure user behavior and improve user experience, e.g. with Hotjar, Crazy Egg, Clicktale, MouseStats, Kissmetrics
  • Preference tracking to store individual site settings, e.g. shopping carts and login details
  • Advertising tracking to measure the performance of ad campaigns, e.g. Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, TikTok ads, Google Ads
  • A/B  (also referred as multivariate testing) and split testing to help determine which variations of a website page have the highest success rates among visitors.

 

And this tracking helps us to:

  • See where visitors click, tap, and scroll on a page
  • Know if users are browsing on desktop or mobile
  • Find our best- and worst-performing pages
  • Optimize landing pages for conversion
  • Compare our website traffic
  • Measure the success of an email marketing campaign

 

Which data can be generated?

Campaign Data

  • Which keyword searches result in the site visit
  • Which website pages referred the most traffic
  • Which campaigns drove the most traffic
  • Campaign medium breakdown

 

Audience Behavior

  • Bounce rate
  • Number of pages per visit
  • Length of time spent per visit
  • Frequently visited pages
  • Common exit pages
  • Common landing pages

 

Audience Data

  • Country, city, region
  • Age, Profession, Interests
  • Number of unique visitors, number of visits
  • Returning vs. New Customer Ratio
  • Device used  (mobile, desktop, Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux)
  • Browser used  (Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Bing, etc.)

What does website tracking improve?

Website tracking leads to improved metrics like CTR (click-through rate), bounce rate, or conversion rate, and increased sign-ups and sales. Website tracking also helps marketers to measure the performance of marketing campaigns, including Search Engine Optimization (SEO)  performance, as well as gain valuable insight to help with decision-making based on data gathered.

To put it in the most simple words, without tracking and data collection all these activities are not possible and your decision making is limited. With far reaching consequences.

 

Which metrics to monitor closely & accurately?

The goal is to focus on those metrics that are directly associated with your return on investment.

Leads

  • It’s crucial to understand where your leads and customers are coming from. Know how your leads are finding you, how they interact with your websites, and where they’re getting ‘caught’ in your sales funnel. 

 

Conversion Rate

  • There’s no doubt that traffic and website visitors are important. Website visits mean nothing unless some of those people are converting into paying customers.

 

Bounce Rate

  • Analyze the bounce rate for each of your website’s pages. That way, you can see what actions people are taking next after arriving at each page. Focus on pages with higher bounce rates and see what’s working on the pages that have a low bounce rate.

 

Exit Pages

  • Remember a bounce is when someone lands on your site and leaves after visiting one page. An exit is when someone visits a number of pages on your site and then leaves. Some of your site’s pages will naturally have high exit rates. But if you notice that some other pages have high exit rates, you should examine these pages on issues.

How is website tracking changing in 2022?

Website analytics is hugely helpful when it comes to creating a strong marketing strategy and growing your business. Reliable data collection is the foundation of every data-driven marketing strategy. Client-side website tracking is becoming more restricted and unreliable due to legal and technological limitations such as data privacy and compliance regulations.

To stay competitive in the upcoming cookieless and privacy-first world you need to adapt and already start testing and implementing new website tracking technologies such as server-side tracking and hybrid tracking. Check out this blog-post on how to select the right tracking technology for your business.