hanks to tools like Google Analytics, it’s easy to pull the statistics on who is visiting your website (i.e., their age, location, gender, etc.) and create a general profile of your audience.
Blog Post

How to Use Analytics to Understand Your Online Audience

It’s one thing to have a website, but in order to make it work for you and support your business online, you must understand your audience.

Understanding your audience is about a whole lot more than just “knowing” the demographics of your website visitors. Thanks to tools like Google Analytics, it’s easy to pull the statistics on who is visiting your website (i.e., their age, location, gender, etc.) and create a general profile of your audience.

If you want to get strategic with your website and online efforts, however, you need to dig deeper and use analytics to better understand your audience’s behaviour.

Here are a few things to consider:

Referers

When looking at your analytics platform, make note of the referers to your website. Basically this outlines all the places online sends traffic arrives to your website. This could be from direct traffic (meaning someone typed your website’s URL directly into their browser), other websites, social media (broken down by platform), etc.

Understanding referers is huge because it shows you how people are arriving on your website and whether your efforts are paying off. For example, if you spend lots of time on social media but it isn’t driving a lot of traffic your way, you might want to reevaluate your strategy or focus on different platforms. You might also see that a lot of traffic is coming from 3rd-party articles or guest posts you’ve done on other websites. If this translates into good results, keep it up! Also, if you notice any sudden spikes in traffic from particular sources, you can come up with a way to capitalize on those new visitors – maybe you’ll want to include an email sign up to develop a long-term relationship with them, or offer them a discount code to get them hooked from the start.

Device Usage Breakdown

Once you know how visitors are arriving on your website, you’ll want to evaluate what type of device they’re viewing your site on.

If most of your audience visits your website from a desktop/laptop, then you’ll be able to play around a lot with content-heavy website design and interesting layouts.

On the flip side, if the majority of your audience is viewing your website from a mobile device (i.e., a cell phone), you’ll want to change the way you format and present your website content. In this case, you might choose to use more images or short videos, and keep your content in short, digestible chunks that are easy to consume on a small screen.

Understanding what type of device your website audience favours will affect both your content and the format that you present the information. Good website design takes into consideration who the audience is and how they’re interacting with the site.

Popular Content

Finally, be sure to evaluate popular content on your website. You’ll want to make note of what the most popular pages on your website are (e.g., Home page, services page, pricing page, contact page, etc.), as well as the visitor journey as users navigate around the site. What do they land on and where do they go next? Understanding what website content visitors are looking for and in route they take to navigate around your site will help you better serve your audience.

When looking at popular content, also make note of your most popular blog posts. This is where you can showcase your business’s “voice” since blog posts really help to develop a relationship with your audience. Look at what topics are most popular and consider how you can improve them and fill in any gaps.

Taking the time to look at the statistics on your website’s audience and then translate that into actionable insights is definitely worth your time as a business owner. There are so many insights you can pull about who is visiting your website and how they are interacting with your brand online, and when used strategically, they can increase your business’s growth.

Learn More

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About Charlotte O’Hara

Charlotte O’Hara designs and develops beautiful websites for small professional businesses. As an avid technical writer, she has written countless articles about web design, development, tech tips and tutorials, etc. Charlotte also created a popular free 7-day email course that teaches anyone how to build and launch a website from scratch. Catch her on Twitter or down by the beach.