Why you should be analysing your website and search data
As a tour operator you can easily use data to your advantage. Whether you are working on your buyer persona or content marketing, analysing your website and search data is of the utmost importance. Without analysing the data, it’s impossible to optimise your website and business strategy. After all, how do you know if your strategy works if you don’t measure the results?
By analysing your data, you gain insights such as:
- On what keywords Google shows your website
- Which keywords receive clicks and on what position in Google are you shown
- How many visits your website gets and where your visitors are from
- In what way visitors engage with your content
- Through which channels visitors reach your website
What (free) tools should you use?
There are tons of tools out there that let you analyse your website and search data. If you are just starting and want to get better website results, we advise you to start out with below free tools that get their data straight from the source: Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
With Google Analytics you follow your website visitors. Analytics helps you gain a better understanding of your visitors and makes it easy to find out how they are engaging with your content. Insights you will gain with this tool include:
*Fictional data is used in the images below
The easiest accessible data you receive from Google Analytics is about your website audience. It provides you with data such as:
- Website visitors
- Visit durations
- Number of pages viewed per visit
- Used device
You can dive deeper into your audience behaviour in this section. It helps you understand how your website content performs. See the path your visitors commonly take, which of your pages are visited the most, and where people enter or exit your website.
In the acquisition section you can find out how people reach your website. Use this data to analyse which channels you can improve on. Basically, there are 5 different ways:
- Organic search – search engines
- Paid search – search ads
- Direct – typing in URL
- Referral – link from another website
- Social – link from social media
- Other – custom tracking
The conversions section mostly consists of customised data. You can set up goals to help you measure your website performance. Different options for setting up goals are:
- URL destination – tracks visitors that reach a specific URL
- Visit duration – tracks how many people stay a certain amount of time
- Page/Visit – tracks the number of pages a visitor sees before leaving
- Event – tracks actions such as downloads, video plays or link clicks
Google Search Console
Amongst other things, you can use Google Search Console to analyse your websites’ search performance. It provides you with a deeper insight on how your websites performs in the Google search engine. In the so called ‘performance report’ you will gain insight in:
*Fictional data is used in the images below
In the performance report you can see search data up to 16 months old. The first thing to check is the search queries. This gives you an overview of the keywords or pages your website gets shown on in the Google search engine.
This column tells you how often people clicked on your websites’ search result in Google, on a certain keyword or page. This data helps you to analyse which keywords are important for your website and which you can improve. It can be very helpful to compare the click to other data like impressions, click through rate and position.
Impressions provides you with insight on how many times your websites’ result is shown in Google for a specific keyword or page. This data is helpful to spot keywords that have a large potential for your website. Large numbers of impression don’t necessarily mean your websites’ result gets a lot of clicks.
Click Trough Rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who were shown your website in the search results that also clicked through. If a keyword has a high number of impressions but al low CTR, you can try improve this by making your result more appealing. You can do this by rewriting you your title or meta description.
Last but not least is the average position of a keyword or page. Keep in mind that this is not a fixed position. Google exists to have a better understanding of what people are looking for exactly, that means that different users get different results. However, it is a good indication of how your website performs.
Filter, compare and export
There are endless possibilities to filter and compare data. A good place to start, is to filter data for a specific page and compare this data to a different period. Did your website performance grow in the last 3 months? This might still give you hundreds of different queries, so it’s sometimes necessary to export the data to Excel or Google Spreadsheets to give you a better overview.
Search console is not only designed to provide data on search queries. It also provides you with insight in more technical aspects of your website such as:
- Mobile friendliness
- Page speed
- Crawl issues
How do you start analysing your website and search data?
Now that you have a basic understanding of the data tools, such as Analytics and Search Console can provide you with, you should determine what your goals are for analysing. For example:
- Target your ideal target group
- Create content for a specific topic
It’s important to identify what data you are looking for. After that, it’s best to just start digging through your own website and search data. Take notes on data that stands out, analyse it and think about how you can use this data to realise better results for your website.