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Understanding how your website is performing is an important element of your marketing strategy. Using that information to grow sales and optimize sales performance is better business. Free analytic solutions such as Google Analytics are readily available. Marketing automation tools also provide website tracking at an individual level that can significantly improve your ability to turn visitors into customers. Regardless of your investment, taking the time to understand your customers’ web experience and adapting your strategy to improve it is critical when using web analytics for lead generation.

To help you get started, here are 3 of the most basic statistics to evaluate to help you understand your potential for improvement. This advice assumes that you already have some type of web tracking functionality enabled and know how to find the data. If you don’t, your priority should be implementing this and familiarizing yourself with the standard reports.

1) Traffic Volume and Sources
This report tells you how people are finding your site. The number of inbound links are important for SEO purposes, but knowing where traffic to your site comes from can help you optimize your investment in other promotions. For example, if you’re doing multiple online ads, you can use this information to measure which ad source is performing the best and allocate your investment accordingly.

2) Bounce Rate
Your bounce rate is the number of people that visit your site and leave your site without clicking into a secondary page. In most cases, a high bounce rate is a bad thing. The exception is usually a blog site that presents all new content on the first page by default. For most sites however, you want visitors to dig deeper into your site and learn more about your company. This often means simplify navigation and driving visitors to additional pages with a meaningful call-to-action.

3) Visits and Unique Visitors
Knowing the difference between a Visit and a Unique Visitor seems simple enough but too often people get caught up in the number of visits to their site and forget to evaluate how that number is generated. If one person visits frequently or your employees have their browser homepage set to your website, your visits may be arbitrarily high. If your content doesn’t frequently change, having a large difference between these two numbers may indicate that this is happening. They key is defining what is the right ratio for your site based on how many times you would like visitors to return to your site.

4) Visitors Flow
This is an underused aspect of Google analytics that shows you the path an individual user takes upon visiting your site. It highlights the entry page and subsequent page visits. It will also tell you the point visitors drop off or leave your site, giving you valuable information on areas that need improvement. Combine this with information collected from Traffic Sources and you can clearly see which promotions are performing best and optimize your spend to drive the behavior you want.

Going beyond the available free Google Analytics by implementing a marketing automation website tracking solution can provide significantly more information about your individual users. This is helpful for profiling users and customizing content that is displayed when they visit the site. It can also help you pinpoint exactly who is visiting and allow you to prioritize lead follow-up to further improve your lead generation effort.