Having a modern website for your funeral home offers a number of powerful advantages, including the ability to attract new customers and to better serve the families that already have relationships with your firm. But did you know that your website can actually teach you more about your customer base?
Website analytics programs give you insight into the actions people take on your website, as well as their demographic characteristics. Not only can this data help you to improve your website to cater more directly to the unique audience you serve, it can even inform your business’s overall marketing initiatives by giving you actionable insight into your online audience’s interests and demographics.
When it comes to website analytics, the gold standard is the free Google Analytics program. We’ll have complete installation instructions posted here on Thursday, but in the meantime, here are just a few of the things the program can teach you about your customers:
Recently, Google Analytics released a “Demographics and Interest” section that lets you determine the average age of your users. Use this information to determine whether the tone you’re striking in your website’s content will appeal to the unique interests and concerns of the most prominent age groups on your site.
Unfortunately, not all of the visitors to your website will have demographic data associated with them, so the charts displayed in this section of Google Analytics may represent only a subset of your users. Pay attention to the percentage of total sessions displayed when you consider how and when to act on age data in particular.
As with the age data reported, Google Analytics can record the gender associated with known users on your website to provide you with a “men versus women” breakdown of your site’s traffic. Again, this data can be used to inform the tone of your website’s content, or in a broader context when it comes to your funeral home’s overall marketing campaigns.
Their Geographic Location
Within the “Audience” section of your Google Analytics dashboard, you can view data tracking the locations of your website visitors, both on a country and state basis. And while you might expect the bulk of your visitors to come from your home state, you might be surprised how many of your audience members are out-of-state friends and relatives viewing your service information.
If you see strong out-of-state usage rates, it’s worth taking a look at your site’s online memorial wall and online floral ordering capabilities to ensure that the specific needs of these far-flung audiences are being met.
Your Top Channels
“Channels” refer to the sources that send your website visitor. In the sample graphic below, you’ll see a site that receives half of its traffic from organic search results (as in, the listings provided by Google, Bing and other engines), a third from visitors entering the site’s web address into their browsers, 16% from links found on other referring websites and a small fraction from social media websites like Facebook and Twitter:
Looking at this data can tell you a number of things. If your organic search percentage is low, for example, you may need to update your website or identify errors that could be preventing it from ranking well in the search listings. Or, if your social media share is small, but you’ve been pouring tons of effort into your social marketing campaigns, it may be time to reevaluate your overall marketing strategies.
Your Top Pages
Outside of the “Audience” section in your Google Analytics dashboard, you’ll find some great information in the “Behavior” menus. In particular, take a look at the “All Pages” report found under “Site Content,” which will show you the pages on your website receiving the most visits — as in the sample site screenshot pictured below:
There are a few different ways you can use this valuable data:
- Look at the subject of your top three pages. The fact that these subjects made the top of your list likely mean that they’re consistently the most interesting to your audience. Are there any ways you could add further information on these subjects to your website to better support your readers (maybe in the form of blog posts)? Or is there anything you could do to feature them more prominently on your site to improve their accessibility for other interested visitors?
- Take a look at the bounce rate of your top ten pages. Bounce rate refers to the number of visitors that view a single page on your site and never engage further — demonstrating that they haven’t found what they’re looking for. Could you improve the content on these pages or add calls-to-action to keep visitors on your site?
- Try and identify any subjects that are missing from your top ten pages. If you find major knowledge gaps, consider adding pages to fill these holes and provide your readers with even more of the information they need.
Obviously, these are only a few of the different actions you can take. Take a few minutes to really dive into your top content data — you’ll be amazed at what it can teach you about the interests of your customer base.
Your Site’s Device Usage
If you have any doubts about the importance of mobile website development, let your site’s stats do the talking! Under the “Audience” section, click on “Mobile” and then open the “Overview” report, which will give you a breakdown of the number of visitors accessing your site via desktop computer, mobile phone or tablet device:
If you want to get even more specific, opening the “Devices” report will show you the specific phones or tablets used to access your website. If you see a high bounce rate on only one of the devices listed, your site could be displaying poorly on this particular system. Talk to your funeral home website provider or web developer about correcting any issues you identify to ensure your site is as accessible as possible for all audience members.
Ultimately, when you use web analytics data to drive the decisions you make about your funeral home website or your overall marketing campaigns, you’ll wind up with better results than if you act on your own hunches or guesses.
Having a Frazer-powered website makes using this valuable data from Google Analytics easy! Give us a call at 866-372-9372 to learn more about what Frazer websites can do for you!