Are you monitoring your business website’s analytics?
Analytics reveal telling information such as numbers of visitors and length of visits, the most common entry and exit pages, and the typical flow of visitors from page to page.
The usefulness of analyzing this data is one of a business owner’s best offense moves for maintaining online relevance to customers.
Here’s a quick beginner’s guide to small business website analytics.
Where to Start
There are a variety of paid and free website analytic services. Beginners often find Google Analytics somewhat overwhelming, but if you choose this service, it surely can be learned. I always install Google Analytics for any client website I work with. The data you can gather from your website visitors is very valuable.
Clicky Stats offers simplified analytics which are great for new website owners, but may be too simple for highly detailed analysis. For users already familiar with Mint’s financial analytics, their website analytics will feel very natural.
Many businesses also maintain a Facebook page. Did you know Facebook offers its own internal analytics? Discover which are your best posts, locations of followers, and more.
Some hosting companies also offer their own version of analytic software for website owners. If you don’t want to sign up for one of the above, start with the free option your host provides. This allows you to become familiar with the terms before committing to a service.
Look at your data in a visual way with Crazy Egg. Through Crazy Egg’s heat map and scroll map reports you can get an understanding of how your visitors engage with your website. Then you can make changes to improve your visitors experience.
What to Look For
Once you’ve decided on an analytics provider, it’s time to review the data. Of course, the most obvious piece of interest is the number of visitors. Be sure to compare unique visitors versus returning — this gives a clue as to how many customers and leads find your site useful, entertaining, or shop-worthy. Visitors who stay longer and visit multiple pages are the best kind of visitors.
Another key element in website analytics are the entry and exit pages.
- Which pages on your site do visitors come to first?
- Which entry page yields the longest visits?
- And which pages cause the most drop off rates?
- This provides insightful information about which pages to promote, improve, or delete.
There are many other statistics and data to be considered, but these two starting points will be most beneficial at the beginning.
Most of the popular website analytic tools allow users to download daily, weekly, or monthly reports. Be sure to do this and review periodically. In the future you may change analytic services. Keeping records of your website’s past analytics allows you to remain in control of the information if you do switch providers.
Are you new to online marketing and website ownership? For a limited time you can grab a free eBook copy of my book, “Today’s Marketing Cookbook,” to learn more tips to grow your business.