Web Analytics for Small Businesses 101
Website analytics can tell you a lot. For a small business, understanding web analytics is a crucial skill. Your analytics can tell you whether people understand what you’re offering, whether people like your brand and whether or not your website is helping you make money.
Here are some of the important numbers every small business should be watching in their web analytics.
==> How Many Visitors Are You Getting?
The first and most important number you should be watching is how many visitors you’re getting. In addition to the raw number, also pay attention to whether the visitor count is going up or down.
As your marketing efforts progress, you should see a direct boost to your visitor count. It might not happen right away, but within a couple months you should see a measurable increase.
==> How Many Hit a Goal?
Every website should have a very clear goal. For example, your website might be designed to get someone to fill out a form for a free sample. Or it might be designed to get someone to print out a coupon for a free appetizer and bring it into your restaurant.
Whatever the case, you should be carefully tracking the goal hit rate for your website.
Use the “Goals” feature in Google Analytics to track this.
==> Geographic Location
Are the people who’re landing on your website the right kinds of people? If you have a small local business, check to make sure the traffic you’re getting is actually from your area.
==> Where Does the Traffic Come From?
How do people end up on your website? Do they type something into the search engines and end up on your site? Or do they enter your URL manually? Is someone else sending people to your website?
Tracking your traffic sources and your referrer data can give you valuable information about what’s working and what’s not working when it comes to generating traffic.
==> The Bounce Rate
The bounce rate measures the percentage of people who land on your website and leave without visiting a second page on your website.
A high bounce rate usually means that visitors came to your site expecting one thing but didn’t find what they were looking for. If your bounce rate is above 60%, you might have some serious revamping to do.
==> Are People Coming Back?
Finally, check to see whether or not people who visit your website come back again.
For some businesses, this is an irrelevant statistic. For example, a restaurant’s website doesn’t really expect to get repeat visitors. People just use the website to find the address or phone number so they can show up.
But for most businesses, you do want people to keep coming back to your site. If people are coming back time and again, that probably means people are finding your website useful. Check your returning visitor rate to see how well you’re doing in this department.
These are some of the many things that your analytics system can tell you. Learning to understand analytics can really help you steer your small business in the right direction.