There is neck breaking competition among small businesses around the world. There is a thin line that separates a successful firm from an average performing one in the market. Since most small businesses rely heavily on their websites for their marketing needs it becomes important to stay ahead of the crowd. To do so you need to have a complete insight into the performance of your website. It is as important as a robust design and search engine optimization. You need to have access to all the performance related data for your website and today we term this as ‘analytics’.
You might still be wondering why we are stressing so much on analytics and rating it equal to design and SEO. To start with use of data, metrics and hard tangible evidence helps you assess external threats and internal weakness within your website. Unless you have these evidences in your hand you will never be able to adopt full proof measures to add to the performance of your website. Here are some of the numbers that every small business must focus on when it comes to analytics.
- Number of Visitors – The first thing that most small businesses are concerned about when it comes to analytics is the number of visitors. When you track these numbers on a daily basis you also need to take note if it is increasing or decreasing. This becomes more so important when you are running a marketing campaign as you will be able to know the impact of the campaign.
- Goal Conversion – The second thing that you should be interested in is goal conversion. Every websites does have its one goal – some sites needs more traffic, others such as ecommerce need more sales per 100 visits or some intend to send traffic to an affiliate website. With your web analytics tool you need to figure out if your set goals are being converted or if they are failing what might be the reasons for this failure.
- Traffic Sources – Where are visitors coming from? Are they reaching you using the search engines or some website or blog is sending you bulk of your traffic. Knowing this will help you leverage your active sources better and also help you optimize the site to attract traffic from other sources. For instance if one of your most targeted keywords or key phrases isn’t yielding results it might be time to try something new.
- Landing Pages – Which pages are getting maximum attention in your website when it comes to traffic from external sources? In most cases you might want the visitor to land on the home page but if you have something more important in one of your inner pages, you might have a different preference. Make sure your visitors land where you want them to.
- Geographic Location – It is very important for you to know where your visitors are coming from. Most of the popular analytics tool shall give you an insight into the location of your visitors such as the countries and the cities that they are coming from. For small businesses that are focused on certain geography it is important to see if the people from your target market are visiting your website. Traffic coming from far away destinations might not add too much value to your site.
- Devices Used – In a multi-device world where smartphones and tablets are matching desktops/laptops in every sense you need to have an insight into the devices your visitors are making use of to reach your website. If you have very few visits through mobile devices you might need to rework on your website and make it mobile friendly.
- Bounce Rates – This generally defines as the percentage of users aborting your website without visiting a second page. A high bounce rate is detrimental for your business as you are not being able to cater to the needs of the visitors. So you have to look for ways and means in which you can reduce the bounce rate of your website.
- Returning Visitors – How many visitors are coming back to your website? This figure will definitely give you some insight into your success. But you shouldn’t be reading too much into it as it depends on what kind of small business site you are running. For instance if you own a restaurant most of your customers might visit your site just once and that would be termed successful where as in case of an ecommerce site they need to visit regularly.
There are a number of free and premium analytics tools available in the market that is being used by businesses. Google Analytics is surely the most popular one among the lot. Other popular ones include Yahoo Web Analytics, Crazy Egg and Compete to name a few.