Small business secrets...

Why small businesses can't afford to ignore website analytics

Posted by Anthony Karibian on Jun 27, 2013 10:37:34 AM

When running a small business, it’s important to keep track of which tactics are working and which aren't, so you can adjust your approach accordingly. This seems like common business sense, so I was surprised to read recently that only 25% of small businesses keep track of analytics on their websites.

It may just seem like another arduous task, but I advise small business owners to take the time to understand these analytics -- otherwise it’s impossible to know if what you’re doing is working. You don’t need to be a web expert -- most analytics tools are very simple to set up, and the internet is full of step-by-step guides to help you get the most out of them.

The most popular industry tool is Google Analytics, which is used by more than half of the top 10,000 websites. With Google Analytics, you can:

  • track the demographics of your website visitors,

  • monitor your traffic sources and what advertising is working,

  • keep track of SEO keywords and much more.

If you have a bOnline website, Google Analytics comes built-in to your site and you can easily check the most important statistics from your website dashboard.

When you start to measure your analytics, the first thing you will want to know is where your visitors are coming from. Are people finding your site through social media, search engines, or are they hearing about you offline (perhaps by word of mouth or from your flyers/business cards) and typing your web address directly into their browser? By keeping track of your traffic sources, you can decide which forms of marketing are working best for you.

As well as telling you what’s working well, analytics can also help you highlight potential problems on your website. It’s easy to see where users decided to leave your site. Take a look at the most common exit pages and try to determine what could be causing your visitors to ‘drop off’ at this point. Using the ‘visitors flow’ tool on Google Analytics, you can see how visitors navigate your site. If they seem to take an erratic path around the website, you may want to considers simplifying your navigation.

Analytic tracking is not all about traffic. It’s also important to keep an eye on your SEO efforts. Our new traffic builder tool can help you optimise your site for your chosen keywords, and there are other valuable tools to track their rankings, such as Moz and Cute Rank.

If you’re marketing your business on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, it’s important to keep an eye on these sites, too. It’s valuable to know the demographics of your followers and which posts perform best, so you can tailor your updates to suit your audience. Facebook has this feature built-in for business pages, and Twitter has just launched its own version. Crowdbooster is also a great premium option, which will help you view the performance of your social media posts in one place.

Keeping track of your analytics needn’t be a chore -- in fact, it can be a real eye-opener if you want to understand your audience. By regularly checking your analytics, you’ll be able to target your messaging to the right audience, which could potentially convert more of them into paying customers.

Topics: CEO's blog

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