Extracting actionable insights from endless streams of data is hard. It’s also important – especially for small and medium sized businesses. The web can do most for the small business when it comes to the impact on the bottom line. This is why web analytics matters and why every business owner needs to learn the basics. These 5 web analytic tips are a great start:
1. Broaden Your Horizons
Many local (and not just local) brick-and-mortar businesses fail to see web analytics as a business tool. Some don’t have any data about their website’s performance. Others often fail to see beyond visits, pageview or bounce rates.
Web analytics is much more than that.
Web analytics is more than your web analytics platform. It’s more than clickstream data.
Web analytics is about your business. It’s about revenue. It’s about customer acquisition, retention, and positioning. It’s about making your business the best it can be.
Let me slow down.
Every business metric that ever mattered is a web metric, as well. If you are running a dental practice, you should know what it costs you to get a new patient. Web analytics makes it easy for you to know this number. It also makes it easy to know how much it costs to get a patient from Yellow Pages, using Google Adwords, or from Yelp.
Have you integrated all your business data with your web data?
2. Focus On Geographically-Relevant Traffic
Businesses with a local presence don’t need to worry much about traffic from outside of their geographical market. Plumbers from Seattle hardly ever get business from someone who lives in New Jersey.
You can create a custom report in Google Analytics that show how well you are doing where it matters. You will get a better picture of your performance and an easier time extracting actionable insights if you focus on traffic from your geographic market.
3. Pay Special Attention To Your Mobile Traffic
Mobile=Local. An ever increasing number of potential customers will never interact with the desktop version of your website. They will only see your mobile site. Do you have one? Does your mobile traffic perform worse than desktop traffic? If so, it is time to get or update your mobile site.
4. Track Offline Conversions
If you measure the impact of your website only by sales made, leads generated, appointments made and so on, you might be giving your website too little credit. This is because you have to measure offline conversions, as well.
You can measure your offline conversions by:
- Making coupons only available on your website. This is the easiest way to track offline conversions.
- Creating microsites for specific offline campaigns. For example, let’s say you run radio or TV ads – you will have a better idea of the campaign performance if you create a separate website than just watching your direct traffic or brand related keywords rise.
An added bonus: knowing how your offline campaigns perform can help you get better deals from radio and TV stations.
5. Create A Dashboard
Don’t worry, this sounds scarier than it is. In order to take full advantage of web analytics, you must do two things right:
- Implement tracking that gets you accurate data on everything you need
- Extract actionable insights from your data
Dashboards help you focus on improving metrics that really matter for your business by keeping them in front of you at all times.
Your dashboard should provide you with information about your most important metrics – KPIs. These metrics include: cost of lead acquisition, customer acquisition costs, new customer numbers, etc. It should be easily comparable to your previous numbers and should be integrated with your offline KPIs.
Following these tips will help you move a step closer to your business objectives. These days, your marketing efforts need to be completely integrated. Web analytics can help this integration.
Image courtesy of Leo Reynolds