Web Analytics for Your Small Business

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This is a sequel to my earlier blog post – What is Web Analytics? This post goes in to more details on how you can quickly harness the power of web analytics to grow your business. To start with, any good analytics system like Google Analytics can provide you all the information you need to understand the “what” behind your website visitor/customer behavior.

What is the source of your site visitors?

What is their location?

What is the frequency of visit of your site visitors?

What are the most popular pages on your site?

The key is drawing actionable insights from a huge list of “what”. Once you start understanding your visitor/customer website visit/ purchase pattern, you will notice a trend. We all know human beings tend to follow a pattern in anything they do. Your website selling pattern becomes clearly visible using analytics. You become “aware” of the presence of someone on your website. It’s just like lighting a torch in the dark.

Analytics systems can help you measure & achieve any business goals including lead generation, product/service sales, e-commerce, brand positioning and customer support. You can track the performance of your online and off line marketing campaigns.

If you acquire customers using search marketing and/or pay per click advertising then it’s important to target the right prospects. If you are attracting nonqualified visitors for your product or service then you are losing a ton of money on advertising. Analytics can help you identify the right group of prospects by reporting keyword search frequency, effectiveness, and conversion.

Using analytics solution you can also track the effectiveness of your yellow page ads and other off line marketing campaigns. To track off line campaign you can use special redirect domain or URL in your ads.

There are many web analytics providers in market. I would suggest using Google Analytics because it’s completely free, easy to implement and one of the fastest systems out there.

Here is how you can quickly install Google Analytics on your website –

1. Go to www.google.com/analytics

2. Click “Access Analytics” (blue button)

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3. You can login using your Google account (if you don’t have a Google account you can quickly create one in less than a min)

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4. After logging in click “Sign up” button in the “Sign up for Google Analytics section

5. Enter your Website URL and your account name (any name)

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6. Set your time zone

7. Enter your contact details

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8. Accept the user agreement and click “Create New Account” button

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9. Copy the tracking code and paste it just before the </body> tag on all the pages on your website

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10. Now you are armed with one of the most powerful business growth system on planet.

The reports will populate with visits data in few hours. Once you start seeing the data in the GA system, your next step will be to perform analysis. Here are the top five reports that will help you get started with analytics.

1. Bounce rate – One of the most important web metric reports. This report will show you what percentage of visitors left your site after one (single) page visit. Using this report you can measure the stickiness of you site at a high level. If you are like me and want to really use the power of analytics to grow your business then I suggest you read my blog post “Bounce rate-Does it really matters?

2. Top Keyword reports – This report is located under the “Traffic Sources- Keyword” section. Keyword report will list all the referring keywords ranked by your site visit. The report can be segmented to paid / non paid keywords list. If the keywords in this report are not relevant to your business then ‘Houston, we have a problem!’ Keyword reports will help you effectively target the right audience.

3. Top Landing Pages – Located under the “Content” section, top landing pages report lists the most visited pages on your site in descending order of visits. This report will help you answer the questions like – What are the most visited pages on your site? Are you driving traffic to the right pages? Are your site visitors reading the content that you want them to read?

If you combine this report with the bounce rate metric then you will understand the your visitor site behavior. (Hint: Look for the pages that get most traffic and has higher bounce rate. For small business website a bounce rate of 35% or more is considered to be high.)

4. Referring sites – Referring sites report is the third report under the “Traffic Source” section. This will list all the sites that are sending traffic to your website. The referring sites report will help you identify link building opportunities.

5. Campaign Report – The report is really helpful if you want to track your off line marketing campaigns. (Caveat is you must have a tracking code setup for all your off line and online campaigns) You can look at the number of visitors, campaign bounce rate, time spent on your site and site conversion.

Web analytics is definitely the best way to grow your business and sales without spending more on advertising.

Please provide your comments, feedback, or tweets here.

Here is a list of other helpful blog posts –

Bounce rate Calculation in Site Catalyst Omniture

What is Web Analytics?

Is Web Analytics Right for My Small Business?

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