Everyone knows it’s more than just numbers – bounce rate and conversion are more meaningful by a mile – but how far small businesses delve into that data could dictate your whole Internet strategy. I use Google Analytics for most of my sites. Google Analytics tells you all you need to know to start out with.
For a small business you just need to keep tabs on a few key areas:
Numbers: how is your hit rate? (More is not necessarily good without the below…)
Keywords: What keywords are people finding your site with? Are they what you want them to find you with? If not, then you need to look again at your content and keywords to make sure they’re accurately aligned with your product, service and location. Check out our simple SEO guide for more on keywords.
Location: Where’s the traffic coming from? If you purely service the UK then five per cent of hits from Uruguay ain’t no good…
Arrival method: How are people finding you? Search engines? Twitter? LinkedIn? Business directories? Find out what’s working and max it. Find what’s not working and max that too.
Landing page: Every page is a landing page, remember. Which ones are doing it for you? Is your blog attracting the hits? If so then are people exploring around your site from there? If not, why not?
Bounce rate: See ‘Landing page’. The higher this number, the worse your site is performing. The lower the number, the better you’re doing at drawing people into your site and increasing your chances of making sales.
Conversion: See above. If you’re not converting then something’s going drastically wrong. It’s time to reassess your overall approach.
The key thing to remember is that analytics is a never-ending practice. Even if you’re flying high in April, you could be shot down in May, so keep on it. The Japanese call it ‘kaizen’ – continual improvement.