The 3-Minute Guide to Web Analytics

In a world where most people check their smart phone before brushing their teeth*, you know that your website is crucial to your business. But is it working for you as well as it could?

It’s easy to get buried in statistics when checking your stats on Google Analytics. That may be one reason most small businesses don’t check their web statistics. Do you really need to know the most common browser size from Twitter referrals  in Belleview, Florida? Probably not. But here’s a five minute guide to web measurements that will enable you to take action and grow your business online:

1. How many people are visiting my website? Your website analytics program will give you a pretty good, but not perfect, picture of how many people visit your website on a daily or monthly basis. Whether you get 5 or 500 visitors a day, it’s important to know how your website is being used. In Google Analytics, this information is broken down by Sessions (a visit to your website during a short period of time) and Users (an approximation of the unique individuals.)

What’s a good number? It depends on your industry and the geography you serve.

ACTION ITEM: Compare your website traffic over time as you promote it through online advertising, search engine optimization and other marketing activities. When you can correlate an increase in website traffic to an increase in business you know you’re headed in the right direction.

2. Where are they coming from? Are users finding you through search engines, your Facebook page, a link from another website? Inside the Acquisition tab in Google Analytics, you’ll find an overview of how people are finding your website. If no one is coming to your website through Google, you’ve got a problem. If you send out a weekly newsletter highlighting homes for sale on your real estate website, you can easily find out how well it’s working.

ACTION ITEM: Visit a search engine and check the rank of your website compared to your competitors for a term that is important to your business. One study found that the first result on Google averaged 32.5 percent of visitor traffic, almost double the traffic of the second position. By comparison, the 10th position got only 2.4 percent of the clicks. So if you’re getting 50 visitors a day in the second position, it’s possible you could double your traffic by improving your SEO. 

3. What pages are they visiting? If you’re a restaurant and no one ever orders your fish tacos, it may be time to drop them from the menu or reconsider your recipe. In the same way, if you have pages on your website that no one visits it may be time to reconsider whether people are interested, or else create content that is more compelling.

ACTION ITEM: Check the the Behavior tab in Google Analytics for a report on Site Content to see which pages people are visiting. If there’s an important page people are neglecting, it could be for a variety of reasons. Maybe the link is hard to find. Maybe the navigation isn’t clear. Or maybe your visitors just don’t care. Either way, you can take action accordingly.

There’s an old adage that says you can’t manage what you don’t measure. But by understanding just a few key metrics, you’ll have the information you need to manage your website profitably. It doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, you can make it even easier by having a summary report e-mailed to you every week. Ask your web developer to show you how. And if your web developer is Brick City Interactive, just give us a call at 352-351-1131 and we’ll get you set up.

* The study in Adweek appeared in 2013 and found that 80% of smart phone users ages 18-44 checked their smart phone before getting out of bed, going to the bathroom, or brushing their teeth.