Many small businesses (even some large corporations) spend more time marketing their products/services than they do analyzing business data; and end up making critical business decisions or forecasting based on either industry data or intuition. Decisions are best made using varied data especially data from your business’ current operations. Adequately drawing up a plan or deciding on the best strategy to meet set targets starts with understanding clearly the current status of your business. Where are you now? Where do you want to go? How do you get there?
One of the easiest sources of business data is your website. Websites are gold mines of customer data that potentially have the power to change the way you run your entire business. It gives a wealth of information on customer data. It’s not okay to just own a fancy plush website or even a functional one. It’s not enough to have all your products, services and contact information on your website. As a matter of fact, all those don’t matter as much as the invaluable data that your website analytics holds! Analyzing data on your website should be one of the things your digital or tech team sends you a report on each month.
What data can I find on my website and what does it mean for my business?
How many people visit your website and how long they spend browsing your pages.
One of the most common reports any analytics tool provides is how many people visit your website on a daily basis, distinguishing new visitors from returning visitors. This informs you of the growth and loyalty of your audience. If you have a high number of returning clients it tells that you’re doing something right: you’re providing value for your audience which keeps them coming back for more. So give them more of that.
Looking at the number of individual page or post views on your website will tell you where your audience or clients are going on your website and where their interests lie. Quick tip: If you find your clients trooping to a page that is currently not your landing page(homepage) you should consider making that page your homepage. It is clearly what the audience wants, so you have to give it to them! If the first page they go to on your website is your shop and not your homepage, you should make your shop your homepage now! If you run a blog, par example, and the posts with the highest views are posts that talk about travel, you should give them more travel content because that’s what they want from you.
Where these people live and what type of devices they use
Your analytics also reports the demographics of your audience. Based on demographic reports you can tailor your content to suite the market that owns more than 60% of your viewership. Your ads can be targeted at that group of people, you could create packages/discounts for that niche or even make them feel special by calling them out. It gives you a fair idea of who uses your products or services and helps you derive why they need the products or services.
Knowing the devices your audience use is imperative to how your website is designed and the general feel of your website. If the majority of your audience visits your website from their mobile phones you will pay particular attention to how your website looks like on mobile. You will make sure all the features on your website are available on mobile just as they are on desktop. It also gives you a sense of the type of customers you have and little about their status. You can guess customer behaviour based on their choice of device (including operating system) Example: iPhone users are more concerned about security and a simple user interface
What lead them to your website?
This report gives you a good indication of your marketing efforts. Does your audience visit your website from social media, google ads, from referral links or are they direct visits. Some reports share with you the links that lead them to your site as well. If you run a social media ad with your website links in them, this report indicates how effective your ad was not only because it shows your leads, it also reports how many of these visitors convert into paying clients at the end of the day. A good description of your return on investment in your marketing.
If you have a website and you don’t pay attention to analytic reports on your website, you should start now. All you need is a Google account and you can set up a Google Analytics account today and get reports from your customers journey online to make informed decisions decisions about your business.