Web Analytics for Small Businesses: A Beginner’s Guide

A version of this article appeared in Expanding Opportunities magazine supplement published by The Daily Record in association with the Maryland Governor’s Office Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs in 2017

Web Analytics for Small Businesses

If you own a small business, engaging in digital marketing with limited resources can be challenging.  You may have tried different ways to improve your website, such as enhanced content quality, streamlined navigation, or mobile responsive design, or even set up some paid promotions to drive traffic to your site.

While these are great options, making such investments without measuring return is like “flying blind.”  This article offers tips about how you can leverage web analytics to help gain insight on your users’ behaviors and understand your website’s performance.

There are many web analytics tools available today, including Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and Webtrends.  For small businesses, Google Analytics is often best. The free version is powerful enough to meet your basic analytics needs.  Get started by implementing Google Analytics on your website using these simple steps:

  1. Establish a Google Analytics Account: Google will need some basic information about your website, including domain name.
  2. Add Tracking Code: Google will provide tracking code to paste onto your pages. It’s absolutely safe to place this code on your website, as it has been widely tested and accepted.
  3. Learn About Your Audience: Once the tracking code is in place, you can see traffic data for your site.

Now, you need to think about key performance indicators (KPIs). Good KPIs should be actionable and able to help you make decisions about your website’s performance. Here are a few examples:

Pages Report

A report that ranks the pages of your website by page views, so you know which pages attract the most visitors. If your desired page is not at the top, find out why and improve the page.

Audiences Overview

Find out how many users have visited your website in a given time. Use the Geo report to see where your audiences are located, and the mobile report to find out how many users used a mobile device versus a desktop computer to access your site.

Marketing Campaigns

If you have tried to direct traffic to your website from other channels, such as social media, search engines, or email, the acquisition report will help you understand what channels drive the most traffic to your site. Use these findings to optimize your campaign strategy.

Through digital analytics, you can develop a clear understanding of your website’s KPIs, and use that information to drive new visitors and potential customers your way.

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