Your website is the Shop Window for your business. It doesn’t matter how your prospective customers find your website. From Adwords and SEO to Social Media and even your URL on your business card, all of these channels simply get people to your website. They don’t significantly influence what visitors do when they get there. Wouldn’t it be great if you could see how visitors interact with your website and identify ‘pinch points‘ where the traffic stalls and things could be improved? Website Analytics are the way to see this information. However, for many (if not most) SME businesses they are just too complicated to set up, understand and use. As a result, too often, web analytics become the preserve of techies and web specialists.
Analytics are NOT tech tools, they are marketing tools
Analytics should be used to understand customer and prospect engagement. This is marketing stuff. Used properly, analytics can deliver real insight into what is going on in your website. This helps put your website as a tool at the heart of your marketing rather than your website being your marketing. In essence, analytics comes down to providing answers to 4 fundamental marketing questions:
- What are visitors doing when they visit your website?
- Are they engaging with your content in the way you plan for?
- If not, why not?
- What can you do about it?
It is then possible to make changes to the site based on what you have learnt and then review the analytics to see if things have changed in the right direction. The problem is that, depending on how they are used, analytics can either be blinding, or immensely valuable. Here are my Top Tips for making analytics really work to help market your business:
1. Keep analytics simple
Analytics can be overwhelming so think marketing first. What do you need to know to make your business marketing decisions? Pick a maximum of 3 or 4 key things to measure and focus on these. You can always adapt your focus over time as you learn more. Remember: Analytics are the How, not the What. Don’t get carried away with the options and risk drowning in data
2. Keep things real
You are analysing the actions and interaction of your site visitors. These are real people! Think how you engage with websites. What do you like and what annoys you. Plan your analytic measurements around real people. As well as the analytics, why not ask your customers for feedback to help build a picture of what people think of your website.
3. Don’t count your own visits to your website.
If you are working on your own website, you may well be the most regular visitor. This can really distort the numbers – particularly if your site is new with only a few visitors. You can set your analytics to filter out your own IP address(es) so you don’t sway the stats with your own results. Give me a call if you want to know how to do this
4. Give yourself time
Unless your website has a decent amount of traffic (>100-200 visitors/day) it can take time to build a valid picture. Set your plans and leave for a month to allow meaningful stats to build up. Getting useful data from analytics doesn’t happen overnight.
5. Investigate Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free tool that gives real control to your analytics management. It allows you to ask detailed questions of your analytics without delving into the website code which used to be the only way. If you have a WordPress site you can combine GTM with a single WordPress plugin for a ZERO CODING solution that really works. Here are some examples of what you can learn with analytics and GTM:
- Do visitors read to the end of your blog posts?
- Do they watch your videos? – if so, how much?
- Is your Call To Action button visible on the page before a visitor leaves?
- Do visitors click your CTA button?
- Set filters to track specific content elements (buttons, images, forms, links etc.
The possibilities are endless. By staying planned and focussed, you can get a real insight to truly drive your marketing. Want to know more. Contact me.