Web Analytics Tips for Beginners

Web AnalyticsIn this day and age, every small business should have a website. If you don’t have a website, check out our post on some awesome tips that every small business website needs. Once you have a website in place, make sure you have a way to measure and track how your clients are interacting on your website.

As your business grows, so does the number of people visiting your website.  Web analytics can give you additional insights in how you can improve your business. Here are 5 useful tips that I have learned over the years that every small business owner can learn from their web analytics.

1. Installation

The first thing you should do is to install web analytic tracking on your website.  There are literally dozens of great free tools available on the web for you to take advantage of.  If you are new to analytics, installing Google Analytics is a popular way to start.  Google Analytics is free, regularly updated, and there are plenty of helpful online resources to get you started immediately.

2. Learn the Language

Analytics become easier to understand once you’re familiar with the terminology.  For example, Visits, Unique Visitors, Page views, and Visitor all mean something slightly different.  Subsequently, when you start filtering your web traffic by segments, dimensions and metrics, the data can be confusing.  Save yourself headaches by getting familiar with the terms first.

3. Create Custom Tracking Variables

It is usually not enough to rely on the basic predefined metrics that come prepackaged with your analytic software. Every business is different which is why robust web analytic tools allow people to specify custom tracking.  For example, Google Analytics allows you to tag any online campaign you are running with different dimensions.  You can see how well your ad banner, newsletter, or link campaigns are doing simply by custom tagging your campaign URL’s.

4. Track

A good web analytic tool usually has options for you to schedule automatic reports to your inbox, export to your spreadsheet, and other options.  As you make improvements and changes to your website you will want to annotate the changes in analytics for reference.  Web analytics is all about understanding why spikes and dips happen so you can make adjustments.

5. React

Good data takes time to accumulate and there may be fluctuations on a day by day basis.  When you see spikes or dips in your data, take time to understand why before making drastic changes.  Improvements and results from your campaign may not truly show up in your analytics until weeks after.  Once you understand the dynamics of your data can you then react and improve your content.

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