This is a guest post by Jason Keith. Jason is the Senior Communications Manager at Vistaprint, where he and his team are deeply involved with small businesses and lead the efforts in mining micro business trends, behaviors, and attitudes through various research studies and analysis. A former journalist with more than a decade of experience in the communications field, he has also spent time working for a number of small businesses in New England, giving him a unique perspective of the issues facing them on a daily basis. To reach him directly email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a small business owner, keeping track of your website performance on top of all your other day-to-day tasks can be a very challenging proposition. No matter how busy you might be, tracking visitors to your site is one of the most important aspects of running a website today. Installing a simple tool like Google Analytics is a great way to get started. It’s easy to install, provides simple dashboards to view the data from your site, and is completely free.
Here are four key areas that Google Analytics can help you manage your website better.
- The Daily Visits feature gives you an overall look at how your site is performing from a traffic volume perspective. It also splits these visits by New and Repeat, so you can tell how many potential new customers come to your site each day.
- Seeing your daily visits metric increase or decrease is beneficial for a number of reasons in the fact it helps you answer some valuable questions quickly, like:
- Weekly trends, what is the busiest day of the week?
- Site performance issues, is the site not working? Is there a bug on one page?
- Are we getting new customers from our marketing efforts?
How long people are staying on the site for? (Avg. Time on Site)
- Average Time on Site provides insight into how long people are staying on your site and also tells you how many pages they are visiting.
- Average Time on Site is beneficial in providing a real time view on what people want to interact with and where they spend the most amount of time on your site. Think about the opportunities you now have to optimize and enhance your site in the areas your visitors care most about.
Where are the users coming from? (Traffic Types)
- Traffic Types showcases the various sources of traffic to your site, whether it be from another site (Referral), Search Engines (Organic), or Direct (the number of people typing in your domain URL directly into browser). These data points are great at helping you understand the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
- Time on Site by Country gives you a deeper breakdown of which geographic region the user is coming from.
- Want to know where you are marketing spend is working and where it is failing? What site or search engine is driving the most traffic to your website? Traffic types can help you answer those questions.
What pages are people visiting? (Visitor Flows)
- Visitor Flows helps you understand which pages are the most important/visited and where in your site customers/users are leaving the site.
- Assessing the Visitor Flows feature can be very beneficial in helping to identify issues and opportunities to enhance the structure and flow of your website.
- For example: You notice customers going to a specific page from your home page, but then directly after they drop off that page and your site entirely. This is pretty impactful information if you’re able to fix the issue and turn a user who would have normally left your site, into a valued customer by getting them to convert.
To learn more and get a more in depth introduction on Google Analytics check out this five-minute video titled “Introduction to Google Analytics” from Google.
About the Author
Jason is the Senior Communications Manager at Vistaprint, where he and his team are deeply involved with small businesses and lead the efforts in mining micro business trends, behaviors, and attitudes through various research studies and analysis. A former journalist with more than a decade of experience in the communications field, he has also spent time working for a number of small businesses in New England, giving him a unique perspective of the issues facing them on a daily basis. To reach him directly email email@example.com.