Keen to boost your reach? Here’s how to harness web analytics for small business owners
Numbers. Statistics. Maths.
For most of us, the thought of diving into figures and analysing numbers does not spark joy. It’s understandable if your first thought is to jettison all evidence of your website metrics (ala Marie Kondo style).
But, you might want to hold that thought for a moment.
While most of us aren’t fans of maths or statistics, we can’t ignore the importance of data for our businesses.
Without data, how can we know how many units we’ve sold or see how many people are on our waitlist for courses? Without crunching the numbers, how can we be sure our business is even profitable?
As much as it may not spark joy, getting up and personal with numbers is part and parcel of every modern business. This goes far beyond accounting and finance – with more tools available than ever before, it’s time to get cosy with web analytics to take your business further.
Why understanding web analytics is crucial for small business owners
They say content is king – but data increasingly holds the key to quality content. More than 80% of marketers rely on data to make decisions, with Hubspot finding that web traffic is the second most common metric used to evaluate content marketing strategies.
That’s not all.
Businesses that analyse their website data are 23 times more likely to acquire customers than their competition. Why? Because they have access to hard data that tells them information about their audience, what they are looking for and what does/doesn’t resonate with them.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that, in a world where data is growing exponentially, getting a handle on your web analytics is more important than ever.
Still not convinced? Here are three reasons to learn to love web analytics
Get to know your audience
Understanding who is visiting your website and consuming your content makes it easier to identify your audience and what they need. Digging into demographic data and audience behaviour provides valuable insights to help you create content that matches the needs of your ideal audience.
See what’s working
Analysing pageviews is a powerful way to identify the topics and content formats that are resonating the most. Identifying the pages that attract the most views provides a blueprint to help you create similar content. Likewise, pages with lower views or a high bounce rate reveal content that needs updating.
Track your goals
Reviewing your website analytics is key to tracking (and meeting) your business goals. Whether you’ve set a revenue goal, working towards a brand awareness target or are looking to move into a new market, web analytics is your ticket to monitoring progress to ensure you stay on track and kick those goals.
Which website metrics REALLY matter?
It pays to keep track of your website analytics. But with data growing and technology providing new reporting options, which metrics should you focus on?
If you have clear business and marketing goals, these should ALWAYS be your guide.
For instance, if your goal is to build your brand profile and increase your organic reach, you’ll want to focus on acquisition metrics to see how people are finding you.
If you want people to visit a specific landing page, then you’ll benefit from reviewing audience behaviour and demographics to understand how they navigate your site.
If you’re keen to reduce your abandoned cart numbers, you’ll want to analyse your conversion stats to identify any barriers to purchase.
This is all about how visitors find your site, and identifying the channels, content and pages that resonate with your audience. The most common way to monitor this is to look at:
- New users
- Time on page
Tip: Take your acquisition metrics further by understanding these seven customer insights.
This looks at what your audience does when they get to your site, helping you see trends and patterns in how people are engaging with your content. This typically includes the measurement of:
- Bounce rate
- Exit rate
- Pages per session
- Session duration
Tip: Get a better feel for behaviour analytics with these 13 suggestions from Hotjar.
This is where the rubber hits the road. Are your customers adding to their cart, downloading resources or taking another action that shows they know, like and trust you? This includes:
- eCommerce conversion rate
Tip: Dig into conversion optimisation with these 15 handy formulas & calculations.
Which web analytic tool should you choose?
Two website analytics tools will help your small business gain valuable insights to improve your content and boost your revenue:
- Google Analytics 4
- Meta Pixel (formerly Facebook pixel)
Google Analytics 4
It’s hard to believe that Google Analytics is a free tool – it’s that good! By linking your website to a Google Analytics account, you can access a range of useful metrics to track acquisition, engagement and monetisation across your site.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version which finished rolling out earlier this year. Focusing on events rather than sessions, GA4 collects both website and app data to help you better understand the customer journey.
If you’re an eCommerce business owner, GA4 offers more in-depth insights to help you improve the shopping experience. You can even set up custom reports to drill down into the numbers to better serve customers.
The main GA4 metrics to look out for are defined by the customer life cycle and are split into four distinct areas – acquisition, engagement, monetisation and retention.
The three default reports available here are:
- Acquisition overview – helps you see if you’re attracting new users
- User acquisition – tells you how new visitors are finding your site
- Traffic acquisition – shows where new and returning visitors are coming from.
The five default reports you can access include:
- Engagement overview – summarises engagement data for your website
- Events – reveals how often an event is triggered on your site
- Conversions – identifies how often visitors triggered a conversion event
- Pages and screens – shows where people are going on your site and app
- Landing pages – tells you the first page a user visits on your site.
The six default reports ready for analysis include:
- Monetisation overview – helps you understand your revenue data
- eCommerce purchases – info about products sold on your eCommerce store
- User purchase journey – reveals where users drop off along the purchase funnel
- In-app purchases – shows details about purchases made through your app
- Publisher ads – details about ad engagement, conversion and revenue
- Promotions – see how promotions affect purchases and revenue.
There is one default retention report available:
- Retention overview – summarises how well your site or app retains users.
If you don’t already have Google Analytics set up on your website, you really are missing out on valuable insights that could supercharge your business!
Meta (Facebook) Pixel
The second website analytics tool to check out is the Facebook pixel. Now known as a Meta pixel, this is a piece of code placed on your website to report conversions, build audiences and learn how people are using your website.
There are 17 standard events already predefined by the Meta pixel to help you track activity on your website, including:
- Add payment info
- Add to cart
- Add to wishlist
- Complete registration
- Customise product
- Find location
- Initiate checkout
- Start trial
- Submit application
If these standard events are not enough, you can also create custom events and conversions to measure specific actions unique to your business.
When properly installed, the Meta pixel helps you:
- understand the effectiveness of your advertising
- optimise ad delivery on Facebook and Instagram
- see the actions people take on your site
- get started with retargeting
- measure cross-device conversions
- create custom audiences based on website visitors.
If you want to get more out of Facebook advertising and take advantage of the power of retargeting, installing the Meta pixel is a must!
Stop relying on paid advertising to bring traffic back to your website.
Our handy guide contains actionable tips you can implement so that you don’t have to rely solely on paid advertising. Download the Organic Marketing Essentials Workbook and enjoy!
HOW TO NAIL WEB ANALYTICS FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
Experts in website design and development, the team at Naked Digital is here to help your small business harness your valuable website data. As part of our website redesign process, we ensure your GA4 and Meta pixel are set up correctly to drive success. Contact us today to see how we can help take your small business further.