Monitoring your small business website with analytics

Monday - October 15th, 2012

Written by: Tristan Pelligrino

Monitoring your small business website with analytics

If you’re a small business owner, it is important to monitor your website. By analyzing how an audience finds your site, where they go within the site and how they become customers, you can improve the overall relationship with your customers.

But just reading reports from analytics programs isn’t that effective if you don’t identify a goal. With the amount of data available, you need to establish your goal and ensure that it is measurable within the analytics program of your choice. Let’s take a look at a way to go through this process (using Google Analytics as our tool).

Deciding on a Goal

A statement like “I want my visitors to be more engaged” is a little too broad. There are several different data elements that can determine engagement. On the other hand, a measurable goal is “Wanting to know what percentage of referral traffic is converting to sales.” As long as the goal is specific and measurable, the data will lead to answers that can help solve problems and improve the performance of your website. Setting goals like this reduces the amount of data to understand. This creates efficiency.

Understanding the Data

A tool like the Goal Flow Report allows users to highlight certain segments of data to enhance the overall understanding. Learning that 50% of the social media traffic was bouncing from your website clearly points to problems with the landing page. Dealing specifically with the social media traffic, fixing the problem might be as simple as improving the content on the landing page or removing some content that seems to drive the traffic away. Finding solutions for problems is easier when the data is specific. Here is a short video that highlights some key aspects of the Goal Flow Report:

Creating Efficiency with Custom Reports

Breaking data down into smaller chunks improves efficiency. Google Analytics provides the capability to develop custom reports (tailored to your most important data) and have these reports sent directly to your inbox. Quite frankly, the amount of detail available to you in a custom report is more than enough to monitor any website. A custom report can be created in just a few clicks. Here’s a video that gives a quick glimpse of the process:

Data on the Go

Small business owners are involved with just about every aspect of their business. As a result, owners often are out in meetings or attending other industry events. So, if you’re going to monitor your website, it’s important to have access to data on your mobile device. Here are a few services providing Google Analytics data on your phone:

  • Analytiks – This solution is priced at $1.99 but is worth the small investment. The application provides a great visual representation of analytics data on your phone. The data feels much like an actual infographic and presents the most important data elements very efficiently.
  • Analytics Pro – This solution is a little more at $5.99. However, it does give you access to a large percentage of Google Analytics data on the go. I can’t think of much that isn’t available in this app.

Real Time Analytics

If you’re running a campaign and need to know how your website is performing, real-time analytics is key. Google Analytics provides real-time functionality and this is probably the best starting point. However, for a more robust look at your real-time stats, you can check these out:


Ultimately, tracking the performance of your website starts with establishing measurable goals. Once you have an idea of what to track, you can find the data using one of several tools available. Then, make a commitment to analyze the data and develop plans for improvement. If you set out to continue with this process, your website will constantly evolve and reach your audience more effectively.

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