The beauty of digital is that it's 100% accountable. Every step can be tracked, monitored and measured to determine performance, which helps you understand your customers well enough to ensure you're giving them what they want and need.
Before you start, the most important thing to decipher is your goals. What do you want your customers to do when they visit your website? Buy a product or service? Sign-up for a newsletter or whitepaper? Or download a guide? Be specific.
Once you identify this, you'll need a tracking tool for your website. There are many out there. I recommend Google Analytics, a free comprehensive analytics tool that is easy-to-use and has enough tools and reports to satisfy most small businesses.
Once you've installed the Google Analytics tracking code on each page of the site--and verified in the Google Analytics Dashboard--set up your goals and aggregated at least four weeks data, I recommend you interrogate your Google Analytics account to answer these four questions:
Start looking at this data weekly and try to identify trends and patterns (don’t forget about seasonality). Has your website traffic increased/decreased? Why? Is Search traffic up? Referrals? Or has Social Media traffic declined because you’ve been so busy you haven't gotten around to updating your blog? Utilise this data to put actions in place to improve the performance of each traffic source.
Google Analytics is a great tool for tracking how well your website if performing – just make sure you understand the basics so you can draw the right conclusions from the data. Don’t rely on single points of data. Analyse long-term. Don’t forget about seasonality – not just times of year but also public holidays, school holidays, weather, even strikes can all impact your traffic volume.
Remember the above is only the tip of the iceberg. There's a wealth of additional information to be garnered from Google Analytics (exit rates, bounce rates, conversion rates, device type, site speed, testing, etc.) but don't despair thankfully there's also an abundance of helpful tips and advice out there for newbies.
I recommend starting with Google Analytics Help section and Google Analytics YouTube Channel. Search Engine Watch also has a really good tutorial on Setting Up Google Analytics for your Website. Plus don't forget to check back here for more tips and posts on Google Analytics. Or get in touch if you have specific questions or just need help. Good luck!
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