Every single small business should be tracking their website’s results. This is 100% standard for large companies and organizations, and small business owners should take a page out of their book.
Tracking a website allows the small business owner to see what is working and not working and take steps to improve their results. It allows them to know where in the world their audience is coming from and how they found the website. Find out more on why every small business should track their website.
The most popular website tracking system is Google Analytics, and it’s such a robust system that is is easy to be sidetracked (or even overwhelmed) when you go into it. So, below you’ll find what I think are the most useful pages within Google Analytics as well as what they tell you. Please note that while I’ve given suggestions as to what the business could do that is featured in these examples, what any small business does with website results are totally dependent on what a their objectives are.
The Audience Overview page is the default landing page for Google Analytics. I like it because it shows me at a glance some key stats. Here’s what the below example shows me:
- This is between Dec 8, 2013 – Jan 7, 2014
- The number of visitors went up in January 2014 (blue line is going up)
- Most people came to this website once. (“Unique visitors” versus “visits”)
- They looked at about 3 pages
- They stayed on the website 2min 54 seconds
I’d recommend to this client that they try to increase the number of visitors to the website, as well as try to keep them on the site longer. They could compare the below results to last year’s results to see if they’ve improved year-over-year.
Another page I always look at is the Acquisition – Overview page because it’s really valuable to know how people are finding your website.
In this example you can see that most people are finding the website through Organic Search and almost none through Social (ie. Facebook, etc.). The company may choose to focus more on Social or Referral or they may try to increase the number of people that find them through Organic Search.
The Behavior – Site Content – All Pages result page tells you what pages are the most popular. I always ask clients — Are these the most important pages on your site? If so, great! If not, you might want to focus on improving the most important pages. Or see which is the most popular page and listen to what your customers are telling you – that it is important to them.
If a page surprises you and is more popular than you thought, you might choose to spend more time on it.
ie. on this website the company’s most popular page is a cost calculator (below). It’s even more popular than their homepage. That tells me they should never remove the cost calculator! And they might want to try to reduce the 73.96% of people who leave from this page.
The Behavior – Site Content – Landing Page results page tells you which pages attract most visitors and are therefore the most interesting pages.
Think about the pages that attract the most visitors and try to figure out why they are most interesting. Then try to replicate that success on other pages.
Again, in the below example the most popular page is the cost calculator. I would advise this client to enjoy the fact that they’ve got a tool that so many people use…..and to think about how they can get people from the cost calculator page to other pages.
The Behavior Flow – Site Content – Exit Pages offers insight into what pages people are leaving your website from.
I think of this like a bucket — you can pour lots of water into a bucket but if there is a hole and the water is escaping you should fix it. Similarly, if lots of people come to your website, but don’t make it to a page that encourages them to take action (whatever action you want – ie. call you, email etc.) then there is room for improvement.
In the below example you can see that lots of people leave from the cost calculator….but #4 is the Contact page, which is great. I’d like this company to focus on the homepage – enticing people to read further.
Do you have any pages that offer golden insights? Please share!
Or If you need help, or want someone to explain this to you (or manage it for you!), I can do it. While I’m physically located in Toronto I can do this no matter where you’re located! Just email me to get started.
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