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How Website Analytics Can Get Results

How Website Analytics Reporting Improves Business Results

A recent report by Bain and Co, found that only 4% of companies utilize data reporting in their business. The same study found that those businesses that obtain and report on data are more likely to see revenue and profitability growth and meet their small business goals.

As a small business owner, reviewing your business numbers feels like a heavy task. It doesn’t instantly add any value and it can be easy to be distracted by the day-to-day runnings of your business. However, reviewing these numbers can unlock revenue and profit. And in some cases, there are quick wins to be found – small fixes and trends that are identified by those reports that can quickly add value to your business.

Once set up, a report can be generated automatically and sent to you on a monthly basis. By quickly reviewing that data – or having someone else analyze it, is not only good housekeeping but can help you quickly see what is and isn’t working.

What is a digital analytics report?

Quite simply, a website analytics report is a report with a series of charts showing different website statistics and digital marketing metrics going up or down.  Digital marketing includes your website, emails, social media and google rankings to name just a few areas. You can report in as much or as little detail as you like, and report on lot’s of different areas or just a few.

Why reporting and reviewing your data is important

Ignorance may be bliss but it also leads to poor decisions and missed opportunities.  Regularly reporting and reviewing your data has the following benefits:

Helps you to make decisions faster

When all the numbers are right in front of you, it becomes much easier to make a decision – should we spend more on ads? Should we continue with our Instagram posts? Should we keep paying for Search Engine Optimisation? The data will quickly show you what is working – so you can do more of it.

Shows you opportunities for improvement

Website audits provide a simple pass / fail to provide you with a list of areas that you can improve. Without having to put much thought or effort into it. If you are a little lost and not sure where to start with your digital strategy a digital audit is a great way to start making improvements.

Identifies areas that are growing or those that are declining

If the growth is positive, then you are doing the right thing, if the growth is in decline – you may need to revisit or change your strategy. Digital analytic reports can show comparisons month on month, quarter on quarter or even comparing to the year prior. Comparing website traffic in different segments against previous periods will show you in a glance if the results are favourable or not.

Shows red flags

Sudden dips in traffic could be broken links, website malfunctions, broken forms, or worse a hacked website. If you are keeping an eye on your website statistics, sudden spikes or dips in traffic can be investigated and resolved quickly.

Shows other websites that are referring you traffic

If another website starts referring traffic to you, it may be an opportunity to reach out and say thanks and to possibly collaborate further. Keeping an eye on backlinks (which helps with SEO) can strengthen and grow relationships within your industry.

Helps with competitive strategy

By performing competitor audits, gaps between your competitors’ keywords and your own keywords can be highlighted. You will identify potential keywords that you could be ranking in, but are not, and these are opportunities for you to grasp some of their organic traffic.

Helps you to develop an effective content marketing strategy

Instead of blind blogging, by reviewing content marketing metrics, you can review your blogs, see which ones are performing best and make sure you are creating content that your customers want to read and that Google wants to rank.

Helps you serve your customers better

By seeing what pages your customers visit, what search terms they are looking at, and what social media channels they are visiting from, will help you get a much clearer picture of your customer buyer journey. You will have more information to tweak your products and services to support them.

Types of analytic reports

There are a number of different types of reports that can be used by small businesses. Two key types of reports are audits, which are a review of your website and socials against a checklist providing a pass or fail, and analytics, which are your website “numbers.”

Audits

Using a checklist or online tools such as my web audit, an audit highlights problem areas and gives a checklist for improvement.

Audits can include website page speed, technical website SEO, E-Commerce website conversion, trustworthiness, google my business page audits, and social media audits to name just a few.

The results of an audit can provide a checklist of quick wins. Broken links, google search console errors, and many other issues can be quickly fixed. All these “minor” errors bit by bit add up and can lead to increases in conversions, subscribers, and repeat visits to your website. Some questions that an audit will ask are:

  • Is your website technically sound?
  • Is your website set up for SEO properly – are there any major red flags?
  • Can your google my business profile be improved?
  • Is your website set up for conversion? 

Analytics Reports

There are many different digital metrics and key performance indicators that can be reported on. It really depends on each business individual case and how much time the business owner has to read and review the information.

For some, a simple chart or a few simple statistics will be enough information. For others, extensive statistics linked to pre-defined marketing goals will be more appropriate. Here are a few different metrics that can be reported:

  • Keyword rankings and website impressions – are the keywords and website impressions for those keywords groing?
  • Social media – follows, likes, engagements, saves, and repins
  • Website traffic from social media
  • Website traffic from google
  • What are your most popular pages
  • Most popular and least popular pages
  • Website conversions
  • Marketing KPI’s such as leads and referrals, conversion rates, sales and advertising results.
  • Social media insights
  • Email KPI’s such as newsletter opens and subsriber growth

How to get started

First, define your business and marketing goals – are you trying to improve your visibility on socials? Are you aiming to increase conversions? Make a list of what you are trying to achieve. Maybe you don’t have any goals yet, in this case your goal may be to do a full audit and see what your base line numbers are.

Once you have these goals defined, then make a list of what information you need to support that goal. For example if your goal is to increase your instagram followers, then tracking your total follows month on month is the way. If your goal is to increase your website traffic, then track your website visitors.

After working out what data you need, the next is to decide how often you want this data, weekly, monthly or quarterly are the usual time periods. You can also compare your data, so if you are reporting on May data, you can compare to April, or compare to May data from one year ago.

Finally you will need to access your data. There are a few key ways to obtain your data:

  • Google has a free suite of software such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Adwords and Keyword Planner, and much more. These free tools link up to your website and once set up you can extract lots of different statistics and charts relating to your website

If you are willing to invest in tools such as My Web Audit, Agency Analytics, SEM Rush, all of these are paid analytic programs that you can link to your website, google suite, and socials. These tools track many different metrics and will send you a neat report on your chosen metrics.

Once you have your data, you will need to review it. Revert back to your original marketing goals. Are you on track? Do you need to make any adjustments to your goals or strategy.

What analysis can tell you?

Change your strategy

Are your marketing efforts working? For example, if you are spending time and money on using Instagram to drive traffic to your website, is it working? Do the charts show an increase in traffic from Instagram? Are you experiencing more sales or inquiries? Are you getting more subscribers to your website from your lead magnet? If the results aren’t what you are expecting then you may need to change tack.

Your strategy is working and can be replicated in other areas of your business

If your reports show that your strategy is working and you are achieving your goals, perhaps you can replicate this strategy on other products and services? Or use the same strategy but on a different platform?

Highlighting areas for improvement

An audit will provide a “to do” list and will help ensure your website and socials are set up with website and marketing best practices. It may recommend you fix parts of your website that you weren’t even aware were a potential problem. This is a quick an easy way to improve your website and marketing without having to hire a marketing consultant.

Reporting On Website Data Makes Sense

It can be quick and fairly painless to set up, it can be free to do and can greatly impact your website results. Setting up your website analytics and reviewing these reports on a regular basis makes sense, and as most business owners are not doing it, it is a great way to gain a competitive advantage.

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