Usefullytics’ Expert Offers Advice To Untangle Your Web Traffic Reports
If you’re new to owning a business – and a business website – learning to read your web traffic data might be pretty far down on your list of priorities. (That is, if you’re tracking analytics at all. And if you’re not, don’t panic. You’re not alone, and we have help for you, too!) In fact, one of the most common questions analyst Kiley Vorreiter gets when she shows business owners their web traffic reports is, “What am I looking at?”
That’s why Kiley founded Usefullytics, a company that helps businesses create a confident content strategy and generates daily, graphical web analytics reports. It’s also why Owning My Own invited Kiley to share some examples of real-world business decisions analytics can help you make – and the most not-scary places to dip your toes into the wide world of web metrics.
WHY READING ANALYTICS IS WORTH YOUR TIME (REALLY!)
Kiley tells a real story about a company that had British developers build a new website to help them expand their business in India. A quick glance at web traffic reports showed the new site was getting a fair number of visitors – seemingly a success. But digging a little deeper, Kiley showed most of the traffic was coming from the United Kingdom – not India. She recommended changes, like new keywords and a content marketing strategy to incorporate into the site, and slowly but surely, the UK traffic declined and the Indian visitors increased.
Maybe your little business isn’t quite ready to expand internationally, but reading analytics will help you know whether anyone is viewing that new product you just posted to your online store or reading those blog posts you spent hours writing. Metrics can tell you which pages and links on your site are really popular and which ones are tanking, and they can even give you some clues as to why. Then you can use that knowledge to do more of what’s working and stop wasting time and money on things that aren’t.
“For a small business, when it’s just you or a small team, so much of what you’re doing is based on, ‘here’s my opinion; here’s what I think; here’s how I feel,’” Kiley said. “But having this data lets you make your case with numbers – not just your opinion.”
FINDING THE DATA GEMS WITHOUT GETTING LOST IN THE WEEDS
Starting to track your website traffic is relatively easy and free. (Google Analytics is the most common tool, and the one Kiley uses, and you can find a tutorial for installing it on your website here.) But Kiley is quick to admit the data can be… a lot. Big companies pay multiple employees to spend all day, every day micro-analyzing theirs. In fact, Kiley’s background includes being one of those full-time analysts for the vacation rental company HomeAway .
“There’s so much you could look at,” she says. “You could get quite lost in the weeds pretty fast.”
For example, you could find out how many users from China visited a specific blog post using an Android phone last Thursday afternoon, but Kiley says that doesn’t mean you should. These few top-level metrics are enough to get most small business owners on the right track:
- How many visitors did your site have this month compared to last month?
- What pages did visitors view most?
- Did they just look at one page and then leave? (Called your “bounce rate”)
- How did most people find your site? (Did they come from a Google search of particular keywords like “oil change” or “flower delivery”? Or did they click one of your Facebook posts?)
- How many people are visiting your site on their phones or tablets? (If it’s a high percentage, your site better look good on a tiny screen!)
THAT ALL SOUNDS GREAT, BUT I’M PRETTY BUSY RUNNING MY BUSINESS, SO…
Kiley’s there for you. “Anyone could do this for free,” she says. “I don’t hide that fact. It’s just, do you want to spend the time doing it?”
If the answer is no, Usefullytics can translate your site’s analytics into easy-to-read graphs, and help you make business decisions based on what the data says. Check out the packages Kiley offers and view a sample analytics dashboard to get an idea of what she could tell you about your website.
RELATED: Find out where Kiley got the idea for her company and what she’s learned from launching her business in Usefullytics Owner’s Story.