A beginners guide to analytics for your small-business website

Sometimes, all it takes to turn a good website into a great website is simply understanding how, why and – perhaps most importantly – whether it’s working. Simple data analytics can help you look under the bonnet of your website, identify what is and isn’t working, and put in place systems so that your site can work better for you and your customers.

For example, if you understand where your website visitors are coming from, what pages they’re viewing, and how long they’re spending on a page, you can tweak your website to make it more effective. And don’t worry, you don’t need to be a web developer or data scientist to benefit from simple web analytics.

What are data analytics?

Thanks to analytics you can now understand your online shoppers just as much as you would if they were on your shop floor. Analytics enables you to explore in-depth insights into your online consumers including their behaviour, demographic, as well as what sites send traffic to you and even the pages you lose the most visitors from.

Google Analytics is one of the most robust and user-friendly tools available and can be added to your GoDaddy website so you can get a precise data profile on the people who visit it. All the data you need is gathered in real-time and broken down into different areas, so you can easily see how your website is performing, and the areas you might need to improve.

What do you want to measure?

Before you can turn analytics into actionable items, you might first want to establish exactly what you want to measure. Analytics can track any number of metrics, but depending on your business and what you’re trying to achieve, you may consider only measuring certain things. If you’re a retail store owner, for example, you might value knowing how many people add an item to their cart but abandon it before completing the checkout process. Or, if you’re a technology provider, you might want to know how many people pay for your software after signing up for a demo or booking a consultation.

Turning insights into improvements

Having access to relevant data is one thing, but finding ways to improve your website is how you can help your business grow. If you notice a lot of your traffic comes via social media, for example, you could decide it is worthwhile committing extra resources to your social media strategy. If you’re a retailer, and you notice an alarmingly high percentage of visitors abandon their cart before purchase, you might decide to streamline your payment process. And if you’re a software provider with a low conversion rate from free demo to full-paying subscriber, you might want to increase the duration or functionality of what you offer in your demo.

Whatever you want to achieve through your small-business website, analytics needn’t be a daunting process and can help you create a more holistic, in-depth profile of your customers and their behaviours. After all, sometimes all it takes to grow your business is a better understanding of your audience and their motivations.

Jill Schoolenberg, Regional President for Canada, Australia and Latin America, GoDaddy

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