As a small business owner one of your most important web tools should be Google Analytics. It will help you stay up to date on your web visitor’s experience and the actions on your website. It will answer key questions such as, where do your visitors come from? What keywords are they typing in to find you in search engines? What page are the leaving on? Plus, it will allow you to track what steps a visitor took upon entering your site, all the way to making a sale.

An analytical tool such as Google Analytics can also help improve your website functionality. It will allow you to gain access, set goals and be notified when these goals are met.  Monetize your Pay-Per-Click Marketing efforts by focusing on the metrics that matter most to your business.  If you own an e-commerce website, you especially should monitor your Return On Investment (ROI) as well as monitor your sales volume.

The 5 metrics to track, measure and analyze

You want to ensure that your budget is well spent.  Some of the key elements that you should pay close attention to when gathering data from your website are listed below.

  • Visitors – it’s important to know who is visiting your website and how they came across it.  The ‘Visitors’ metric provides valuable information such as Total Visits, Absolute Unique Visitors, Pageviews, Average Pageviews, Map Overlay, and Bounce Rate.  These particular dimensions can tell a lot about the visitor’s experience and relevance of the information they have come across.  This is a great way to answer questions such as: Where do my visitors live? Are they returning? New? What time of the day did they visit?
  • Traffic Sources – a metric that provides in depth information about the user’s sessions and its origin.  The Direct Traffic category provides details about the users that have accessed your website directly by simply typing in your website’s domain address in the address bar of their browser.  The Referring Sites dimension can offer valuable information about the Referral Sources that are delivering visitors to your website.  In the Search Engines dimension you can explore your visitor activity that came from the various search engines available on the web today.  Here you can also segment your Paid and Non-Paid Traffic if you are using a Pay-Per-Click Marketing platform such as Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing Solutions, or Microsoft Advertising.
  • Content – perhaps the most valuable of all metrics that Google Analytics provides.  In this particular section you can find out how valuable and engaging your content is on your website.  Break down sections of your website to individual pages and urls to analyze the value of it.  What page are visitors leaving on? Is it an email newsletter sign-up or checkout? If not, it may be time to re-evaluate your site to make the process easier.
  • Goals – tracking and analyzing your conversions has never been easier.  This particular metric offers creation of conversion funnels and setup of individual goals.  An individual goal can be considered a contact form page on your website or a funnel that outlines a process that was taken toward the purchase of a product.  Proper goal creation for your website has a great deal of importance as it shows whether or not your customers are purchasing your products and services.
  • Custom Reporting – a relative new feature to this analytical tool yet very valuable. The custom reporting option in the Google Analytics platform lets you create reports by selecting only the metrics and dimensions that are of your interest.  To save you time, these custom reports can also be e-mailed directly to your Inbox for a review without the need of interaction with the Google Analytics web interface.

Why Track, Measure, and Analyze Your Web Traffic?

Without an analytical tool such as Google Analytics your cannot not track your Return On Investment (ROI) nor are you capable of measuring your website success as a whole.  A beautiful website must all produce results. Stay on top of your visitor activity and ensure that your website is gathering the data that will excel your small business.

Does your company use Google Analytics? Or do you have a specific Google Analytic question? Feel free to leave a comment below.