Using Google Analytics to understand what your website visitors are doing can significantly help your small business website marketing efforts.
Measuring the impact of your small business marketing investments has always been somewhat of a mystery to many. But thanks to technology, there are more ways than ever to see the immediate results of your efforts.
One quick way to judge the impact of your marketing efforts is to see its impact on your website’s use. And not just overall visits, but its actual use.
We use Google Analytics as a tool for measuring activity and value for website visits. It’s free, powerful, and magnificently simple to set up and use.
The tool allows us to create daily customized reports showing traffic patterns, showing a number of interesting pieces of data, including:
- Which pages are being used
- The most commonly used search terms that brought traffic to the website
- Which sites referred traffic to the website
- How long folks are staying
- How many pages they view
- And a long list of other very functional and information rich reports
Measuring Against the Past
In terms of actual campaign measuring, one of the tools I’ve come to be a fan of is the compare statistics to another point in the past feature. As illustrated in the graphic above, this tool allows us to take any time stretch and compare it to another stretch in the past–be it last week, last month, or last year. This allows us to see our data in more than one way.
This is important because unless we see the effect measured against a point where the campaign did not exist in its current form, it’s difficult to put perspective on the numbers.
While there are any number of reasons to use the Google Analytics tool (Google outlines its features and tools here), the easiest and most useful purpose for us is to show graphical proof of the impacts of our efforts in marketing and promoting our small business clients.
How Does This Help Me Make Money?
The smarter you are about what potential customers are looking for, the better you can use your website to make connections. The better connections you make, the more inquiries you’ll have. The more inquiries you have, the more chances you’ll see to make more money.
Each business and each campaign will have different goals and expectations, but having a tool that will help you measure against those expectations in real time is a crucial component to seeing the return on investment for your small business marketing efforts.