Analytics should be the one thing that helps to give you a better understanding of how your small business website is performing. But with so many tools, dashboards, and customizations, it can be challenging to know what to pay attention to and what to trust. Below, we highlight key tools that we think are worth investing time in and learning. At the end of the day, these are the digital tools that are going to help you to level up the analytics of your small business website by validating and informing how you should continue to grow your business and build your online presence. Let’s take a look.
As much as I wish a list existed without mentioning Google Analytics (GA), it is the pinnacle of analytics tools and understanding it is in your best interest. The tool is free, and you can get things started here. Once you’ve downloaded it, you’ll want to run through each of the tabs. Some are more relevant than others, depending on your business. You’ll notice GA is tracking things like age, gender, referral source, geographic area, etc. These metrics will help you break down site traffic to get a better understanding of who is coming to your site, from where, and where are they going once they get there.
Aside from the regular dashboards included in GA, the one area that I think is often times overlooked is in the customizations section. Here, you can actually set up custom dashboards beyond the basic data and analytics GA is pulling on your site. A quick Google Search for “custom Google Analytics reports” will yield a bunch of results. A personal favorite starting point is from famous online marketer, Neil Patel, who writes about “12 Awesome Custom Google Analytics Reports“. Not all of them will apply to your business, but again, it’s a good starting point to start playing around with GA to get a better understanding of what’s going on with your small business website.
While GA is good for understanding who is coming to your site and from where, Crazy Egg helps you understand what they do on your website once they get there but on a more personal level. Imagine being able to visually see where people are scrolling, what they are clicking, etc. Maybe you have a line of text that people keep clicking but it’s not actually a call-too-action button. Seeing that people think it’s clickable might give you an ‘a-ha moment’ to turn it into something that people can engage with. And Crazy Egg does just that. It allows you to set up heat mapping and recordings on specific URLs to track how users behave and engage with your site.
Another feature included with Crazy Egg that I find to be a bit buggy, but still worthwhile, is A/B testing. For example, the ability to change the name of a button and test if A or B gets clicked on more can provide a world of insight to help optimize down to the textual level of your website. We use Crazy Egg internally at eWebscapes and it’s a tool that we can’t live without. It informs so many of our marketing decisions and really provides another layer of analysis that GA alone simply doesn’t provide.
WP Engine Content Performance
This third tool is specific to WP Engine, a managed WordPress hosting platform. It’s called Content Performance and it operates like GA on steroids. It’s essentially GA tailored to WordPress. Within the custom dashboard, you can toggle selections to highlight how your posts, pages, and categories are performing, which is just not possible in the traditional GA.
We like using this tool because as a small business website design studio, we structure a lot of our content around specific categories and pages, and being able to slice and dice based on tags or categories lets us essentially double click into what content is performing. If we see that we’re getting higher engagement with posts related to one topic over another, that’s a good indication to create more content on the out performing subject.
This is a big value-add because as a small business, you have limited resources and need to make every decision count. So if you’re going to create content or make a change to your content plan, make it an educated one. Right?
By using one of these tools or a combination of all three, you can better analyze what is working and what isn’t working on your small business website and make the best informed decisions on what to do next. Contact us for assistance with implementing these tools on your website.
There are of course other tools out there, but these are just a few of our favorites. If you have a suggestion for something we missed, please leave it in the comments below!