March 2, 2015
Increasingly, Web design is changing not only how websites are used to serve and inform customers, but how companies gather data about their clients. This information is invaluable to anyone who operates (or is looking to found) a small business.
The importance of analytics for the success of businesses such as Capital One and Amazon, for example, has fed interest in the concept. Yet many entrepreneurs today still have only the haziest understanding of how to utilize available analytics software in an effective manner.
Getting to Know Them Better
Google offers Analytics services that can provide users with demographic, interest, geographic, behavioral and technology data. Companies can gain not just a better understanding of who their audience is, but how they interact with it.
By providing more detailed information than the mere total number of page views — for example, what parts of your site users are going to and how long they stay there — it indicates where your site is generating the most significant interest and, therefore, profit.
This can provide clues about how to arrange your content for optimal user experiences.
You can glean deeper insights from Google Analytics, such as what kind of mobile devices people use to get access to your site, and which browsers and applications they depend on. Also, you can track the paths users followed through your site, which gives you unprecedented access to behavioral patterns.
How is it All Done?
All right, so data-driven decision-making sounds great, and it looks like it may be easier than ever to do when you have these kinds of tools at your disposal. But you may still be wondering how this will add value to your business; you’re gathering all this Big Data, but you don’t know what to do with it.
Marketers who focus on analytics have to ask the right questions to isolate the most useful factors that have an impact on their bottom line. As an entrepreneur, you should know your business well enough to be able to come up with theories about why your customers come to you and how they go about looking for your firm.
Some free services, such as KISSMetrics, will furnish deeper insights into the customers that access your online services. This kind of tool allows a company to track conversion rates, perhaps the most important dataset of all, more effectively.
Conversion rates measure how many users purchase goods or services from a site: people who “convert” from viewers and browsers to paying customers.
Every question you ask needs to begin with one word: “Why?” Understanding your customers’ intentions will empower you to drive up the conversion rate.
Getting the Right Tool for the Job
A variety of free analytics applications can help you develop greater and more effective marketing strategies. Because social media has become the hottest marketing platform, these tools can tell you how to use it and whether what you’re doing is working.
While Facebook and Twitter offer their own analytics tools, third-party platforms like SumAll can aggregate data from multiple sites. When it comes to formulating a comprehensive and analytics-driven approach, however, it often makes the most sense to work with professionals.
Web design firms that know social media analytics and how to use them, such as MagicDust, are helping other firms to grow through boosting their conversions. This is what many of them need to turn mere traffic into revenue.
Will Analytics Work for Any Business?
The movie Moneyball tells the story of a baseball team manager who used a data-driven approach to drive his team to the World Series. Businesses as diverse as Google, Amazon, Capital One, and many global casino enterprises also make use of the power of analytics.
When used wisely, Big Data may be the most powerful tool in the digital marketplace. Not only can it help you find potential problems, but when properly applied, it can be the linchpin of a marketing campaign that multiplies your profits and guarantees the best possible outcome for your business.
I am a professional blogger, writer, researcher and successful investor who contributes to a number of reputable online media outlets and news sources. A graduate of Iowa State University, I’m now a full-time freelance writer, business consultant and independent real estate investor. Currently, I write for Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com, TheNextWeb.com and BiggerPockets.com. I have previously contributed to the HuffingtonPost.com, and Business.com, among others. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, I’m also active in real estate investing and spend weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization. When I’m not saving the world with my keyboard, I can be found rock climbing.