Do Small Businesses Always Need Web Stats? Maybe Not
I was reading a post about small businesses and Analytics the other day, and I came across a complete refusal from a small business owner in the comment section. He was clearly frustrated by the thought of someone trying to add one more to-do item to his already busy day. More accurately, he was frustrated by the thought of one more fruitless task. He spoke of the need to focus on getting the work done and not wasting time on his stats, as the information had never helped him anyway.
The blogger didn’t offer much in the way of a reply, but it got me thinking about the differences between those who do benefit from checking their stats and those who don’t.
If your website hasn’t changed in a year, then there’s probably not much need to see what’s happened recently. If your website is a brochure site that only changes out a few lines of text, you may not see much of a shift in your stats.
How to Benefit
The truth is, it doesn’t matter if your business is made up of two people or 100, your site's message and strategy for attracting customers determines its effectiveness.
What can you do to make your site a more important source of business?
In order to gauge the effectiveness of your website, you need to implement a few forms of measurement online and off.
First, make sure you have a stats system in place. This post has so far been operating under the assumption that you have website performance info to review. If you don't, start there.
Second, make sure you’re asking customers / clients how they found you. Once you have a customer in the door or a client at an appointment, ask them how they found out about you.
Add Value to Your Website
Take a look at your site and ask yourself, "What answers am I providing for folks who need solutions for [your industry here]?"
You need to prove to your audience that you understand their needs, and you need to show that you're helpful. The more that a visitor can look at you as a resource who can solve his problems, the more likely you are to earn that person's business.
When you start answering those questions on a regular basis, search engines will see your efforts and start sending visitors your way. I'm oversimplifying the process, but this is the gist of it.
Once you have a visitor on your site, make it easy for him to hear from you again. Whether that’s through an invitation to connect via social media or email, keep the conversation going.
One of the challenges businesses constantly face (small or large) is helping customers understand the many ways that they can help. You can't convey everything in a single post, but your continual updates will help your audience realize the depth of your services.
Back to Stats
Now, you have a number of aspects to track.
- How many people visited?
- How many people read and/or responded to your advice?
- How many people subscribed or filled out your contact form?
All of these metrics demonstrate ways of attracting customers to increase sales.
People don’t care about stats solely for graphs or numbers. I know I don’t.
It’s about understanding your customers' behavior and understanding how to sell to them.
Are stats useful to you right now?