Friday, 12 June 2015 11:00

Analytics 101 for Small Businesses Part I of II

Analytics has been the hot topic in business for a decade now. And for good reason.

Using data to drive business decisions has helped corporations like Walmart, Amazon, and Netflix become dominating forces in their industries. By using analytics to measure consumer behavior, they can anticipate and react to consumer needs in a way that serves the customer better and cuts their costs on things like distribution and inventory. (And many other areas too, but for our purposes, let's keep it simple.)

The Solution for Small Companies

But if you are a small company grossing less than $5M a year, without the deep pockets to buy the hardware infrastructure and employ an IT team, how can you make use of analytics to more deeply engage your customers and cut costs?

You can start with your website. In web analytics we are speaking specifically about the data associated with user interactions on your website. This is the measurement of the ways in which people actually engage with your website. By carefully recording and examining this data, a company can not only learn valuable insights about their visitors, but can also use the intelligence to streamline their site’s performance and make it more in line with their business goals.

Wait, a minute. Let’s go back to that point. Have you made your website strategically in sync with your business goals? Surprisingly, many small businesses haven’t. They put their products and services up and never think about connecting all of the content on their pages to their specific sales and marketing objectives. And by the way, we do this every day at Fig—connect our clients' goals to their website's content and analyze the traffic data to constantly improve the site.

So step 1 is connecting your website’s content, products, and services to your overall business goals. Step 2 is using analytics to measure the ROI you’re actually getting from your website. In part II next week, we will talk about how you can use analytic tools to measure where your business currently is and gain strategic insights into how to get where you want to go.