The 5 Website Metrics Small Business Owners Must Understand

The 5 Website Metrics Small Business Owners Must Understand

A website is imperative to the success of any small business – but understanding the effectiveness of that site is the key to transforming consumer insights into actual sales.

So what metrics are the most important when it comes to how people are interacting with and using your small business site? Take a look at the top five website analytics you must understand to run a successful small business:

Page views. The most basic of all website metrics, you must know your baseline page views so you can tell if your site traffic is increasing over time – and by how much. Page views include all the “clicks” on your page, whether a visitor just goes to one page or multiple ones.

Unique visitors. This number is smaller than basic page views because it represents the individual visitors to your website. Someone who reads 20 product descriptions on separate pages only represents one unique visitor. The bigger the difference between unique and overall page views, the better. It means that the people who are coming to your page are sticking around.

Devices. How did your visitors arrive at your site? Increasingly, mobile is becoming the first internet source that people tap, completely cutting out the PC experience. This isn’t to say that you should completely neglect PC-friendly features but you should know how people are finding you. Ideally, your regular website should be optimized for mobile and users coming from all types of devices should be able to access what they need with ease.

Time spent. All the search engine optimization in the world won’t keep customers on your site for very long if they can’t find what they want easily. Are you doing enough to keep people on your site after that initial click? You certainly don’t want to hinder the buying process but you don’t want people clicking back to the search engine results mere seconds after finding you. If your website metrics are telling you that you have a high bounce rate, or percentage of viewers who leave your site after only seeing one page, then it might be time to consider more intriguing ways to keep people interested in your business and what it has to offer.

Conversions. From a bottom line perspective, this is the absolute most important metric to understand about a small business website. A good-looking site that ranks well in a search engine doesn’t mean a whole lot if it can’t take it one step further: converting visitors to customers. For some sites, a conversion occurs when a visitor actually buys something, and for others it happens when a contact form is filled out or a phone number is dialed. Whatever your desired outcome, knowing how many of your visitors are taking your cyber bait is important to fresh, innovative site updates. Most experts agree that on an ecommerce site, a 2.5 percent conversion rate is good.

 

Your small business website is your window to an entire world of customers – take advantage of that fact and let your analytics lead your website sales strategy.

 

What the “Second Screen” Translates to for Small Businesses

 

Think about the way you watched television five years ago. You probably sat on the couch, snack nearby, focused on the program in front of you. A technologically-savvy person could choose a program from the DVR to watch and then fast forward through any commercials or boring portions

Compare those habits to the way you consume television and movie content now. When you sit down to relax, you What the Second Screen Translates to for Small Businesseslikely have a smartphone or tablet in front of you and scroll through your social media accounts or search Google while you watch. There are probably other times where the TV or movie content you are consuming isn’t even happening on a television set at all, but is streaming through a mobile device.

This consumer behavior that is defined as the “second screen” is turning the marketing world on its head. Eight-eight percent of consumers are looking at mobile devices while watching TV, and Millennials often skip TV altogether and watch streaming content on smartphones or tablets.

ZenithOptimedia predicts that television watching will peak in 2015 before beginning a decline for the first time ever the following year.

It used to be that networks had to compete just with each other for consumer attention; now the entire internet is a competitor. So why should people outside of traditional TV marketing really care? The answer is simple: the second screen trend is indicative of a bigger shift in consumer expectations. Some of the lessons for small business owners include to always:

Provide convenience. Make it really easy for consumers to find information on you and your business. If they have to spend too much time searching, they will move on. Consumers have become accustomed to having everything they need literally at their fingertips and small businesses must adjust with mobile friendly sites, updated search engine listings, and a strong social media presence.

Be engaging. Just as consumers are no longer content to just sit still and watch TV, they aren’t attracted by small business brands that are flat. It is not enough to be online – you must find ways to be interactive with your target base. That includes posting social media content that will prompt discussion, and not just lie flat, and being sure to include visuals like videos, photos and infographics. Make people want to engage with your small business by providing content that facilitates it.

Look for new ways to deliver content. Even if your business has been around for a decade or more, you should always look for new ways to reach your target audience. Do some research into which social networks work best in your industry (perhaps Pinterest isn’t a good fit, but Instagram is) and have your website updated annually. It never hurts to try a new marketing avenue. You never know – it may end up being a revenue stream you had never considered before.

As consumer behavior changes, so do the expectations. Remember to look for ways to be part of the latest trends while keeping your message on point.

Beyond Digital Video: 4 Other Ways to Visually Connect with Customers

Visually Connect with Customers

2015 has been called the year of the video, and that moniker makes sense. More than 4 billion videos are uploaded and clicked on Facebook alone every day and that’s only one video-friendly site.

Consider the billions of collective hits sites like YouTube and Vimeo, and even Twitter’s new video platform, garner on a daily basis. These sites are just meeting the consumer demand for digital video content that has skyrocketed in the past few years.

Video content is just one piece of a larger digital strategy though. If you want the best marketing tools to grow your business, you need to think beyond a one-dimensional strategy.

There are other ways to incorporate visuals into your online content and by adding some variety, you will appeal to a larger audience. Take a look at four digital visual tools you should be incorporating, alongside video offerings.

  • These easily digestible pieces of content display information in a fun format that combines images and text. Infographs are surprisingly popular too – 62 million Google searches were done on the term in April 2015. It is also 30 times more likely that an infograph will be read over text formats alone. Not sure how to create an infographic? Head to Slideshare, Piktochart or Visual.ly.
  • These online visuals are designed to be shared and you don’t have to be funny or snarky for it to work. If creating a Grumpy Cat meme isn’t exactly in line with your company branding, look for a basic backdrop and a quote that will resonate with your audience. The key is to find a thought that will have mass appeal so that your followers and fans feel encouraged to share it with their circles.
  • These “Graphics Interchange Format” visuals are a good combination between flat infographics and longer videos. GIFs are engaging, but don’t require a large time commitment. If you are planning a list-style blog post, incorporating GIFs alongside your points will help drive your message home and keep your readers interacting with your content.
  • Photo galleries. Keep people engaged with a topic for longer than one page view with a photo gallery. If you are writing a how-to article, consider making it a photo gallery of the different steps. Photo galleries also work well for travel pieces and recipes. Have your website visitors choose to click on your site again and again with an engaging and intriguing photo gallery.

It’s important to capture the attention of people online as emerging technology advances and visuals will help you accomplish that.

Small businesses that harness the power of easily accessible technology will see their marketing campaigns succeed. Video content is thriving but offering your audience some visual alternatives is another way to ensure that they stay interested in you and ultimately what you are selling.

Do you have a multi-faceted visual marketing strategy?