When you start planning your business, you have a business plan that will help map out where you see your sales going from one year to the next. With online businesses you can do this through website statistics. These are measurements of various activities on your website that directly relate to your business.
One of the main things that you want is traffic. Without traffic you won’t get any sales and your business won’t grow. Your marketing plan outlines how you will proceed with getting that traffic. But, it is not foolproof.
You won’t know if your efforts are working unless you measure it. That is where statistics come in. What do you measure? Here are a few examples:
- Unique visitors (how many different people visit your site)
- Keyword analysis (which keywords bring in traffic and which don’t)
- Conversion rates (how many visitors go from reading to buying items)
- Web page analysis (where visitors go when they are on your site)
- Page views (how many people visit each unique page on your website)
These are just a few of the stats that you will be interested in knowing. When you first begin marketing your site, statistics can help you find out if you are on the right page. Do the keywords you use drive traffic?
Statistics are gathered on a monthly basis but it can take a few months to see trends. Trends are a measure of the way that your current plan is taking shape. Because of the lag time, it’s not wise to make changes to your plan for several months to give it time to work or not work. When a business is in start-up mode, it will take that long to get an accurate measure of sales.
Site stats give you a starting point. Without some way to measure your business efforts it is like shooting in the dark – you don’t know if you’ve hit or miss. Looking at all the statistics together gives you a better idea of what to change first in an attempt to improve your business.
So, if you have not instituted a way to measure vital information pertaining to your website business, it is time to do so. There are software tools (both free and paid) that can help you compile these statistics. You can also hire companies to measure that information for you and analyze the data to anticipate the next move that you need to make. But, for small businesses, using software to compile the data and your own brain to analyze it will suffice.