Most businesses have heard the definition of analytics at some point since 2006 (with Zimana being in business since 2009). Here is the definition, for those just joining the internet. Analytics is about the measurement of a system. With respect to small businesses, the interest is in web analytics. Web analytics is the measurement of website performance.
The next advancement of importance are smartphones and tablets. They changed the ways people review websites before making a purchase, because sites are accessed while visitors on the go instead of just at home. Moreover, websites are increasingly accessed by mobile devices, so the sites have to be mobile-friendly.
If you are starting your business, there are a few ways to start using analytics to confirm how your website enhances your business digital strategy. Planning for data collection can become complex based on the amount of marketing you have planned, but a dedicated planning pays off in organizing necessary steps, reducing effort needed over time.
If you are unsure where to start, here are a few great starting points if you are just planning to launching a website.
- Identify how your web presence will be laid out. Web designers use wireframes to lay our each page navigation, but if you are technically challenged you can do so on a piece of paper. This will also help assess costs for launching and maintaining associated components such as a microsite for an app or an e-commerce cart.
- Choose your downloadable material for the site – these can be tagged in analytics through features such as event tracking, a minor code typically added to the HTML links for the documents. Tag managers are also available to make tag management manageable.
- Consider names for each webpages that includes a highly-trafficked keyword if feasible. You’ll have to keep page name lengths simple for user convenience (and it may depend on the URL you select). Three words in a subdirectory URL is a good rule of thumb to maintain. So a URL can appear like this example below:
In this example, three words can be selected to the subdomain, kept relatively short in case a customer is typing the URL or speaking the words into a search window on a smartphone. Each word can be an opportunity to use a keyword – say “shoe repair” in this instance – or a useful high volume description like “Chicago” to help in local search.
There’s no one combination that will guarantee success, but the key is develop the most descriptive page names that will aid discovery in a general search engine.
- Make sure each page title and description are filled out, since those come in handy not only for search engine but in sharing content on Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, and other social media platforms.
- Identify a goal page from your website. This will aid reporting on how well people are navigating on your site.
- Plan your marketing in addition to executing a search strategy. Search traffic is helpful, but you may need to select marketing for an additional reach to your audience.