Google Analytics provides excellent tools for tracking traffic to (and from) your website.
You must have enough traffic captured to make any meaningful analysis – so make sure your website has the tracking code inserted on each page of your site!
Once data is flowing through, you probably want to wait at least 6 months before even considering looking at the data. If you want to look earlier, the most meaning figure you are going to use is “unique visitors”, which is pretty important, but not critical, for a small business starting out.
Patience is a Virtue
Wait. Maybe 3 months, probably 6 months, 12 months is ideal. For small businesses, getting into the details of metrics and especially using them immediately to determine success vs. failure is the wrong move. Remember, you’re selling a service – your #1 goal is to get customers to buy your service, not get customers to visit your website.
Don’t get us wrong, the marketing aspect of a website is critical to the future growth of your company – and tracking metrics here will help ensure that that plan is successfully moving forward. Do not use early metrics top determine if you are “popular” or if there is “an interest” in your service… over time, people will come and then we can elevate metrics just a little bit higher.
Understanding What is Tracked
Analysis Tools, Content, Social Media, Mobile, Conversions, and Advertising analytics all available at your finger tips. And this is just from Google Analytics – click Google Analytics Features to read in more detail.
Knowing What you are Looking For
This is probably the hardest part of working with metrics – what metrics to track and how do I use it. You most companies that sell stuff, your conversion metric is the most critical. For other companies, it may be up time, or number of visitors, or number of link backs. The worlds your metrics!
Careful review, planning and analysis of the metrics to pull in and use will serve your company well for years to come.