When I look at that title, the letters that stick out the most to me are “A”, “N”, “A”, “L”. Yep. Those are the ones. And doing analysis of your business requires an anal mind set for sure. There are so many analysis to be done, and if you geek out, like I do over these types of things, it can be a rabbit hole. I find myself starting one place and hours later, ending up somewhere else. It’s just so interesting to me. LOL. I know. Like I said, geeking out.
Every area of your business requires analyzing. The people, the inventory, the processes, the client acquisition process, the growth, and on and on. But for the sake of this blog, I’m going to focus on your website. That’s where we can have the most fun today.
Website analysis is one of the keys to your success. It’s where you find out how much traffic your site is generating. What pages are getting the most interest? How long people are spending on your pages? What are they clicking on the most? And what’s happening on your competitions’ pages. Yeah. That’s the rabbit hole. I always want to know what my competition is doing better than me. And sometimes, if it’s cost prohibitive to me, or not my area of expertise, I let them have it. And other times…. Well, competition makes the world go round.
Once you know exactly what’s drawing people to your website (what they’re clicking on) AND what’s keeping their interest (how long they’re staying and on what page), you can begin to tweak your site to really maximize it’s potential. And this can be really fun too.
There are many many different platforms and programs out there to gather all the information you need. I wanted to use this blog to go over a few with you so you can choose the best tool for your business.
Google Analytics – Free
By far the most familiar and the most common. Google is the only search engine I can think of, off the top of my head, that has become a verb as well as a proper noun. It’s completely free and gives you a TON of data to look at. It’s also probably one of the simplest to use. It’s used by over 50% of the top 10,000 websites in the world (according to their data). You can look at your website from many different levels of detail. I used to work for a CEO who was a pilot. He used to say, “look at it from a 10,000 foot view and drill down to 1,000 feet.” Google Analytics will allow all of this and the in-betweens.
Yahoo Web Analytics – Free
Yahoo Web Analytics is kind of like Google Analytics on steroids. It does everything Google can do, and more. More reporting, raw and real time data collection, importing of data, customized reporting, and more. If you’ve mastered Google Analytics and are ready for a more in depth report of your website, then try Yahoo Web Analytics.
4Q by iPerceptions – Free
Analysis isn’t all about gathering clicks and lengths of stay. Surveys are a really great way to gather information as well. 4Q offers short and to the point surveys that will drill down the answers quickly. What did your customers like, why did they leave the site, would they recommend the site, etc. They have a bunch of different short surveys to choose from that will answer the questions you have about your customer experience. Then all of the answers are compiled into a report for you to analyze to your heart’s content.
If you are using Facebook or Twitter to reach out and grow your client base, they each offer free analytics.
Facebook Insights is an option in the settings of your business’ page and can give you information like which posts are the most popular, how many new followers they generate, etc.
Twitalyzer, is Twitter’s version of analytics and gives you information on retweets, followers, replies, etc.
There are many more tools out there to analyze your website’s performance. These are some of the free ones. There are also many you can pay for that will give you a variety of information and options. But for the beginners, I would say Google Analytics can be your best friend.