Everyone has heard of the term ‘analytics' but how many know what they are and how to use them? If you need a recap or even an insight into what they are;
Analytics is information resulting from the systematic analysis of data and statistics
In easier to understand terms, this is the analysis of a collection of data. Everyone has a goal in business, whether it is to increase profits, awareness of the brand or maybe to expand to different territories. The decision to do these things are not made blindly but rather strategically using this simple thing called analytics.
Analytics takes the guessing out of business decisions and helps you make decisions based on statistical data. No matter whether you are offering a service or selling a product, your time is valuable and you want to ensure that you are spending your time on the activities that are not only going to attract your ideal clients but also give you the biggest return on your investment of time and money.
No matter how small you think you are, as a business owner, you should be using analytics to help you position and grow your business. There are tools everywhere that help you do this, and I am going to help you discover these so you can start implementing them straight away.
How Can Analytics Help My Business?
You can do so much and even though I am quite competent at using a multitude of analytic tools, I am still finding out more things every day. Here are just a few of the things analytics can help you discover;
- Your most popular blog posts/pages
- Where the most frequent visitors are coming from
- What time your visitors are most engaged with your website/social media channels
- The most common languages your viewers speak
- Which country you are receiving the most traffic from
- How much money you are making from your website
- Which ad campaigns work the best for your business
- The best times for you to publish your media
And so much more! This list could go on for days. The possibilities are nearly endless.
How Do I Implement Analytics Into my Business Now?
Before you start tracking any analytical data, you need to understand what you are trying to achieve from your business. Without clear goals, any data you collect simply will not make sense. I recommend you do the following things;
- Identify your business objectives. What is the purpose of your business?
- How will you achieve your goals? What action will you take to ensure your business goals are met?
- How will you know when your goals are met?
Remember, when setting business goals, they must be;
Specific – They need to be clear. Someone else must be able to look at your objectives and clearly understand them.
Measurable – How will you know when you have reached your goal? You need to be able to measure progress and results. For example, your goal may be to sell 30 stock images in the next 30 days to make $600, or to sell three web design packages in the next three months to make $9000.
Achievable – Given your circumstances and resources, how realistic will it be for you to achieve your goals within the timescales you have set for yourself? When you think of achievable, you need to think about how realistic your goals are given your current circumstances. You normally have to think about how you are going to set out to achieve your objectives.
Relevant – Does this goal tie in with what you want to achieve in the long run? Is it worthwhile? Could you be doing something else more efficient? If the goal you have set does not help you reach the primary objective, then maybe you should consider setting another goal that will help you attain the important goal. You need to ensure that all your goals do one thing, help you achieve your objectives.
Time-Bound – Have you given yourself enough time to execute the goal? Have you been realistic? Could getting someone else to do it help you achieve the goal within the giving timescale? Someone who has specialist skills? I'll ask again, have you been realistic?
Once you have your business objectives set, you can now go on to start measuring your success with analytics.
What Type of Analytic Tools are Available?
There are quite a few tools available for you to use, some are right in front of your face that you may not have been aware of. I am going to go through 4 of the most common analytic tools are you are most probably likely to use on a frequent basis for your business.
SOCIAL MEDIA ANALYTICS
Everyone should be taking note of their analytics on social media. This is the best way to create a content strategy. Your viewers are doing all the work for you. You are posting what you think your target audience will like and they are responding by telling you whether they like the content or not. You will simply begin to give them more of what they like and less of what they don't like. You save time and your community is happy. Even if you do not have the time to look at the analytics of every single social media page, these are the three I recommend you at least monitor.
Although Facebook Groups are building momentum, Facebook business pages are not dead yet! The problem that many people face with Facebook is the fact that their posts don't reach as many people as they would like unless you promote your posts. The fact that fewer people see your posts if they are not promoted is right but it's still a good idea to show some activity on your Facebook page, grow your following to at least 30 people and continue to provide content that your readers want and need. The more people that interact with your content, the more likely people will see your content organically. The less engaging the content, the fewer people that see it.
Once you have at least 30 followers on a Facebook page, you will have access to insights. Insights will allow you to see what actions people commonly take on your page, which content is attracting an audience either via paid or organic reach. You can also view your demographic and where most of your potential clients live.
All this information can be used to personalise a content strategy unique to your business. You can see an example of Facebook insights below.
With the information you collect from Facebook you can;
- Discover which content is more engaging and create more of it
- You can identify which if your boosted posts performed well and emulate the success of that particular post onto other posts
- You can discover how many people you engage and whether this number increased or decreased
- You can see how people most commonly interact with your page and identify ways that you can increase engagement.
To gain access to your Facebook Insights, first, ensure you have at least 30 followers on your Facebook Page and then you can use this link ensuring you edit ‘yourpagepagename' and replace it with your Facebook page name.
You can also access your page insights by selecting the three dots next to your message button and selecting ‘view insights'.
Twitter is such a fast paced social media network. Getting your posts seen can be hard work but can be made easier with a strategic plan of action. With Twitter, you can gather the following information by viewing statistics;
- Your top tweet
- Tweet Impressions (How many people have seen your tweet)
- The percentage increase in followers
- The percentage increase in tweets that are linking to you
- Your mentions
- Profile Visits
Twitter can be a great tool for getting new leads and creating new connections if used correctly. If you compare your data on a regular basis, you can see how your actions directly link the results in your social media channels. Did that new blog post generate new followers or even more retweets? Did that retweet the other day result in new sales? How can you replicate these results?
Pinterest is a social network that has been underused for so long but people are beginning to realise the amount of potential business that is being passed by not being on Pinterest. Pinterest is a virtual search engine and the individuals that browse Pinterest are mostly on there to buy. You want to step up your analytics game on Pinterest if you haven't already.
The great thing about Pinterest is that the analytics page makes it clear what posts your viewers are enjoying the most, so you get an idea of what posts you can create for your readers. You are also able to see how much traffic is being diverted back to your website through Pinterest and how your statistics have changed through time. Although Google Analytics is also able to show you how much traffic has brought to your site, Pinterest can show you which posts were responsible for the referral traffic.
In order to view your Pinterest Analytics account, you will need to set up a Pinterest Business Account first. Here is an example of what the Pinterest analytics dashboard looks like.
The results are broken down into three sections;
Your Pinterest Profile
You are viewing how many times people have been shown pins from your profile and how many of those viewers view your profile. The report goes a little deeper. It then tells you the pins with the most impressions. This allows you to assess what was so great about the post. Was it the image? The influencer? The Copy? This is the content you will need to give your readers more of.
You also have access to your top performing boards. Are your pins on these boards? How often are you pinning. If they are on these boards and they are not getting viewed or repinning, are your pins actually standing out?
I love this part of the analytics report. It gives you a general view of your most common viewers and potentially your ideal client. The audience section shows you what country your viewers are most commonly from, their language, gender, metro.
You can also separate the data to show you the data for your followers rather than the people who view your profile. You can also view what interests your followers are into and the other brands that they follow. Do you compare with the other brands? Is there something they are doing better that you could do too? What can you do with this data? So much!
Activity from your website
This page tells you how YOUR pins from your website are performing across Pinterest. How many clicks are you getting back to your website from Pinterest? Which pins are underperforming? What can you do to increase the performance of your pins? You need to play close attention to this information as this is the information that shows you how your efforts are paying off and how much of that effort is redirecting people from Pinterest back onto your site.
Google Analytics is so cool. I mean, for a free tool, it's unbelievable. There isn't much you can't do with it. If you have not started toying with google analytics, I suggest you go and do it now. If you have just started a blog, some of your common problems will include the following;
- Finding your niche
- Creating content that will engage your readers
- Discovering the best time to post content
- Identifying which social media network is bringing in the most traffic
With the tools available, you can discover answers to all of these questions and you will never really have to guess again. Google Analytics is great for teams and you can have so many different views of your data. You can discover how many people are actually viewing your website for the first time and how many people are returning. It's important to look after your current subscribers and not just your new subscribers. Google will show you which page people most often land on for the first time, how long they spend on your website and how many other pages they often view after landing on the first page. If you saw that people were clicking on your site and only staying on your page for a few seconds, this would be a concern. Why are they bouncing after a few seconds? Is the user experience on mobile devices poor? Is the site load time terrible? What is it? Yes, Google can also tell you how long it took your site to load.
Here is a screenshot of a new analytics account I just created and this is just a sample of the information you can obtain from the main overview. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Now you have discovered some of the ways you can use analytics, tell me; What do you struggle with most when it comes to analytics? What would you like to improve?