Over the past year, Covid-19 restrictions and shutdowns have had a damaging effect on small and local businesses. To stay afloat, many have pivoted to meet consumers where they are — online.
Consumers and businesses of all sizes, across industries, are now living and breathing on the web. With the shift from local business foot traffic to digital, it may be hard to get the measure of your business. What business vitals are you tracking outside of your profit and loss?
As web activities have increased, the ability to pinpoint opportunities has followed suit. But first, you need data.
Drawing on my 11 years working in the hyperlocal marketing space, here are four ways you can start gathering the necessary data on your business’s website.
1. Website Traffic Measurement
The quickest way to start accumulating data is by setting up Google Analytics on your website. Setup varies depending on which website provider you use, but with Google Analytics being so common, most have a plug-in that makes it simple. After setup, ensure that the data is populating on the real-time visitor dashboard.
To measure the traffic your website gets from Facebook ads, consider adding the Facebook pixel to your site. This provides you with data on retention and the demographics of your website visitors. These are another widely used resource, so various installation plug-ins are available. Assuming everything is populating, you can gather valuable website traffic data that you can turn into actionable insights for your business.
2. Conversion Goal Monitoring
One of the best ways you can measure your digital success is by monitoring conversion goals on Google Analytics. If, for example, a customer visits your site and converts from email signup to a paying customer in one day, that’s significant.
Monitoring these conversions allows you to see how effective different aspects of your website are at converting visitors into customers. Start by creating specific “thank you” pages where users will land after completing an action, such as requesting a product demo. Then, inside Google Analytics, create conversion goals using the URLs for these pages. When users are redirected to these pages, their actions will be logged as conversions.
You also can use the Facebook pixel to monitor conversion events, such as purchases or newsletter signups, based on Facebook ads.
3. User Experience Tracking
The goal of this strategy is to understand how your target audience interacts with your company’s website. You can use this information to better enhance the user experience for future visitors. I highly recommend installing Hotjar or Optimizely; they’re easy to install, and both have free versions available. These enable you to analyze the full user experience on your website. Another tool I highly recommended is Oribi.
4. Search Engine Analytics
You can use Google My Business to get key insights into how customers interact with your business through search engines. Insights include how customers found your profile (through direct searches, discovery searches or branded searches), how many found you and where, and what actions they took. There’s a verification process, but the service itself is free.
Insights from Google My Business can be especially useful for small businesses that rely on local customers. Local searchers tend to be high-intent individuals who often convert; they’re the lowest-hanging fruit in your pipeline.
Other tools to help you fine-tune your search engine marketing game include Semrush and Ahrefs.
Executing Visible Opportunities
As more people receive Covid-19 vaccines and restrictions ease, I hope that the rising tide lifts all boats. But given the current uncertainty and consumers’ increase in digital behavior, I suggest implementing these strategies today. They can help you shine a light on potential opportunities for small businesses.
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