No matter what kind of business you have, your company’s website is one of the most crucial aspects of the business. It is an important tool that can be used to attract new customers, retain existing customers, convert leads into sales, showcase your products and services, and so much more. Of course, given how important and powerful a website can be for your business, it should be updated on a regular basis and routinely checked to ensure that you are optimizing your small business’ web presence as much as possible, which is where web analytics tools come in.
Monitoring your site’s analytics with the best analytics tools for small businesses will allow you to optimize your site for your users by providing you with data on visitors to your site, user behavior, click through rates, bounce rates, conversion rates, and more. You can then interpret this data and figure out what is working for your site, and where changes need to be made.
A common problem with small businesses attempting to use data analytics for the first time is that they don’t even know where to start. With hundreds of different analytics software, plugins, and add ons, all from different companies, it can feel impossible to choose an analytics tool that works for you. When considering purchasing analytics tools, you need to know a bit more about your goals before you dive in.
What do you want to learn about your customers? Where are the holes in your knowledge of your website’s numbers, and which tools can help to fill those gaps? How much are you willing to spend on analytics tools? How far into the numbers do you want to go? Would you prefer a broad breakdown of the numbers or would you really like to get into the weeds?
Below are just a few of the best tools for small businesses of all shapes and sizes. These analytics tools will help you gain valuable insights into the way your website runs, how your web visitors interact with your online platform, and how to grow your web presence by changing things that aren’t giving you the returns you want.
You can’t go wrong with Google Analytics. It’s a small business owner’s bread and butter of web analytics. It’s easy to use, easy to understand, and an overall great tool. It’s likely the first thing that comes up when you look up analytics tools online, and it’s well known for how effective it is. Google Analytics will track your website stats, advertising ROI, and information on your users, from their demographics to their geographic location, age, and gender. This is a great go-to tool for general web data analytics, and it’s pretty universally known and used.
You can start using Google Analytics for free, but costs can come into play when you begin using it for more complicated analytics purposes, but all in all, the free version is likely powerful enough for most small businesses. A variation of this tool is Yahoo Analytics, which offers a bit more in depth filtering, profiling, and customization.
Clicky, also sometimes called “the bootstrappers’ Google Analytics” is a powerful tool at a great price point. Clicky features site-page heat mapping technology, which measures exactly where visitors cursors moved throughout your site. Clicky even gets into the specifics, allowing you to see heatmaps for visitors who did not make a purchase, and so on. This can allow you to see exactly where visitors are dropping off, and what changes you could make to avoid this.
Clicky has even more features in addition to heat mapping data, and you don’t have to shell out your life’s savings to access these. The Pro level starts at $9.99 per month, going up to $19 per month for ProPlatinum.
Optimizely markets itself as an “experimentation platform”, allowing you to try out different forms and functions on your website to test what works best for you in real time. Optimizely is great for A/B testing, such as figuring out if one header works better than another. The customer experience experimentation design can help you test and optimize many aspects of your site, including product development, design, and marketing strategies.
Optimizely offers a free trial period, after which you will have to contact them directly in order to receive a quote specific to your business.
Chartbeat is neat in that it provides real time analytics so you can see who’s on your site right now and what they’re doing. You can tell if they are active, idle, reading, or scrolling, and you can even tell where they are on the page. These analytics make Chartbeat great for blogs and editorial sites.
Now that you have an idea of what you may need from an analytics tool and all of the different functions and services different tools can offer, you can begin giving a couple tools a test run and decide if they’ll fit with your marketing strategy and analytics needs.
No matter what tools you decide to use, try to check your analytics regularly to make sure you are always working in the right direction with new projects, products, strategies, and initiatives.