You hear me talk about Collecting Data and how it is the first area in my Take Control Now System. You may also hear me say that it is the most important. So why is that?
Think of your business as living breathing entity. (It’s better than the alternative of being dead!) Every living entity has a DNA (a genetic information about the entity that makes it unique to any other living entity). Same can be said for your business. What is your business’ DNA? Look no further than the data your business produces and reacts to. Every active business produces data. If a business doesn’t have data, it is either dead or on life support.
In today’s world, there is so much data at a business’ disposal that it can be very overwhelming. Is all the data useful? Is there certain data that is better to look at than others. If you have no clue about your data, look in 3 areas to get started. To keep this blog post from being too long, I have split up the blog into 3 parts each discussing one of the 3 areas.
Review Your Website Data
The first area is Your Website Data. I tell people to think of your website as where you showcase your business. There is a school of thought out there that since there is so much social media out there, that you no longer need a website. My theory on that is as follows:
Think of your website as a home you bought. You paid for it by taking out a loan. There is no condo fee and no home owners’ association telling you what you can and can’t do. And unless you default on your bank loan, nobody is going to come to your house and say that you need to get out because someone else has taken over the place or the rules have changed. When you own a house, you can decide so many things ranging from your yard, your interior and exterior of your house. You decide everything. You have the control. And being in control of your business is a great place to be.
As a result, Your goal should be to get as many people to your website and as often as possible. The bigger your audience, the more people can see your business and see how your business can help them. You want to get people there and keep them coming back. AND you want to make sure you get your audience to leave their information so that you can keep reminding them about your business and any new things that come up. With that being said, how can we find out who is coming by?
Use Google Analytics
There is so much data that your website produces. Luckily Google Analytics tracks it all. You just have to know what to look for. The first thing you need to know is does your website have google analytics attached to it. If it doesn’t, GET IT ASAP. If you have a website with no way to track your data, it is like walking in the dark without a flashlight. Do not do it and it is way too dangerous!
Note: If you do not have google analytics set up on your website, google the following phase “how to set up google analytics on your website” and you will see a ton of different results including a YouTube video. It is all there for you!
Assuming you can get access to the Google analytics dashboard, log in and on the left-hand side of the screen you will see the menu option Audience. Underneath audience is Overview. Click on this and you will see 8 different top-level session details. They are:
- New Users
- Number of Sessions per user
- Average Session Duration
- Bounce Rate
All the above are pretty much self-explanatory except for Bounce Rate. Google defines the Bounce Rate as the percentage of single page visits. This means that the user comes to your website and leaves your website from your landing page without browsing any further. A bounce rate in the range of 26 to 40 percent is excellent; 41 to 55 is average and 56 to 70 percent is higher than average. Anything over 70 percent is not good at all.
By looking at the numbers above, you will get a quick snapshot of how your website is doing. Try to look at this data once a week. Track it. Also, track during the week what you do to get people to your website. Then you can see what options are working.
Watch Your Users Flow
One of my other favorites is also in the Audience section. It is the last one listed called Users Flow. This is a really cool graphical tool. It shows where people go from the home page of your website. You get to see what pages they flow to and what percentage of people just drop from a page. If you want to steer your users to a certain area of your website or a certain signup, you will see visually if the users are going thru the process that you want them to go. If you see they are not, it may be too confusing to the user and you may have to adjust the content, the menu structure, or even call to action buttons. You can track your adjustments and see if the numbers improved.
Now I am just scratching the surface here on Google Analytics. Once you get your feet wet on these data points, you can try your hand in lots of other numbers. There is so much data here. Like I said before, it will become overwhelming if you feel you have to track everything at once.
Let me tell you from experience, pick the ones you feel are important to your goals and knowing your audience. It is all about finding a system that you can use to track the data you want. You can also switch it up every now and then and look at different data. Just make sure you have a system that tracks the same data over time. Make adjustments and watch the data respond. Keep this pattern up for a while and your website data will no longer be a mystery. In fact, you will be amazed how much control you really do have on your website and how you want your audience to react.
Your Website is YOUR Home
Remember, this is YOUR home. Invite the people over. Be a good host and make sure they are cared for while they visit your home. Ask if they need anything and be hospitable. They will remember you and want to return often. Make sure they never leave emptyhanded whether it is by great advice or services they can’t live without!
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. Please make sure to come back and read the next two parts to this series on 3 areas to look for business data. The next blog goes over the 2nd area which is Your Social Media Data.
Would love to read any feedback you have on this topic. Please comment below. If you feel others would benefit from this, please share.
I also have a Free Checklist on the steps to Reverse Engineer a Goal. Click here to get the download.