Attracting quality visitors to your small business website isn’t easy, and you won’t always know what exactly worked–but your efforts will garner results if you’re tenacious. I bet you thought I was going to say patient, but patience isn’t enough. Dogged determination and hard work are just the beginning and the key to your success is in setting goals, making plans to get there, and then tracking your results so you know when you’re doing something right.
What are your initial goals for your website? Do you want to shoot for sheer volume to start off? Or would you rather judge the online presence of your success by sales? Both are valid.
The first step most website owners use is to sign up for Google Analytics. You need to watch your traffic for about three months to get a good idea of how you’re doing. Are there certain days that traffic spikes? Is it after you send out an e-newsletter or email promotions?
There are two kinds of visitors: one time visitors and repeat visitors. Both are important, and knowing how long they visit, how many pages they view, and how often they return is very helpful to understanding what you’re doing right and what you can improve. The more people who know about you, your products and your services, the more you build your reputation–and this approach will eventually lead to sales.
A couple of great features on Google Analytics you might want to check out are the Visitor Trending section and the Average Pageviews section. Get familiar with this portion of Google Analytics because this is where you learn the most about your visitors–how long they stay, how many pages they visit, and over time, you want to improve your average.
Next, visit the New vs. Returning Visitors section. Here, you’ll learn everything from bounce rate, unique visitors, and time on site. It’s like having a webcam showing you which items a customer picks up, and which ones they bring to the register to purchase. You won’t begin to understand it until you’ve let some time pass as you track your website’s visits.
As you get comfortable with Google Analytics, you can begin to make form a solid plan of action. You can brainstorm about ways to build viewer loyalty and gain those wonderful return visits, as well as reaching out to new viewers that help spread the word about your business and business website.
Something great happens as you continue to build your online presence. You become proud of what you’ve accomplished. You set goals and then get to celebrate achieving them–and every small success cheers you on.