My easy guide to online performance analytics for small business

If your business is like most businesses nowadays, you may have multiple places online where you are present. You may have a website, one or more social media accounts, and a regular newsletter too. When it comes to tracking how you are doing online, it’s not easy to know how to record analytics in a way that makes sense.

But it is important to do this because it will help you learn more about your business and help plan for its future.

Tracking online performance analytics helps you understand your customers and how they interact with your products. That helps you make better decisions for your business.

There are different metrics and tools that you can use to track your performance online. For your website, you may be using Google Analytics (GA). To find out more about GA see my blog: Increase website traffic with Google Analytics for beginners.

For social media, you may be using the native tools for each platform, or a social media manager tool that lets you see everything in one place. And you have yet another set of analytics for your newsletter.

You will have multiple sets of analytics with different metrics for your online performance. How do you bring it all together in a way that makes sense to you, and to those that are accountable for the growth of your business?

I have designed this guide to give you an easy way to start tracking your online performance effectively across all the platforms. In my examples, I am using website, social media, and newsletter performance metrics. But you can expand this to include other online tools. You could even expand this to include offline performance if you have a store or organise face-to-face events.

A colourful graphic of people dancing, getting together, and enjoying rewards

Make online performance analytics easier to capture by focusing on the big three

Despite how different all the metrics may seem they are telling you the same three stories:

  1. How many people have seen your content online?
  2. How have they interacted with your content online?
  3. Did they end up buying a product, visiting your website, or following your social accounts?

These three things translate into the following categories:

  1. Reach
  2. Engagement
  3. Conversions

Report on reach, engagement, and conversions across all your platforms. That will allow you to combine the reports on each one and have an accurate overview of your overall performance across the board.

I will give you examples for which metrics to use for each category. However, this is not the definitive list. You should decide which metrics are important to your business. This links to your business goals. For more on this see my blog on SMART business goals: The SMART path to successful digital marketing

Your reach

Reach will correspond to the number of people who have seen your content online. For example, on social media, you may find that platforms use different language for reach. Twitter promotes impressions, Facebook can give you people reached, and Instagram lets you know your account reach. Decide which of these metrics is important to your business. This links to your business goals.

Your engagement

You could look at pages per session, or capture events on your website to record your performance. Also, if you have an e-commerce website, you may want to see how often your users are online and the amount of time they spend browsing your store.

On social media, the engagement rate could be the only metric you need. Twitter automatically calculates your engagement rate for you. But you can do it yourself, too. Look online for the articles that cover this. Here is one example: 6 Ways to Calculate Engagement Rate (Free Calculator)

Your conversions

This can really vary across different businesses, and it depends on your business goals. If you are selling online, conversions are clearly the people who buy your products. But conversions could also be the people who saw a product in your newsletter and then went on your website to look at it there.

So, in this case, the click rate from your newsletter is a metric you should record. Identify two or three important conversions for your business and start tracking them today.

A colourful illustration of some folders, website analytics and social media interactions.

Create a simple template to record your online performance more easily

The metrics I have mentioned until now live in three or four separate places online. Your website, social media, and newsletter analytics are all important. And it really helps to be able to see them in one place.

Record your performance analytics in one document. That will allow you to find all the important metrics more easily, and help you understand your business growth across the months, and years to come.

You do not have to get fancy with this. A simple Google Sheet will do. Remember to include the three categories that I have reviewed in this blog. You can create a new tab for each platform if you want.

If you are fancy, you can set up a dashboard on Google Data Studio and link it to your specific campaigns and conversion reports that relate to your business goals.

A colourful illustration of an illuminated light bulb and a calendar

Make it easier for yourself six months down the line: record online analytics every month

Set a reminder for yourself to record your online performance every month. I have created a reminder that repeats every month. For instance, I have a reminder in the first week of February to record my performance analytics for the month of January.

Record your online analytics every month and review your performance every few weeks. This will make it easier to keep track of your growth. And it will also help you set new SMART goals for your business.

It is a clever idea to review your online performance every few weeks. To stay on track of my performance, I do this once every three months, aka each quarter. Find a time that suits your business needs.

This is my easy guide to help you track your online performance analytics.

What do you think? Will you start recording your reach every month from now on?

Do you need support tracking your online performance?

If you think that your business would benefit from analytics but do not know where to start, I can help! I can help you set up your reporting templates, complete your first month’s reach, and set SMART goals to improve your performance.

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