Navigating Website Analytics as a Small Business Owner

October 13, 2015 Ben Goldberg

Navigating Website Analytics as a Small Business OwnerOne of my earliest memories as a child occurred on the opening day of my parent's children's furniture store.

I distinctly remember standing next to the cash register, with the blinding early-morning Phoenix sunlight streaming in. Crowded around me were my mom and dad, my brother, and a ragtag team of freshly hired sales associates. 

When the first customer walked through the front door a few minutes later a computerized counter incremented as the door swung shut. A few minutes later when the customer rang up a changing table and a few parenting books, the computer system recorded their sale, and their conversion from a prospective customer to a paying customer.

Over time, this system evolved in complexity. More metrics were added to the system. Television, radio, and newspaper advertising began. Ad agencies reported performance metrics on those campaigns. My parents opened more stores. The business measurements and analytics multiplied and grew.

Then the internet came along, and with it, ecommerce, web metrics, and Google Analytics.

My parents could get on their laptop at any point of the day and see in real time, or from a year ago, a deluge of numbers pertaining to their business. It was rapidly becoming clear to my parents that quantifying their business was a job within itself.

Like many small business owners, this was not really a problem my parents were able to cleanly or quickly solve.

Those metrics are the finger you have on the pulse of your business, and having a handle on them is critical for success. The modern day business lives and breathes its online presence. Your website is where your customers develop their relationships with your brands and how they establish their first impressions of your products.

Most importantly, your website is often the place where your customers will make the crucial decision to convert -- or not. Google Analytics provides a critical tool for measuring the performance of your online presence across many sites.

The quantity and detail of the data collected by Google Analytics is truly astounding. You can see in minute detail the page paths of individual users.

You can segment your customers on browser, operating system, country, and even gender and age.

You can define and easily track customer conversion paths and set goals around them.

You can A/B Test.

You can see exactly how many seconds of that marketing video your prospective customer watched.

Google Analytics is one of the most sophisticated business metrics trackers ever developed, and its completely free.

That being said, the amount of data Google Analytics provides is almost endless. For a busy small business owner, finding the time to analyze and understand your Google Analytics data in depth is a daunting task.

That's why our team is so proud of the capabilities that our new version of Quill Engage offers.

On a monthly and weekly basis, you can receive reports that summarize the vital statistics of your online web business. At a glance you can glean information about the health of your marketing campaigns and how they are converting through our Paid Search and Goals and Conversions sections.

Quill Engage Report

We'll sift through your ecommerce data to not only summarize your total revenue growth and trends, but we'll also highlight products that are going "hot" or "cold".

Quill Engage can even help explain how your users interact with the elements on your site if you have Events configured for Google Analytics.

We feel confident that these kinds of insights will absolutely make a difference in how you view your online business, and save you time in the process.

Our Artificial Intelligence engine, Quill, was built to save you from the difficult and time-consuming task of having to wade through spreadsheets and numbers. Quill will act like a personal advisor for the performance of your site. Quill begins by extracting the volumes of Google Analytics data pertaining to your website for the relevant period of time.

With this data, Quill then performs a series of analyses of your data, taking into consideration historical trends, statistical outliers, and other information highlights that a human being might normally miss.

The result of this analysis is then transformed into a natural language narrative and delivered straight to your inbox. The insights derived in this report have been totally customized by Quill for your business and its specific metrics.

I'm proud to say that I think Quill Engage can save small business owners, like my parents, time and effort in understanding the complicated landscape of their online business.

Quill Engage reports can save you hours of digging through charts and dashboards, allowing you to focus your efforts where they matter most -- making decisions and running your business. The features we just released are the tip of the iceberg.

Stay posted as we continue to release new features to help you and your business stay on top of your site's performance.

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