fbad1Today I want to keep it simple and tell you the biggest mistake most business owners make online. (Drum roll, please)…

They don’t track their website metrics. Metrics, or analytics, are the measure you use for reviewing traffic and other activities on your website, like how many people subscribe to your newsletter, buy a product or complete a contact form. Before your eyes glaze over stay with me…

When I talk to new clients who have existing websites, at least half the time, my question about metrics is met with a blank stare (or if by phone an audible blank stare). It’s not that interesting of stuff unless you are an internet nerd OR until you realize how essential it is.

I have found business owners don’t regularly review their metrics because they have other things to do with their valuable time. Many have a way of measuring metrics, but have not done it, ever.  And a few get it and see the numbers …but don’t know what to do next.

Metrics are the underlying foundation for your online business (and possibly for your brick or mortar store as well), it’s the who, what when and why for your website. If you aren’t starting with metrics, it’s hard to measure your success, failures and marketing efforts. Without metrics, It’s hard to garner whether your social media efforts are working or not (and believe me ….it goes beyond Facebook fans, likes or followers). Without metrics, it’s hard to figure out what marketing efforts customers are responding to. If you aren’t looking, you’ll never know who is coming to your site, and how they get there.

And you have no way of base-lining your efforts. You don’t know if that new splash page is effective or if that site redesign helped you get more customers or if changing your website copy or photos affected your bottom line.

Let me give you an example. A client with a newish blog and a primary goal of building traffic to her site had been posting to Twitter multiple times a day, Facebook regularly and to Pinterest once a week or less. As her traffic built, we began to take a look at the traffic to her site generated from her social channels. We found that her limited Pinterest activities had garnered the most impact on traffic, and from that, one specific post had generated more than 50% of those numbers. While not abandoning Twitter or Facebook, we decided the best use of time at this moment would be a test to create a few pins with original content from her site, and to evaluate the effect of that over the next few 60 days. A few stellar posts to Pinterest

Analytics isn’t the only thing you should be do, but it is a huge first step. And it can have a big impact on how you do business. I have a simple, effective way to get started with analytics in a phased approach, geared towards beginners or those that haven’t had time to dig into their website metrics. If you have more questions about metrics, comment below.