If you’re not using your website statistics as an improvement tool for your small business website, you could be leaving a ton of money on the table. Web stats aren’t just for techies. They’re the equivalent to asking someone who just arrived at (or called) your business for the first time — “How did you hear about us?”
On top of that, your website stats can identify trends that will help you determine which areas of your site need more information and where you can capitalize on what people are looking for to create passive income for your business.
A perfect example is ProBlogger Darren Rowse. Darren began a photolog to share photos and ended up turning that log into a website about digital photography. All because he took the time to view his website stats.
The interesting thing was that after a few weeks blogging there I checked my stats and found that my photos pages had had absolutely NO page views but the mini camera review had had quite a few people surf in from Google – around 20 people were coming to it every day. A light went on in my head and I began an inner dialogue that went something like: "If 20 people come to 1 camera review – how many people would come to 100 camera reviews?´
The moral of the story is that if I´d not tracked my stats and had the realization that that one page on my site was generating most of the traffic I´d probably still have an unvisited photolog and would probably never have discovered how blogging could actually become a full time job.
The same thing could happen to you. You absolutely must spend time — at least monthly — looking at your website stats. Not doing it could be detrimental to your small business.
Website stats reports are delivered in a simple format most anyone can interpret. Here are a few of the most popular and the best part is these website stats programs are free.
- Free Stat Counter — I haven’t used this but it looks like a good option to try this year. It has a free and some paid options. The free option has the same features as the paid options and is based on pages. This will work for most small business sites. The site also has a user forum which is always incredibly helpful.
- Google Analytics — Google opened up Analytics late last year only to close it due to overwhelming demand. They are starting to slowly open it up again. You may want to get yourself on the priority list. I have Analytics installed on two of my websites. It provides very detailed information, but the learning curve for interpreting the reports is huge. Help files aren’t all that helpful. They do have a Google group set up for questions.
- AWStats — This program is automatically available via my web host. Your host may offer it too. It gets good ratings as far as usability and the data it provides. It’s my top pick for most of my sites (except for page count, see Webalizer below).
- Webalizer — Another program that is available via my web host. I use this strictly to view the page counts as it does a far better job than AWStats. This is another program that’s offered by many web hosts as an analytic tool.
How about you? What do you use for your website stats? How do you use the information to help your small business? Leave me a comment.