How To Guide: A Quick Step Guide to your Online Impact

We spend a lot of time creating content, sharing information, images and video. We work hard on our websites and spend money getting it right. We set up online shops and create eye catching shop fronts. We spend time on setting our prices and find ourselves checking our phones all day.

However, what most of us are frightened of is checking out how that hard work might be working out for us a business. It can feel like a big job to work out all the analytics, it might feel like you don’t know what to check or that you don’t have the skills to check properly.

So, here are a few ways to analyse what you are doing online with a quick step guide on how to quickly check each one and how to improve your figures. There is even a guide to how often you should check each metric.

  1. REPUTATION: All of us with an online presence need to build a great reputation. This is what potential customers will check. This is how people gauge your worth & it is often your only way of giving a great first impression.
    • Facebook Reviews: quick & easy to collect from your fans and for them to post. Ideal if Facebook is a key platform for you. Ask for reviews within your page posts and highlight latest good ones. Ask for reviews within your email signature or e-commerce confirmations. Reply to every one to say thank you. Check once a month.
    • Google Reviews: one of the latest growing reviewing platforms. Crucial if you have a Google My Business profile to help you stand out from the competition. Should be checked weekly (set up a notification to your phone) and reply to all reviews. Add a review link (from the Google My Business admin area) to your email signature, confirmation emails, receipts etc.
    • Trip Advisor Reviews: if this platform is relevant to you, then make sure you control your presence. Reply to all reviews, ensure that your images are up to date. Again, ask for reviews as part of check out process or as a routine after every visit/meal/experience. Check this platform weekly.
    • Customer survey: a great way to occasionally ask for feedback. Create a survey using Google Forms (free & your can style as you wish PLUS you get a URL to add to an email/Mailchimp/post) and ask no more than 5 simple questions about your business including an opportunity to write a longer testimonial. Use these positive responses to add to social media content or place around your website. Use this a few times a year to keep things fresh.
  2. ANALYTICS: it’s important to know how your customers and fans are responding toy our online presence. How they behave, act and move away from your business will be the key o help you understand your online impact.
    • Google Analytics: make sure your website has an Analytics code on it (ask your web developer or email now) and check into the figures about once a month or more frequently during launch phases. You don’t need a degree in Analytics but you do need to know a few key things. How much traffic is coming your way? Is it growing or dropping off? You will get this from the front dashboard. Who is visiting your website? Check out ‘Audience’ for this information. Where do they come from? Check out ‘Acquisition’ for this metric. Finally take a look at ‘Behaviour Flow’ to understand where your visitors enter your website, how they travel and when they bounce off. For example, do you have lots of visitors but only a few make it to your booking/buying page. This last metric will allow you to find out where they lose interest or get frustrated and leave. Check monthly.
    • Social Analytics: all social channels have analytics for you to use for free. This is worth checking every week or so. What you want to know is what type of posts are successful and why. You also want to know if you are gaining fans or losing them. In an ever changing social world, it allows you to navigate how your audience is using the platforms and you to keep on top of trends.
    • E-Commerce Analytics: for those of you using a dedicated e-commerce package or platform. Shopify, WooCommerce, Etsy, Folksy and more will all give you analytics about how your online sales are and how your business is performing. Most of you will check this very often but try looking back over the las 12 months every so often to see if you can start to see a trend about baskets totals, general trajectory of sales or yes of products sold.
    • Footfall: for those of you with a physical premises. This may be a little more ‘heath robinson’ but no less powerful to know. You might simply use a number counter/clicker for every time someone walk in. You could then compare this to sales taken on the day. Are you getting mostly browsers or do you tend to get a sale per visit? You could also introduce a loyalty scheme to help track you most regular customers and how & what they buy. This should be an ongoing activity for at least a full month (but better beyond that) to give you clear results and trends.
    • Emailing Analytics: if any of you are regularly using email marketing as part of your online business, then Mailchimp, Mailerlight and more all have powerful tools to help you understand how people received your information and how they acted upon it. This should be done after every email is sent out but also an overall look at a series of emails might give you a wider insight into how you are doing.

Remember, you don’t need to be an expert in all forms of analytics and reviewing systems. What you need to be is an expert in your own business. Simple but regular chess on performance can help you stay responsive, flexible and mobile in your business. Understanding figures or feedback can help you make the most of what goes well and nip negative figures in the bud. Just a few minutes each week or month can make all the difference!

Head over to the Facebook group if you want to ask more questions, share your ideas or simply talk about this more.