You’re a small business owner and you have a website (or you should get one soon.) That’s nice for people trying to find you and you provide them information about you, your products and services. But do you know who is looking at our site, how many, how it goes up and down?
People that spend time paying attention to these technical ideas usually know about them and how to get answers but in case you don’t know here is how to do it.
First get a Google Analytics account. This is the best and it’s one of the easiest and a free way of tracking people who come to your site. Even if you are not very technical I suggest you sign up for the account yourself. The reason is as you contract or assign someone else to do the detailed setup, you will own the account and code number so you don’t have to keep going back to the original person that you asked to do it for more work. It’s easy to sign up and doesn’t require you understand much about it.
The next thing you will need to do is get a code snippet to setup your website. You have to do two things here. One you have to tell Google Analytics that you have a site you want to track by giving it the URL in the Admin section. Google Analytics will give you a snippet of code to include in all the pages. This entire process can be outsourced to another person or agency but I suggest you ask them to do it within your own account. Provide them access by either using a temporary password on your Analytics account (set it then change it when they are done) or use the excellent Lastpass to give them access to the site but not the password (revoke it when they are done.) If you are interested the code snippet it looks like this. The thing that you have that is unique is the code number to your site and it looks like this ‘UA-xxxxxx-x’ (Ex. UA-123456-2).
You only need to ask your website person or a contractor to insert that. It’s easy, quick and cheap to do this. You should modify your site periodically anyway so just incorporate this into a list of other changes and you’re ready to go.
Once these three things are done your site is live and being tracked. You can read in great detail about how to use Google Analytics in their help pages but the good news is even if you don’t the data keeps on collecting while you figure it out. I installed this code on my website and then forgot about it (not the best idea but hey I’m a small business person and don’t have a lot of time for any one thing.) About 4 months later I found the time and as I continue to work through it I have learned a lot about my business. I can correlate my sales activity to when people go to my site. I can see what people are searching for that leads them to it.
Tracking visitors is a precursor to you refining and improving your website and your online presence. Don’t be daunted by the complexity, get someone else to do it for you by outsourcing it or get a techy brother-in-law or whoever to do it. Either way it should be inexpensive ($100 at most).