So you want more online sales but aren’t sure what your traffic patterns are?
Kevin Costner was totally full of it on Field of Dreams when he said ‘If you build it, they will come.’ In business, this is probably the worst piece of advice you could EVER receive. If you build a website or social media presence, this does not mean anyone will come. Except for your mom. And that crazy Aunt of yours who just joined Facebook.
Except for your mom. And that crazy Aunt of yours who just joined Facebook (I see you!).
Jokes aside, growing your online sales is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. It all starts with understanding data and traffic patterns so you can test strategies to drive new traffic and online conversions.
To understand how to grow your sales from a traffic standpoint, let’s talk about the number one tool you should be using to understand your online traffic patterns, Google Analytics.
What is Google Analytics? https://www.google.com/analytics/analytics/
Google Analytics is a free digital analytics platform connected to your domain, that allows you to track and analyze traffic and behavior patterns on your website pages. It gives you the ability to track traffic statistics, acquisition, behavior, conversions, and site performance.
Why is this important?
Only a tracked number grows they say, so how will you know if the changes in marketing you make on a daily basis will directly impact your sales? Google Analytics gives you the data you need on a daily basis to make informed decisions about your marketing. This allows you to understand your website conversion rates, traffic spikes from events and sources, most visited pages, and conversions from various sources you may be marketing with.
How can I use this to grow my site traffic and conversions?
Google Analytics does not grow your traffic for you, rather it gives you the data to know if the changes you make to your site or marketing plans impact your sales and conversions.
The first and easiest way to look at this is by your conversion rate which is the number of sales you get over a certain period of time divided by the traffic in that same period. Average e-commerce conversion rates are about 2 percent of traffic. Pretty low right? So we know that even slight changes to your business can equate to big conversion changes.
Another way to use this data for growth is by looking at your acquisition channels. These are the sources of traffic to your site whether it be outside blogs, websites, social channels or links you’ve tracked with referral tags. This allows you to focus your efforts on highest converting channels.
This data also gives you a peek into your customer’s experience on site, showing you your most viewed pages, categories, and products. This gives you the knowledge to know what to push, drop, or remarket.
What key metrics should I look for?
Unique Visitors: How many unique visitors (individuals) have visited your store in X time period.
Page Views: How many pages did this group of visitors view?
Bounce Rate: What percentage of people actually dug into my site content, and who bounced off right away knowing I wasn’t a fit for them?
Time Spent: What is the average time spent on my site per visitor? (The longer the better)
Acquisition: Where did my traffic come from?
Behavior: Which pages did they view?
Goals: How many visitors, and from what sources converted to a goal that I defined as a conversion, and what is the value of this said goal?
How do site changes affect my conversions?
This is where the beauty of Google Analytics, and even more advanced split testing and heat map analytics programs become so beneficial. Things like changing the featured categories on your site homepage or rebranding with new photos can make a HUGE difference in your online conversion rate. But if you don’t know a baseline of where you are now, you are simply throwing a noodle at the wall and hoping it sticks.
Using data allows you to test site updates and marketing strategies with real analytics to prove or disprove it’s success. Here is where using Ref tags (URL endings with ?/ref=identifyingacronymhere) allow you to track link clicks and conversions from strategic placement in your marketing. This is also where tracking conversions from email campaigns, blogger campaigns, mentions from local chambers of commerce and more become trackable!
Ready for a test drive?
We took a live video tour around one of our Google Analytics accounts at The Boutique Hub to show you first hand how to see and use these items in action.
Find our video here in our Training Library for members at The Boutique Hub. If you’re not a member yet, you can join us here to access specialized trainings just for boutique and brand owners!
Now it’s your turn. Use our training video to see firsthand how to connect Google Analytics and understand it’s tools to consistently pull real-time data from your online business.
Hero Image Photo Credit: The babes over at Wight Gold
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