Knowing the sources and origins of your site’s online business is an critical piece for competing in today’s demanding online landscape. Analytics programs will help in showing us the roadmap customers and prospects took to find us, and also the actions they made once there.

If you haven’t yet started using any sort of analytics programs on your web sites, there’s no time like now! Start out with the free version of Google Analytics until you find you require more, and start collecting data.

Once you’ve got this rolling in, what to do with it? Here are 5 suggestions for using your analytics data in 2014.

5 Tips for analytics in your small business

  1. Choose the performance indicators you need – While there are numerous things you’ll be able to track, it can be overwhelming to bite off a big chunk when just beginning. First pay attention to indicators that all of us have to know, like site traffic, conversions, referrals and time on page.
  2. Understand what your Analytics are telling you – This is often a lot to digest at first. There are a lot of terms and acronyms you might not recognize, so take a moment to understand what you’re looking at. The data will start to be more understandable if you do.
  3. Set up an automated email report – Many of us will either be too busy or forget to login in regularly to look at the data. Address this by setting up a regular email that sends to the data in a PDF format, so you can act upon it!
  4. You can track more than your site – There are few web properties that can’t accept the JavaScript code required to track for your Analytics. Therefore, be sure to use it in code on all of your significant pages, such as social media, squeeze and landing pages, videos and emails.
  5. Note key changes in your data – If your site underwent a redesign, or you began a pay per click campaign, or some other significant change happened that impacted your site, take note of it so you will understand the changes in the data you are viewing. If you don’t understand why that spike in traffic happened, you might find it difficult to act upon!