Why You Must Run a Website Stats Report.

I am a numbers geek with a creative side which is a strange mix but it works. As a result, I always run weekly website performance numbers. I get a kick to see the numbers going in the right direction and when the numbers aren’t going in the right direction, I love digging into the figures to find out what the problem is.

With all the brilliant insight provided via website reporting tools it would be a waste not to use the free information provided to grow your business.

What is the Value of Running Regular Website Stats for SME’s?

The reason why businesses run any type of report is to organise the businesses’ performance metrics and present them in a manner that is easy to interpret whether in a financial report, customer service performance report or website report.

When the information is presented in an organised manner, it is easier to identify trends and anomalies.

Red Flag
Website stats are the first red flag that something isn’t going quite right in your business. The issue may eventually flow down to your financial figures but you can pick it up a lot quicker by spotting the issue before it impacts your revenue.

Building on Success
As with the red flag warning, your stats can also provide you with information regarding what is working really well and then help you to push that section even harder or allocate business resources accordingly.

Why don’t SME’s Run Web Stat Reports as Often as They

Website Activity De-prioritised

I would hazard a guess that this is a bigger problem in businesses where web business has grown out of bricks and mortar businesses or traditional sales team structure businesses and the team doesn’t prioritise reporting. For many years websites have always been something that happens in the background but have not really been regarded as important compared with other channels. Now a website can be expected to be your largest sales channel.

Lack of Knowledge within the Business

Lack of experience in the business of setting up and using website analytics may be a problem. If the business is in this position it can seem like a large task to accomplish.

Overwhelmed with Data!

When you look at your website data you may be overwhelmed with data and just not know where to start or know what to do with the information provided. So what data should a business look at when reporting website statistics?

Keep it Simple!

As with most things in life, you need to keep it simple and quick to run. There is no need to run a full analysis all the time. I would keep it to the following 4-6 simple categories
• Total Sessions
• Sessions by marketing channel
• Total Number of Conversions (submit a form, place an order, make a phone call)
• Conversion rate – Conversion rate = (conversions / sessions)100

If your site is only seeing low levels of traffic you could stick to the above information, and you may not even need to run it by marketing channel if you don’t use many channels.

For larger websites, I would recommend adding the conversions and conversion rate for each channel.

Measuring change (growth) is a MUST. If you have an established site that has been running for years, showing year on year growth figures is a must. If it has only been running for a short while then week on week figures will do. You just need to remember when seasonal activity will impact your performance.

Growth = ((this periods number – last periods number)/last periods number)100

When to Run In-depth Reports

When your top line figures start to flag issues or successes this is when you need to dig into more detailed reports.

Go on. Give it a try. You might even like it! To help you on your way I have created a spreadsheet structure to get you going. If you would like a copy of the template please let me know – gemma@greenopal.co.uk

If you have any questions or would like some help setting up your reports, get in touch!

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