Do you have Web analytics installed on your small business Web site? If not, you should. How will you know how your Web site is performing if you aren't measuring the plethora of data available?
Cost is no longer an excuse for not having Web site analytics. The free options are quite robust; Google Analytics, for one, is quite comprehensive. In addition, Yahoo last year acquired IndexTools, and has made a version of that available for free to its advertisers.
Obviously, there's a learning curve involved in analyzing your data. But it's worth it because the analytics information will help you increase your conversion rate, maximize your ROI, and make more money in less time.
Once you know what you should be looking at, your online business will thrive with just a little effort. You'll be less "in the dark" about what is and isn't working for you.
Let's outline four of the more important metrics you should be looking at. Keep in mind -- depending on what you're selling and what action you consider a "conversion," these may vary a bit, but they're a good place to start.
Conversions are the be-all and end-all for me. Are you making money, signing people up, sending people out (if you're an affiliate and you make money on advertising clicks)? Your traffic can be the best in your industry -- but it won't matter, if you're making zero dollars from that traffic?
By measuring your conversion rate, analyzing sticking points, and clearing the paths to and through your sales pages, you're making sure your conversions are on their way to being the best in the industry.