Subtitle

A personal look at the trails and triumphs of creating a business from the ground up; of starting a business selling what you create.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Analytics


One thing I am thankful for in this business of being  e-commerce are statistics. But boy are they a pain in the ass (excuse my french as my Father used to say) to understand. Statistics show you how your website and blog are doing each day, week, month and year and the same goes for each marketing outlet you choose to use to promote your business. They give you the who what where, when, why and how of those interacting with your business in some way online. Unfortunately, all statistics are not the same. They don't even call them the same things (Insights anyone?) or use the same terminology. So it is up to each business owner to figure it out or hire someone who already knows how to use it.

So I figured I would share my findings here for others. And have something I can come back to if need be in the future. Fair warning, I am not a social media or marketing guru so I may have got it wrong. Feel free to correct me. Seriously, correct me if i'm wrong because I depend on this stuff and others may depend on this post.




Alright, let's dive right in.


Google Analytics


Probably the most confusing and in-depth of the free statistics. This is the site run by Google with statistics reports most businesses, blogs and websites use to keep track of their marketing efforts https://www.google.com/analytics. Google Analytics (GA) is free and with your account you can create code to embed in your website GA can make reports on your website users and all their movements. Their are four main report categories that GA produces;

Audience - helps you understand your websites users. Here you will see your user demographics and whether they are new or returning.

Acquisitions - explores where your users came from; what led them to your website. Landing pages or what pages they landed on. Did they use a direct link, search engine, referral or find you on social media? How many people found you where? For example, User A was searching for local florists on Bing and clicked on your website. User A was one of 302 people to find and land on your website by searching Bing. 20 people found your blog post on DIY shampoo by clicking the link they saw on Facebook. And another 56 people found reached your download page for a meal planning spreadsheet because buzzfeed referred to your page on their blog.

Behavior - summarizes what your users do once they arrive at your website. Here you will see what pages your users landed on, what pages they went to next and how long they stayed on each page.

And, Conversion - reports on how well your website is doing reaching any goals you set or how much revenue you are receiving.

Bounce Rate is an important term to know.  If you have a low bounce rate that is good. It means users are coming to your website and staying not just glancing around and leaving quickly.

Another important term to know is Sessions. GA uses sessions as a baseline stat instead of individual Users. What this means is GA calculates by how long a person has stopped using your site. GA considers that person done after 30 minutes of inactivity.

Etsy Stats

These are accessible in general on your shop dashboard but also on your Stats page. Thankfully Etsy stats are pretty self a explanatory and if you don't get it or don't remember, you can click the little question marks (?) next to the titled for clarification. There is also the etsy handbook for further explanation.

Facebook Insights


With Facebook its important to remember that the stats displayed with graphs and such are usually accounting for unique users, meaning people who have not liked or followed your page. This is not the case with all the stats but for more details you can download your insights weekly or monthly. You can also always click the question mark (?) button if you don't remember what certain stats mean. I give you some basic definitions since these terms are often used by other social media stats as well.
 
Impressions - the number of people who saw any of your page posts.
Reach - the number of times unique users received impressions of your posts. One user can see more than one impression but they only count once.
Fans - the number of people who have liked your page and were online on a specific day.
Action on page - The number of clicks on your Page's contact info and call-to-action button.
Page views - the number of times people viewed your page and its sections.
Page Likes - the number of times people liked your page.
Post engagements - the number of times people have engaged with your posts through likes comments shares and more.
Video - the number of times the videos on your pave have been viewed fro more than 3 seconds.

WordPress Stats Insights

If you have a WordPress website or blog like I do, you will notice this section on your WP Admin Dashboard. This is super helpful for those who can't or don't want to purchase WordPress website and just want to use the free version. With only the free version you cannot get google analytics so these insights come in handy. Again these are pretty self explanatory but you can find more info on this support page https://en.support.wordpress.com/stats/.

Pinterest Analytics


Pinterest works very similarly to Facebook in that it uses most of the same terms with one or two extras. However, in my opinion, they use a setup that is not only more user friendly but their algorithm is as well. Particularly when talking ah it your audience. Once you see your account analytics section at https://analytics.pinterest.com/, there are three sections. The first is your Pinterest profile which is similar to what you've seen before.

My favorite part about Pinterest analytics is the Interests section under Audience. You get to see not only who is interested in your pins but also, what else they like. This gives you an idea of what else to pin that your followers and others might like. In addition to that it shows the boards where most people save your pins. And the types of businesses your audience also likes.

Lastly, if you have connected your website or blog to Pinterest you will see the pinterest activity from that site in the last section. This is where Pinterest will let you know if people are pinning or saving images from your website. This is different from your profile activity in that it measures what pins from that site only versus pins from Pinterest. The original purpose of Pinterest is for people to pin or save images they find around on the web.

Twitter Analytics

For twitter you have to go to a separate website called https://analytics.twitter.com/. While relatively new, it does have stats for your twitter account going as far back as 7 years At least for me it does. I was late to the twitter game (and still don't use it much; I only have a personal account) so I've only had mine since 2009 so it may differ for each user. The home page gives the highlights of each month with impressions, profile views, top tweet and how many new followers you got.

In the tweets section, you get more details about each individual tweet but only those in the past 5 months. The audience section is, as usual, where you will find demographics and interests. However, unlike facebook, these are your followers not just anybody who happened to see your posts. And you can compare your followers to all of twitter. Now what's cool about twitter analytics is the Events section. Here you can see current upcoming events and hashtags (#) that are or will be popular. This can help you plan out your future posts. And last but not least, twitter also has conversion tracking. You can generate a code to put on your website to see how many people are getting from twitter to your website.

Instagram Insights




Instagram (IG) is another social media source that is pretty self explanatory. Especially since it is now owned by Facebook. Since that happened we have gotten the Insights feature. Which follows a similar pattern and meaning to Fb's. To get to your IG insights go to your profile and at the very top of the screen next your name and the add people button is a series of lines that look like a bar graph. That will take you to your insights when clicked. Currently, there is no way to save these stats besides screenshotting them on your phone since they are only available on the mobile app. Also, if any of the terms don't make sense just click What does this mean? for definitions.

As you can see most of these online stats use similar language so once you get the hang of one you can pick the others quickly. I'd like to stress that these are all free statistics, there are others that you can purchase that can be customized and/or explained to you in reports from marketing companies. Or when your business grows you can have your own marketing department deal create stats for you. I hope this is helpful for many. I'll try to update this as I learn more. If you have anything you think I should add or correct please do let me know.


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