I know that the idea of tracking and analytics is enough to make you want to run and hide. If you’re not technologically minded, the idea of installing tracking and pixels seems like a complete nightmare. However, it is worth it. Knowing your numbers is absolutely vital if you want your business to go anywhere. Here’s why you need to track your results.
You need to know what’s working
When you first start a business, all you have is an untested plan about what you’re going to do and how you’ll market your business. You have no idea how your first blog or social media posts will go down. Customers might appear from totally unexpected places. If you track the numbers you’ll have accurate information about how many people saw your social media posts or filled in a contact form on your website.
When you track what’s working you can decide what you need to change. Of course, there are always issues with this. Someone may have seen and liked your Facebook posts but never actually commented. Then they Google your business and fill in a contact form on your website. The figures will tell you that Facebook had nothing to do with acquiring that customer, when actually it had everything to do with it.
Getting other people involved
There comes a point when every business owner needs help. Your accounts, marketing, admin and blog can all be outsourced but only your figures can tell you whether it’s worth it. Spending money on getting your blog written is only worthwhile if it frees up time for you to generate income somewhere else. Your figures will tell you whether there’s enough of a profit margin in your business to justify outsourcing.
Also, the day may come when you need to bring in money from somewhere else. Maybe you need to ask the bank for a loan to buy premises or a new piece of machinery. They’ll only fork out if your accounts convince them they should. If you’ve ever watched ‘Dragon’s Den’ you’ll have seen hapless business owners get roasted for not knowing their figures. Please don’t let that be you.
Everyone has bad business months. There might be times in the early days when you wonder why you bothered. Believe it or not, your figures can help. If you track your results consistently you can look back and see how far you’ve come.
If all of the graphs are heading in the general direction of up, all is well. It helps you to see a blip for exactly what it is.
What do I track?
There’s the million dollar question. You can track whatever you want, but here are just a few suggestions:
Besides needing to complete pesky tax returns, you need to know how much you’re bringing in and what you spend it on. Tracking this properly stops you from wasting money.
Track your followers and how much engagement you get on posts. Your reach and engagement will tell you what your followers like so you can do more of that.
How many visitors are you getting and how long do they spend there? What are they looking at?
Although you might never know exactly how a new customer found you, you can track where they made contact. It’s also worth tracking how much repeat and continuing business you get.
The technical bits
I’m not going to pretend I’m an expert on setting up analytics or the Facebook pixel. If you can afford some tech support that’s the best way to go. Otherwise see below for some helpful resources.
Do you track your numbers already? Is it time for you to consider outsourcing? Let me know in the comments below or download my free guide to find out how working with a writer could work for you!
Setting up Google Analytics (I did this myself but can’t remember how!)
Advice on what to track from Business Insider
Some key marketing metrics to track courtesy of Hubspot