Businesses are now operating in a world where potential customers not only expect even the smallest of them to have a website but also have high expectations about what it delivers.
In its most recent annual survey US-based marketing analyst BrightLocal found that 40% of those aged 18-34 and 40% of those aged 35-54 would be more likely to contact a local business if it had a website and overall that 87% of customers would not consider using a business whose website had low ratings.
They increasingly expect a website to be attractive as well as informative and to be responsive, which means that it should work as well on a mobile phone or tablet as it does on a computer screen. The majority of those surveyed expected to see customer reviews and used them to assess the quality of a local business.
This demonstrates how important a business website is both for professional credibility and to attract and communicate with potential clients and customers.
It means that even the owners of the smallest local businesses need to be willing to invest as much as they can manage in a professionally built website and should beware of D.I.Y. options.
They will also need to know how well the website is performing and this means they will need at least some understanding of what the statistics in Google Analytics are telling them.
The information available on Google Analytics is in fact extremely detailed and comprehensive, but for an overview a good indicator is to look at the “audience” section of the menu. This breaks down information on who’s been visiting a site into a wealth of details, including age, interests, location, language, how long they stay on the site, the pages they visit. The list is endless and the amount of data is daunting.
Time to call in the experts
No business owner can expect to be able lead a business, maintain an oversight of all that entails and then also to have the time or the expertise to frequently check on all the analytical information available about the business website.
Knowing what information is important to a specific business, being able to draw conclusions from the data and then using it to plan, develop and carry out a marketing strategy is becoming more and more specialised.
However, the business owner/manager needs to have enough information to be able to first select the right marketing support and to then be able to ask the right questions of those responsible and to work with them to set the right marketing goals.
It is up to the marketing team to devise the activity needed and to carry them out but the business owner needs to have the confidence that they can do the job well.