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How to gather useful data about your training business with Business consultant
In last week’s blog, we began looking at some of the data that you can collect about your business and how you can use it rather than letting it gather virtual dust.Today, in Part Two, I’ll be walking you through some of the valuable insights available through Google Analytics, your social media pages and from training feedback.
Let’s get started.
If you have Google Analytics set up for your website, how often do you look at the data? Many business owners and freelancers know they should be using a tool like Google Analytics – or a metrics plugin on WordPress, for example – but then struggle to get to grips with how to use or even make sense of the data.
If you’re a Google Analytics novice, I’d recommend having a look through renowned SEO expert Neil Patel’s excellent Guide to Google Analytics Resources.
Personally, I think some of the key data to keep an eye on is:
Your website’s bounce rate:
This tells you the percentage of people who come to your site and leave without visiting any more pages. The lower the bounce rate, the better (you’ll find this information on the Home screen of your Google Analytics account). If you discover you have a high bounce rate, you will want to think about ways you can entice people deeper into your site, e.g. strong calls to action, links to latest blogs and news.
Average session duration:
This is how long, on average, visitors are staying on your website. A low bounce rate and higher average sessions (aka ‘dwell time’) are both strong ranking signals to Google. Things like longer, in-depth blog articles and videos can improve dwell time (this info is also on the Google Analytics Home screen next to the bounce rate).
Audience overview: Find out where your audience is located and what devices they’re using to view your website. If you have a high percentage of mobile users then this would suggest that you need to ensure the experience of visiting your site on a mobile device is second to none (click on Audience>Overview for key information).
The data in this section of Google Analytics tells you where your website traffic has come from. This can help you pinpoint whether your organic SEO is working, best referral sites, your most popular social media channels and what pages people are landing on when they come to your site (go to Acquisition>Overview to begin exploring this data).
One of the many reasons to post links to your content on social media is to drive traffic back to your website. The data in this section of Google Analytics can help you to work out a) where your audience spends their time on social media and b) which social media platforms are generating the most traffic for you. s
- Go to Links and see which pages on your website as the most linked to from external sites, which sites are linking back to you and what link text they use – you can use this information to identify fans, influencers, sites you could provide guest blogs for and to find out more about your audience
On Facebook, for example, the data can help you to understand:
- Which types of posts get the most interaction
- The best times/days to post
- Your page’s most engaged fans and followers
- The demographics of your audience (gender, age, location)
There are several ways that you can use feedback from clients:
- Refine your future training programmes
- Add different ‘mix and match’ options for your services, enabling clients to create their own training package
- Put positive feedback in a ‘praise’ or ‘raves’ folder (whatever you want to call it) that you can use for inspiration and quote in your marketing
- Trim elements of your services that aren’t as useful to clients
- Select the best training venues
- Refine the refreshments on offer
- Use different learning tools or methods
Using your data.
As we can see, it isn’t enough to harvest data about your business; the real value comes from using that data to back up the choices you make and the strategy you create.
Try blocking out some time in your diary each month to review your website, social media, financial and sales stats. By understanding what works for your business and what doesn’t, it’s easier to avoid costly mistakes and put your focus where it will make the biggest difference.
How often do you look at data about your business? What is the most important data source? Do you forget to monitor your data? It would be great to hear more about your own experiences.