Analytics Guide for Small Businesses

3 min read

You’ve set up Google analytics, you’ve got all your social media insights organized and available at a click of a button… you’ve got this marketing analytics thing down!

Or do you?

It’s great to have all the systems in place telling you bounce rates and impressions, but are you actually doing anything with this data or is it just numbers on a screen?

The Fix: Ask the right questions

Marketing analyst is one of the many hats a small business owner must wear, but it’s one of the hardest to handle. Unless you have a marketing background, understanding all the intricacies that make up the backend of your marketing might seem like mission impossible. 

HOWEVER, it’s not impossible. It’s actually quite possible and an intuitive process when you know to ask the right questions. 

Analyzing marketing data is all about turning those numbers on a screen into actionable insights. The best way to go about drawing out conclusions is to organize your data into three categories:

Market Awareness - How do I compare to my competitors?

Audience Connection - How well am I understanding my audience?

Content Effectiveness - What is working and what isn’t?

So, what does this mean? As you’re looking at all your analytics dashboards, you’ll want to focus on the data surrounding the three categories above.

Analytics Checklist

This checklist will help you extract more value from your analytics and uncover the information you need to unlock your marketing potential.

Market Awareness

You must precisely know where you stand in the market to be able to find new competitive advantages and opportunities.

You obviously don’t have access to the backend of your competitors’ marketing numbers, but there is a lot of public information you can use to make comparisons, such as social engagement, follower count, messaging, etc. 

Use your analytics data to answer the following questions:

  • How does my marketing compare to that of my competitors? 
  • Compared to others, how well-known am I in my market?
  • Is anyone else using the same or similar selling proposition?
  • What benchmark can I use to compare myself to competitors?

Audience Connection

Now let’s take a look inward. You must be able to measure how well you’re connecting to your audience. Conversion rate (how many visitors/followers are turning into customers) is the holy grail here, but it’s not the end-all be-all. 

Let’s say your conversion rate is lackluster. Your analytics in other areas can help boost your rate. It’s important to understand HOW your audience is engaging with your marketing content and WHAT is drawing their attention. 

Use your data to help answer the following questions:

  • Which content types are most popular with my audience?
  • Which subjects draw the most attention from my audience?
  • Which channels are they using most often to engage with my business? 
  • What content is most popular on what channel?
  • Are certain segments of my audience more engaged than others?
  • Which audience needs am I fulfilling?

Content Effectiveness

Analytics are one of the best road markers to finding efficiencies and deficiencies in your business. Your blog might be your pride and joy but if it’s your videos that are really leading to conversions, it’s probably a good idea to place more attention on what is working and reap a larger benefit. 

Use your data to answer the following questions:

  • Which content is leading to conversions?
  • Which distribution channels should I prioritize?
  • How effective are my paid promotions compared to my organic reach?
  • What is my ROI on each distribution channel?

Analytics are more than just numbers. They help tell the story of what is going on from the moment you hit publish until that customer clicks “purchase.” By knowing what questions to ask, your marketing dashboards will become a goldmine of information that will help you make better overall business decisions.


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