You can’t run an effective business without having good information about that business. After all, if you don’t know how much revenue you’re generating every month versus how much you spend on operations, you won’t know how much profit you’re creating for yourself! So getting good information is a critical way to ensure you know how healthy your business is. Fortunately, in the Internet era, you have a lot of different forms of information, or “metrics,” that can give you the data you need. But what metrics should you be looking at?
An oldie, but a goodie, and a cornerstone of your business. Without knowing what your total sales are, you have no basis for comparison to see how your performance is. Break down your total sales to see where the sales are coming from and when. You may discover some interesting information like you get a spike in sales on Fridays, but you’re not sure why, understand the cause to better exploit it!
Traffic is a measure of just how many people are visiting your website, and this is a good indicator of your popularity, whether that is growing, remaining flat, or actually shrinking. Always keep an eye on how many visitors you have to your website, and see if you can spot any patterns. Look at the in-depth metrics within traffic to get a better understanding, such as where your customers are coming from, which marketing channels are working, etc.
New & Returning Customers
This is another important metric. How many of your customers are repeat customers? How many are new? If you’ve got a lot of loyal returning customers, but few new ones, try to find out why. Conversely, if you’re always getting new customers, but very few of them come back, that’s a very strong indicator that your marketing is good, but something about your product or service is preventing you from retaining customers.