How Small Business Owners can Capture their Own Big Data
A term that has been flying around the internet of late, “big data” can actually be somewhat of a misnomer in the context of a small business. What big data refers to is the information collected around a small business’s website that, when analyzed and reflected on, can lead to some serious insight on how to create more engagement and conversions. However, the term big data seems to imply a corporate sized mountain of information, intimidating to sift through and out of the bounds of a small business owner to manage, let alone fully understand. That is not the case, and in fact big data in a small business context is among the places where it has the potential to be the most useful, since nimble small businesses are among the most able to adapt strategic changes into their business plans.
So what kind of data actually qualifies as big data in a small business context? A lot of the time, business owners may already be collecting big data, they just didn’t know that was the term for what they were doing. Google Analytics is a popular tool for measuring web traffic and important metrics surrounding it, conversion rate, bounce rate (the rate at which people leave you site without viewing any content), and returning visitors versus new traffic. Other big data can include the effectiveness of their social media marketing and their engagement per post, tweet or update. Engagement is usually calculated as a formula that takes clicks, likes and shares and assigns a relative value to each. The more your content is interacted with in this way, the better your engagement scores will be.
How can business owners react to what big data tells them? In order to act on their data, business owners should first figure out what it is telling them. If you have a high bounce rate, then it is probably a good idea to create a more engaging landing page, perhaps using interactive or entertaining elements such as video. That being said, if a high bounce rate is paired with low conversion rates coming from PPC campaigns, that could be a symptom of poorly picked keywords. Check your traffic sources to determine where the bounces are coming from. If you suffer from a lower than normal conversion rate, then you may wish to set up a clearer conversion path through your website, or reduce the number of fields in your lead forms to make it more likely that they will be filled out. If your posts on social media have low engagement, then you should try to make them more original and exciting for your readers, or rethink what it is that they are most interested in hearing from you.
Photo Credit to Kevin Krejci on Flickr