On the phone, or at the table, you have a good handle on who your customers are and how they feel about your restaurant. How well do you know your online customers?
It’s one thing to track how many hits your site gets, and how many web orders you get each day. But have you ever wished you could go further than these basic numbers? Do you understand how customers interact with your brand online?
- What’s the path they take through the site before they decide to place an order?
- How many of them leave without ordering at all?
- How are they finding your site in the first place?
If you aren’t already using an analytics software, learn how to set up Google Analytics, and find out.
Google Analytics gives you deep insight into people who visit your site, and the actions they take. There are other excellent analytics applications on the market, but Google Analytics and its companion application, Webmaster Tools, are highly detailed, easy to use, and best of all—free.
When your site is set up with Google Analytics, this is what your main page will probably look like. The dotted line graph below ‘Dashboard’ shows you the daily visits to your site so you can see what your peak times are. The pie chart on the bottom right gives you a general idea of how people are getting to your site. Are they coming from "referring sites" (other sites that link to your website)? Are they coming from search engines like Google, meaning you rank high in search engine rankings? Are they coming directly to your site, possibly because they already know about you, or a friend recommended them?
Are you attracting the right audience to your site? One key stat under "Site Usage" is "bounce rate." This percentage tells you how many visitors leave without interacting with the site. Google digital marketing evangelist Avinash Kaushik describes this behavior unappetizingly as, "I came, I puked, I left." Is your site engaging? Or is something about it turning off your guests and losing you business?
Cool Advanced Stuff
Once you’re comfortable with the basics, take the time to look at the tools in Analytics that can help you identify where your online business is coming from, and how well your site is working to drive online orders or future visits.
Organic Searches and Keywords
Remember that pie chart that showed you what percentage of visitors to your site came from search engines? Starting there, you can delve deeper to find out which search engines and keywords brought visitors to your site. This way you can find out what keywords are commonly used to find you, and use them more prominently on your site to improve your search engine rankings.
Follow the Trail to Conversion
Do customers see a thank you page after they place an order online? Set that page as a "Goal" in Analytics to track conversions. Set the order form itself as a Goal as well to measure how many customers start an order and never submit it.
Even track the actual path that customers take through your site (which page they "land" on initially, and what they view and click from there until they place an order or leave.
This is only the tip of the analytics iceberg. But just a few basic metrics can help you understand and improve the customer experience online. If you aren’t already using an analytics software, learn how to set up Google Analytics.
Posted on Sat, Aug 27, 2011 @ 14:08 PM.
Updated on April 16, 2019 @ 3:03 PM PST.
Posted by Graydon Clarke| Author's website