Google Analytics Tips for Small Businesses

Google Analytics visits and revenue report
You’re a small business and you’ve got a decent website—but you’re not sure how it’s doing. What you need is Google Analytics (GA), but you’re not sure what to make of all the reporting options.

Don’t worry, we can help.

What’s Important in Google Analytics?

For a small business, the most complex reports aren’t going to matter as much as the bread and butter basic reporting features. Focus on what matters to your business. Most likely, this is going to be visits, pages, and referrals.


Find out your site’s traffic volume by looking into your visits. This report will be important to any small business, but especially those that are growing their brand. The visits report provides insight into your site’s visibility, performance, usability, and pageviews.


All Pages Report in GA
You need to know which page on your site is driving the most traffic and/or conversions. Using the “All Pages” report, you can see this information as well as helpful data regarding pageviews, time on page, and bounce rate. This data can be used to evaluate your landing pages as well as determine potential areas for new content.


Where are your website’s visitors coming from? Did you know that most small businesses get nearly half their traffic from Social Media. You can see how your referral traffic is coming from in GA.

Referrals are especially important for small businesses as they provide an opportunity for small businesses to reach out and embrace their primary audience: the community.

Providing content that is targeted at your local community is a good way to build traffic, brand awareness, and potential customers. The Referrals report will help you find your most active audience—then it’s up to you to reach out to them!

A Better Way to Monitor Google Analytics

Viewing this data regularly in Google Analytics is important. And since that process would be a lot easier if someone would just hand you the keys to a reporting system that you didn’t have to think about, I have done just that.

Here at Portent, we love small businesses so much, we decided to create a Small Business Dashboard for Google Analytics that you can download for free.

Google Analytics dashboard

Install the dashboard in your Google Analytics profile.

Google Analytics Small Business Dashboard

Let’s go over a couple features of the Small Business Dashboard. First, it includes data for Visits and % New Visits. We chose to provide % New Visits because as a small business, new customers are going to be far more important than visitor retention and returning customers. You want people learning your name and coming into your store—you need new visitors.

Next, we included stats for Social Visits, Referral Visits, and Visits from Mobile Devices. We’ve covered Social and Referrals, but Mobile reporting is also becoming very important, as it accounts for at least 40% of local searches (Remember the last time you looked for a restaurant while driving down the freeway?).

We also have a tally for Goal Conversion Rate and a pie chart for Visits by Location. These are both customizable for your needs. Simply click the gear in the top right of these widgets and set them to the data you want to track. For now, Goal Conversion Rate is tracking all goals (you might just want one specific goal tracked) and Visits by Location is set to City (instead of Region if you’re in multiple states). Set these up however you’d like in order to get the most of the Small Business Dashboard.

My Free Webinar: SEO Tips for Small Businesses

If you’d like to learn more ways you can improve your small business’ SEO and Analytics, you can join me for a free webinar on Thursday, October 25th at 11am PST.

Sign up here. Even if you can’t make it, I’ll still send you the recording and you can watch it later.

You can view the slides for the presentation below. You can also check out the link bundle of resources I mention.

Check out Portent's Free Digital Marketing Training Library

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  1. Looks pretty good. I’ve used Michael’s Leads Dashboard as the basis for all of our clients since he published it. Hadn’t thought to add in Social tracking on there.

  2. Great article on analytics. I often wonder how many people actually review analytics for their site. Often times the results are not what was expected, but certainly helpful in ascertaining the next step and content strategy.

  3. We like the custom alert feature on Google Analytics. Most small business owners are busy doing a million things all at once so they probably don’t keep their Google dashboard open all day long. Having Google Analytics send you an email for custom alerts such as spikes in traffic or changes in branded keywords keeps you in the loop of how your site is doing plus it reminds you to go and check your Google Analytics.

  4. Great post Josh! Thanks for this great information! I look forward to using this in the future for my own business. I especially liked the bit about analyzing the social visits and shares that your site is receiving. I believe that social validation is a key component to any website along with page rank and domain rank. What are your thoughts ?

  5. Great tips.
    My only question to you Josh:
    Is it me, or does Google Analytics not record some information?
    The reason I ask you is because every so often when looking at the analytics I can see in “Traffic Sources > Search > Organic” under :keywords” is (not provided).
    So are visitors not staying long enough for google to register what keyword they used to find the website, or are they simply address bar type-ins?

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