If you spend long enough taking care of websites and making sure they work, you will begin to do the same things over and over again. Is the online store working? Can Google access the website? Do the emails go out as expected? Is the newsletter signup box working? Is my website up or down?
If you have to monitor only one website and it is relatively simple, then you can do this manually, and it is also likely you will quickly notice if something gets broken. But when you need to manage tens of websites, all these tiny checks add up and eat away at your productivity.
We live in the era of automation.
We live in the era of automation (possibly the age of AI), so there must be a better way, right?
Yes, it is.
Any repetitive action can be programmed. To help me out, I have created a web application that I call the Business Monitor App.
This web app runs independently of all the other websites, and it is programmed to “keep an eye” on them.
When an unexpected event happens, it sends me an email alert so I can take action if needed.
I quickly realized that I could go beyond simple server monitoring and do some business monitoring as well (hence the name of the app).
This improvement means generating a daily report with what has happened on the website in terms of sales, traffic, sources of traffic, subscribers, and social media activity. All this compared to the previous day. It is a handy tool to make sure that you are on track with meeting your business goals. And if any monitored index drops all of a sudden, that is a clear sign of a problem. That becomes highlighted, and I know I need to take action.
The business monitor takes the guesswork out of how much revenue to expect at the end of the month. Or if the current promotions are working or not. It has made everything more predictable, and you know to intervene soon if it the trend shifts, and it looks like you will not meet your goals at the end of the month.
On top of the daily report, the app generates a dashboard called “The Business Pulse.” Looking at that page, you can see at a glance where you’re at with what is important to you. Revenue, traffic, user activity, subscribers churn rate, best-performing products.
Next, I have created some reports that go deeper into the data and link together more websites into aggregated reports.
Why not just use Google Analytics for this?
Simply because I like the flexibility of building the reports that are relevant to me and generate the kinds of alerts that I need to take action on. Also, because some of the monitoring cannot be done through the Google Analytics data, and finally, because most reports aggregate data from multiple sources: website databases, google analytics, social media and newsletter service.
This app gives me peace of mind that if something goes wrong, I will find out quickly. And not only that, but scanning the dashboard and looking at the historical trends, I can usually spot instantly what the problem is, saving me a lot of time in having to debug.
How do you monitor your business to make sure you stay on track with your goals?