You can really empty a room when you start talking about website analytics. It’s sort of like orthodonture: definitely necessary, but not something you should bring up on a date. The thing is, being an online marketer requires you to have some understanding of what is working on the web. Avoiding analytics can leave you struggling in your business without a clear indication of the reasons why. Analytics can be sexy, you just need to know where to look. The first step is understanding why it’s important. Even though search is the #1 driver of traffic to content sites (beating social media by more than 300 percent) and 92 percent of all of the people on the web use search engines, most beginning online marketers avoid analytics because they think it’s hard, complicated, or just plain boring. Now let’s be frank: I’m not suggesting that you spend all of your time pouring over your analytics. You still have to focus on creating awesome content, building relationships with your audience so people will actually care about what you produce, and you’ll still need to do some keyword research to understand what’s important to your audience. All that aside, you need a way to measure success, and if your only measurement is when you make a sale, you’re missing out on understanding what activities you can repeat to increase those sales. Driving blind is dangerous!
So where do you begin? I suggest you start by installing Google Analytics on your site as soon as possible. This infographic offers detailed instructions for getting started. Then you can set up a free analytics dashboard to visualize all of your stats. The goal here is not to geek out just to say you did: you want to know what content and channels are really working, as well as what pages are converting and where your customers are coming from. Armed with this information, you can start tweaking the content you create and how it’s presented on your website. OK, so maybe analytics won’t get you a date, but the improvement in your online marketing could help pay the dinner tab. Let me know what challenges you’re having with online marketing. I’d love to hear what’s working and what’s not.
Seth Price is Director of Sales and Real Estate Marketing at Placester, a Cambridge based technology company specializing in building online marketing tools for the real estate industry.
A 14 year veteran internet marketer, Seth has consulted for leading B2B and B2C brands including: Metlife, BMW, Sony, Nationwide Financial, AAI Foster Grant, Toys are Us and Conde Nast. Connect with Seth on his blog http://sethkprice.com and on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/sethkprice
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