Posts Tagged ‘online’

Tracking the Effectiveness of your Website

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

To any regular person, “Tracking the effectiveness of your website” may sound like a very daunting task. You can sit back and ask yourself, “How am I supposed to do that?” Honestly, it’s quick and easy; both the seasoned marketer and the fresh graduate alike can master what it takes to create the perfect website. Thanks to Google and their creation of Google Analytics, you can now carefully and effectively track how visitors interact with your websites with just a few clicks of your mouse.

Google Analytics is a free web service that statistically tracks the traffic of your website and gives you the insight into your marketing effectiveness.  It provides you with information that allows you to understand how to better your website by writing more effective-targeted ads, strengthening your marketing initiatives and creating a higher converting website. This information can provide the path to convert your visitors into customers.

There are several key features that Google Analytics provides:

  • Analytics Intelligence: Google Analytics monitors your reports and automatically alerts you of significant changes in data patterns.
  • Advanced Segmentation: Isolate and analyze subsets of your traffic with a fast interactive segment builder.
  • Flexible Customization: Get the data you need, organized in the way you want to see it with custom reports, custom variables, and a flexible tracking API.
  • Ecommerce Tracking: Trace transactions to campaigns and keywords, get loyalty and latency metrics, and identify your revenue sources.
  • Goals: Track sales and conversions. Measure your site engagement goals against threshold levels that you define.
  • Mobile Tracking: Track web-enabled phones, mobile websites and mobile apps.
  • Data Export API: Integrate business information and develop applications that access Google Analytics data.
  • Advanced Analysis Tools: Perform advanced data analysis with pivot tables, filtering and multiple dimensions. Discover new trends and insights with motion chart visualizations.
  • Benchmarking: Find out whether your site usage metrics underperform or outperform in your industry.

Other key features offered by Google are the exceptional Free Support Resources. They offer a Setup Checklist that keeps track of your progress as you follow the provided steps for implementing and using Google Analytics. Their User Forum allows you to gain quick information from the Google Analytics support staff, Google employees, and other users. The Help Center enables you to search for Google Analytics articles, user discussions, developer resources, and more. And, Google Code enables you to find developer resources and Google Analytics technical documentation, customizing your tracking code, and exporting your Analytics data.

Also, on the site are several educational resources to assist in developing your skills and help you  “Get smarter with Google Analytics.” They offer a Google Analytics Individual Qualification course that offers comprehensive training in Google Analytics implementation and data analysis and readies you for the $50 Google Analytics Individual Qualification. Completion of the curriculum and test will allow your organization to easily train and qualify staff.  Google also offers Seminars for Success. This option offers day-long seminars delivered by hand-picked industry professionals in cities across the United States. These seminar courses will improve your online marketing and help you get the most out of Google Analytics. Finally, users can check out the latest Google Analytics videos on YouTube’s Google Analytics channel.

Google Analytics also offers an online blog that contains all sorts of information that can assist you in learning how to effectively use the free web service. The blog contains over 300 postings with topics ranging from “Beginner Topics” to “Training and Events” to “Learning Resources.” It is highly recommended that all users utilize the blog to learn all the tips and tricks to getting the most out of the Google Analytics service and the information it provides.

With the World Wide Web being home to over 182 million websites, creating the perfect website may seem almost impossible. But, don’t be discouraged, Google has got your back. With the statistics and information they are able to provide you, you will be able to improve your website with just a few clicks of the mouse.   

Visit Google Analytics to find out more about the features they have to offer. And, it’s free to sign up! All you have to do is use your Google Gmail account or sign up for one if you don’t already have one.

Sources:

Google Analytics key features: http://www.google.com/analytics/

Google Analytics support: http://www.google.com/analytics/support.html

Google Analytics education:  http://www.google.com/analytics/education.html

Dr. Google, can you direct me to Main Street?

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Let’s face it, there is no main street on the world wide web.  In offline business you pay top dollar for a good location in an effort that everyday traffic will see your business, remember your business, and will shop with your business when they need or want your product or service. That’s not to say dollars aren’t spent on advertising and marketing, but certainly the cost of a good location and good signage should offer some relief to the marketing budget. 

Offline businesses that opt to own or lease space in a more remote area must spend more dollars in marketing and advertising so potential customers are aware they exist.  It’s truly a trade off.  And while there is no LOCATION advantage on the web, there is an ADDRESS advantage, but let’s face it by now there are NO short, easy, one-word URL names available, unless you want to spend big bucks buying a name from an address name “hi-jacker”.  So what’s a new business (or older, established one that didn’t buy a name years ago) to do? 

They must advertise and market their online business.  Driving potential customers to their online website is where the whole wide world is heading on the World Wide Web.

Page 1 – that’s every client that walks through my doors #1 goal and objective for their website and/or web business.  Getting there is time consuming and staying there is not inexpensive. Currently Google, the #1 search engine of choice as I write this blog,  states plain and clear in their own documentation that it can take anywhere from a year or more to get to Page 1.  Now keep in mind as you are working to get to Page 1 so are hundreds of thousands of other websites; so even when you get there you can’t be complacent.  You must continually work on your site to stay on Page 1.  Why, because Google says so and so do most of the other search engines, like Yahoo, and Bing.  They mostly recognize websites that are well maintained and have “fresh content” – that’s not to say a weed or two (old articles) doesn’t creep into the search, but they generally try to keep Page 1 offerings with the sites they deem are following their rules.

Lots of companies offer assistance for getting and staying on Page 1. Beware!!! Not all companies’ offerings are alike.  Be sure you know what you are buying or better yet, what you want, as services from provider to provider will vary dramatically.  Like … hamburgers. Yes I just said hamburgers.  You can buy a $1.00 hamburger from McDonald’s, a $7.50 hamburger from Chili’s, a $12.00 hamburger from Marriott Hotel & Spa’s restaurant 360, a $30 hamburger in New York City and most of you have a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in your home town or city that will have a great, juicy, delicious burger for around $5.00.  Each burger is palatable and priced right for its intended audience – however they really can’t be compared nor would you expect or demand the Marriott to match McDonald’s price just because they are right down the street from one another or because they are both hamburgers and should therefore be the same no matter who is cooking/serving them.

I like to think of our agency and interactive capabilities as equal to the hole-in-the-wall restaurant.  Most people don’t know we’re here but we have a very tasty product and those that dine with us, are provided a good product they enjoy, they are well taken care of and each meal is cooked to order – and while we aren’t located on Main Street some of our clients are ranked on Page 1.

So why do companies try to compare/judge advertising agencies in that type of side-by-side fashion? All marketing firms aren’t alike like all hamburgers aren’t alike. Bigger isn’t always better & cheaper is never best.