If you don’t measure it, it doesn’t exist
This post is from our upcoming book tentatively entitled, Marketing Essentials for Small Business. The completed portions of the initial draft are temporarily available on this site via our new Free Content Library. Eventually, the book will be available as a pdf, ebook and in hard copy. Parts 1 and 2 of the book are also available as a downloadable pdf in the Free Content Library. They cover the first two pillars of your content marketing strategy, your website/blog and email marketing.
Now, let’s start learning how to use analytics to make decisions that lead to conversions.
If you have read my earlier posts, you have now learned how to use copywriting on your landing pages and posts in order to drive the actions you want visitors to take on your WordPress site and blog. You have also learned how to drive traffic to your site with search optimization.
After you start benefiting from visits to your site, blog posts and landing pages you want to increase that traffic. You want to make sure more of it leads to subscribers to your email list, sign-ups for your free content and most importantly eventual customers. For that to happen, your content must convert. And the only way for you to know if it does is to analyze your site’s traffic.
(THIS POST CONTAINS FAIRLY TECHNICAL TERMS. PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINKS FOR DEFINITIONS)
Web analytics will show you who is coming to your site and almost everything about them. They will show you where your traffic is coming from in terms of geography. And which search, website, email or social media links are sending you traffic. Various metrics will show you what pages and posts your audience visits, how much time visitors spent on your site, and the amount of traffic per day, week, month, etc.. They will show you how visitors entered, navigated through, and exited your site. You will be able to infer the search terms they used to find you as well.
With all this valuable information, you will have the data you need to optimize your website. You can conduct a complete content analysis of your entire site. With web analytics, you will be able to determine if your content is meeting the goals you have set for your site. You can also see if your content is achieving the objectives you have set for it in your content strategy.
You can see which blog post subjects resonate with visitors and produce more content for that category. And you can see which subjects are weak and then produce less content for them. You can A/B test the copywriting on your landing pages, email sign-up forms, long and short-form copy and call to actions. Use the results to improve your copywriting and increase conversion.
You can also A/B test aspects of your site’s design. These include images, navigation, typography, color, and positioning. You can test media formats, links, forms, free trial lengths and pricing schemes. Use the results to optimize your design. This optimization also lets you convert more visitors into customers and clients.
Google Analytics – Free and (Easy to get help with)
There is a variety of tools for measuring your website’s traffic with. The best one for small business is Google Analytics. Here is why:
- It is free.
- It provides tracking code to put into your website’s head that tracks every page and post.
- It shows you how much of your traffic comes from desktop computers, tablets, and phones.
- It lets you use Universal Analytics‘ multiscreen tracking to see visitors’ unique behavior on various devices.
- It lets you see traffic that comes from your email marketing and social media posts.
- It allows you to access Google’s Web Master Tools. These tools allow you to see the demographic information of your visitors (and much more).
- It tells you the percentages of new and return visitors.
- It lets you analyze visitor behavior on your site.
- It allows you to segment and analyze your audience.
- It allows you to set goals for your content and see if that content meets them.
- It provides valuable information about your ecommerce site’s performance.
- It lets you see if your paid search ads are driving traffic to your site.
- It provides you with benchmarking data so you can see how you compare to other websites in your industry and niche.
- It provides a large number of reports for the metrics we have been discussing.
- It allows you to create custom reports.
- It works with plug-ins for WordPress that let you get a quick overview of your traffic each time you log in to your WordPress site.
- It is the world’s most popular analytics solution so there is a great deal of information available about how to use it.
In other words, it lets you do a hell of a lot of analysis. You can even track analytics for your Apple and Android mobile apps.
Google Webmaster Tools
- See which search queries led more visitors to your site than others
- See if the content you want to appear in search results is doing so
- See which external websites are linking to your site
- See how your site is performing on mobile devices
Using analytics lets you make decisions that affect your bottom line based on data not gut instincts. You can calculate the monetary value of your efforts. They tell you who your customers and prospects are and what they want.
But, for analytics to help your small business you must use them in a consistent manner. You must also realize it will take time and effort to see results.
Analytics is a somewhat complicated subject and Google Analytics, while free, is not easy to master. Their Analytics Academy is a great place to learn more.
Remember, if you don’t measure it, it doesn’t exist. And feel free to contact us with any questions.