This guest post comes from Samuel Johns, who works on the Organic Search team here at Vistaprint.
As a small business owner, keeping track of your website performance on top of all your other day-to-day tasks can be a very challenging proposition. No matter how busy you might be, tracking visitors to your site is one of the most important aspects of running a website today. Installing a simple tool like Google Analytics is a great way to get started. It’s easy to install, provides simple dashboards to view the data from your site, and is completely free.
Here are four key areas that Google Analytics can help you manage your website better.
- Daily Visits
- The Daily Visits feature gives you an overall look at how your site is performing from a traffic volume perspective. It also splits these visits by New and Repeat, so you can tell how many potential new customers come to your site each day.
- Seeing your daily visits metric increase or decrease is beneficial for a number of reasons in the fact it helps you answer some valuable questions quickly, like:
- Weekly trends, what is the busiest day of the week?
- Site performance issues, is the site not working? Is there a bug on one page?
- Are we getting new customers from our marketing efforts?
- How long people are staying on the site for? (Avg. Time on Site)
- Average Time on Site provides insight into how long people are staying on your site and also tells you how many pages they are visiting.
- Average Time on Site is beneficial in providing a real time view on what people want to interact with and where they spend the most amount of time on your site. Think about the opportunities you now have to optimize and enhance your site in the areas your visitors care most about.
- Where are the users coming from? (Traffic Types)
- Traffic Types showcases the various sources of traffic to your site, whether it be from another site (Referral), Search Engines (Organic), or Direct (the number of people typing in your domain URL directly into browser). These data points are great at helping you understand the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
- Time on Site by Country gives you a deeper breakdown of which geographic region the user is coming from.
- Want to know where you are marketing spend is working and where it is failing? What site or search engine is driving the most traffic to your website? Traffic types can help you answer those questions.
- What pages are people visiting? (Visitor Flows)
- Visitor Flows helps you understand which pages are the most important/visited and where in your site customers/users are leaving the site.
- Assessing the Visitor Flows feature can be very beneficial in helping to identify issues and opportunities to enhance the structure and flow of your website.
- For example: You notice customers going to a specific page from your home page, but then directly after they drop off that page and your site entirely. This is pretty impactful information if you’re able to fix the issue and turn a user who would have normally left your site, into a valued customer by getting them to convert.
To learn more and get a more in depth introduction on Google Analytics check out this five-minute video titled “Introduction to Google Analytics” from Google.
Be sure to check back next month for the next installment of Google Analytics for Small Business Owners, where we’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions of how to set up your Google Analytics account in the context of tracking your own website.
We’ve all been exposed to marketing – be it direct mail, email, paid search ads, or even television ads. How many times have you seen an infomercial that tells you have to call in the next 20 minutes because it’s a limited time offer? Does that really work? Well studies show 60% of online sales occur in the first 30 minutes, so impulse buying can have dramatic results. There are many tried and true marketing tactics that have been proven to work and are subsequently used ad nauseum for all types of products. Read more…
The following guest post is brought to us by the Internet Marketing Center, which can be found at: www.internetmarketing.com
It’s easy to get swept up in the tide of new and exciting SEO strategies to help boost your website to ever-higher rankings. But when was the last time you had a really good look at your site to make sure it was performing at its best for you?
It’s probably been a while… perhaps you haven’t even had a chance to review your site since you first posted it! But it’s always a good idea to set some time aside every few months to make sure your site is still optimized for the search engine spiders. Read more…
In the past, my colleague Chris Kenney has discussed the importance of search marketing and also the importance of local search. But what do you do if you aren’t showing up in a local search?
In his column on AllBusiness.com, Frank Ross outlines an effective alternative to get your name out to potential customers if the local search isn’t working:
In that case, try Google Adwords with location specific keywords. In the above example “seattle scuba classes”, there was only one paid ad next to the Google Local results that showed up and that was for a dating service (a bit of a stretch if you ask me). That means there is no competition for that term in Google Adwords. Therefore, if you do provide dive lessons in Seattle, you won’t pay very much for clicks on your ad.
Is this something that you have experienced in the past? If so, how did you overcome it?
Online businesses have enjoyed a renaissance of sorts in the past 5 years, with companies selling virtually anything and everything online nowadays. And while many of these online businesses have become successes, they also sometimes find themselves only reaching a certain audience and demographic – those people that shop online and are “Web savvy.”
So what about those customers that might still harbor fears about shopping and eventually buying online? Many are not even aware of the products and offers that are available, as well as how easy it can be. For those online businesses that are looking to diversify their marketing strategy outside the usual Internet channels, a product catalog can be an effective marketing tool as you can visually display your products and services by placing it in front of customers. Some examples are direct mailing, inserting into a box when fulfilling an order, or e-mailing your customers to advertise the catalog). Read more…
Welcome to the final installment of 10 Great Ways to Promote Your Business (Part 1, Part 2). Today we will go over the final three tips on our list.
8. Brochures-Customers like to review information from home. Clear and easy-to-read brochures with product or service information are important. Skip photo-copied fliers on colored paper and shoot for full color glossy materials. Hand them out in the store or at shows and conferences.
9. Great Giveaways-Give your customers a useful and appreciated gift that they will actually use. Stay in front of them all year long with seasonal professional sports calendars.
10. Email Communication-Communicate with your customers via email in addition to regular mail. Match your e-signature to your business card with unique e-business cards-electronic versions of your business cards that are included in every email. Encourage customers to forward contact information, an excellent way to increase customer base.
No matter your budget, these simple tips will enable you to keep your company’s name in front of your customers.
It’s clear that as more and more people move online, small businesses will have to do so as well. Even if it’s just a small basic website that allows people to see what you offer, where you are, and how to contact you, an online presence isn’t a luxury anymore, it’ s a must have. But once you do have that page up and start to drive traffic to it, either through online or offline means, it’s important to also monitor your competition. For example, if you’re one of four pizza shops in the town you operate in, you have to assume that your competitors also have a site, and are working to drive traffic to it. If you’re not monitoring your competition, then you’re doing your business a disservice. Even customers going to a competitor’s site to check a phone number could be business that you might have gotten otherwise.
But how? Well that’s the subject of a recent post by Bridget Ayers on the “Get Smart” blog. Ayers lays out three tools that you can use online to not only monitor the competition, but also identify the competition’s search marketing strategies to better understand what you should be doing to keep up and get out in front. It might be a scary proposition to have to not only run your business but also manage your online marketing and search efforts, but it’s something that must be done. Sites like compete.com and tools that Google offer can make all the difference.
By using these online tools to better monitor your competition to see how they’re doing, you can truly succeed and begin to reap the benefits of your website in ways you didn’t think were possible.
Welcome to the second installment of SEO Basics (click here if you missed part 1). Today we will discuss steps that you can take to make your site more “SEO friendly.”
One of the determining factors of how your page ranks will be your on site optimization. You must take into account the following basics to help your site not only rank, but rank well for target terms. On site edits are only half the battle, by doing these changes it doesn’t guarantee you anything! You will be on the right path to ranking though. Read more…
With the Search Engines constantly updating and changing their algorithms for search engine result rankings, I thought I would share the basics to make sure your site/blog is in good shape to evolve with the search spiders.
The search “spiders” every so often “crawl” your site. They crawl, they gather information of what your site is about. Then they take into account their “magical” formula and rank your site based on relevance. The “magic” formula is based on a combination of On & Off Site factors including the url, title & meta tags, body text, relevant back links & plenty more. Read more…
Has your business seen tremendous success with a marketing campaign? Do you retain and acquire new customers in a unique way? Would you like to pen a guest column offering advice for other small business owners?
If you answered yes to any of these questions we’d like to hear from you. Please email publicrelations(at)vistaprint.com and let us know your story. We will post stories from the submissions on this blog along with images that you provide and a link back to your Web site.
What are you waiting for? This is your chance to get your success publicized to the world.