Building an Effective Web Presence - Step #10 – Be Analytical

Thursday, November 03, 2011


Over the past nine months we identified steps one through nine in the process of building an effective web presence:   1) Define your ideal client; 2) Identify specific goals; 3) Create a call to action; 4) Give customers what they expect; 5) Be a better communicator; 6) Get found; 7) Improve Your Link Popularity;  8) Setup and optimize your free Google Places listing; and 9) Make it easy to share.

The tenth step is:  Be analytical.



You’ve worked hard to build a professional web presence around clear goals and calls to action.  You are definitely a step ahead of the pack, but you should not stop there.  It’s important to have some type of analytics available about your web presence.  This allows you to make informed and intelligent decisions based on what people are (or are not) doing when they get there.  Without analytics, changes or adjustments you make to improve things are mere guesses.  

I came across a quote that puts it in the simplest terms: Measurable is the new “Gosh, I hope it works.”
There are several tools available for website analytics.  Your web hosting provider likely has a stats package available that will allow you to see basic data about activity on your website. Contact him or her and find out how you can access it.

Better yet, install Google Analytics on your site.  It is free, it’s powerful, and it is available at http://www.google.com/analytics.  Simply sign up for an account and Google will provide you with a small block of code that you (or your web person) can add to each page of your website. Once installed, Google tracks and compiles an amazing amount of data.

In addition to basic information like unique visitors and page views, you can see the bounce rate on your site, analyze a heat map to visibly see what links and pictures people are clicking on when they get to your site, plus you’ll have a wealth of information about how people are finding your site. When you use and understand Google Analytics, you're empowered to make informed decisions and create a higher converting website for your business.

In a last month’s article, we discussed making your website easy to share using tools like AddThis.com and ShareThis.com.  Both of these tools provide analytics on the content that is shared from your website. You can setup your account so those metrics are emailed to you weekly or you can simply login to your account and view them at any time. 

Just as you monitor analytics and sharing on your website, you should also monitor analytics on your business Facebook page. “Facebook Insights” provides business page owners powerful metrics on new likes, daily activity, interactions, impressions, feedback, and demographics. By understanding and analyzing trends within user growth and demographics, consumption of content, and creation of content, you are better equipped to improve your business social media marketing and create better experiences on Facebook for your customers. For advanced users, Facebook also provides a way to integrate Google Analytics into your Facebook business page!

I get calls from prospective clients who ask me to help them increase traffic to their websites.  This is a worthy goal, but it is important to look at the existing traffic first. Many times it is not actually the lack of traffic that is the problem … it is the lack of conversions with the visitors they already have.  Using analytics is the best way to understand what visitors are actually doing, versus what you want them to do.  This often illuminates simple improvements that can be made to increase conversions and build a more effective web presence.

Sandy Waggett, Owner
MSW Interactive Designs LLC ~ We put the web to work for you!
573-552-8403

TWITTER:  @putthewebtowork
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