Tag Archives: analytics

9 Ways to Make Your Website Work Harder

website workA website should help, not hurt, a small business or start up. Today’s users expect (and deserve!) an awesome online experience. Customers have been spoiled by hardworking sites that are fast, easy to navigate, attractive and, in many cases, even fun.

Unfortunately, many businesses have websites that look like an afterthought… sometimes they are even cringe-worthy. Sure, your website is mobile-friendly and your call-to-actions are bold and enticing. But, that’s not enough! It has to work harder day-in-and-day-out.

Gone are the days when you’d create a website and then leave it to do its job. Now, we are constantly having to test, track and make modifications to keep it competitive and on target. All this, so your organization doesn’t have to settle for a less-than-fantastic, user-friendly user experience.

Here are 9 easy ways to energize your website to make it work harder for your business…and actively make it a destination for consumers. Continue reading

Making Sense of Google Analytics

google-analytics-iconHow do you know if your online marketing is working? What are you using to track and calculate the ROI of your online marketing efforts? The answers to these questions may not be simple, but Google Analytics should be part of the equation. However, for many small business owners, the mere mention of terms like analytics and data related to marketing online can seem overwhelming.

Google Analytics is a tool that allows you to track traffic to your website, see where it’s coming from, what brought it there, and how visitors behave after arriving. When you better understand how your marketing is performing and which marketing efforts are producing more leads, conversions, and sales, you’re able make more informed decisions about investments of time and money in your marketing.

With information that you gather from Google Analytics, you can assess whether your social media strategy is effective, which blog topics are favored among your readers, which landing pages get more sign ups or buyers, which search terms are most popular, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

By diving into the data GA tracks, you’ll be able to gather important insights about your site visitors; and the more comfortable you get working with Google Analytics, you will see that the data offers a wealth of information to refine your marketing strategies and optimize results.

To start making sense of Google Analytics, you’ll first need to become familiar with the 4 main reporting sections: Continue reading

Referrer Spam — What It Is and How to Stop It

road-sign-464655_640Those of us who live in the light often forget that the internet is like any dense concentration of people — it has a seedy underbelly. Sure, we hear about the latest hacks of government and corporate servers, but there’s little we can personally do about those intrusions, so we shrug it off and go about our daily lives.

But what about the less nefarious, yet still damaging minor crooks of the web? They often fly under the radar, ruining our lives in tiny increments rather than gigantic swaths of destruction. For the small business or solo blogger trying to make it in this world, one particularly annoying breed of this type — the referrer spammer — has begun to proliferate to the point that it is beginning to cause people serious damage. Continue reading

Build the Perfect Landing Page

ipad-605420_640First off, let’s address a common misconception. A landing page is not necessarily your homepage, in fact it’s likely not to be. Sure, your homepage is where visitors to your website “land” when they click on your site in search results or type your url in, but it is to address this singular entry point to your site that landing pages exist.

A landing page is a page you create so that you can provide a tailored point of entry to your site that serves a particular kind of visitor specifically. Your homepage’s content needs to remain broad enough that it appeals to anyone who stumbles across you, but a landing page can (and should) be laser-focused to speak to one type of visitor, and get them to accomplish one specific action.

So what are the best ways to accomplish this? Stick around for a sec, and I’ll tell you!

Get a Goal

Since building a great landing page is all about getting people to undertake a singular task, it is vitally important that you have a very strong and clear idea what you want that task to be. Ask yourself what you want to happen when visitors land on the page and what the most effective call to action for those visitors would be.

To Navigate or Not to Navigate

One of the first choices you will need to make is whether or not you want the landing page you are creating to display navigation to the rest of your site or not. Sometimes you will want your landing page to be more of a “soft sell” — you’re offering a download, but you also want them to poke around the rest of your site. These landing pages are often reachable from the navigation itself as well, and serve as the page for the product or service on your regular site. Conversely, sometimes landing pages are meant to get people to opt-in or leave, in which case, having navigation to the rest of the site can be a distraction. These types of landing pages function more like a squeeze page. Either way is fine, but it’s important to understand what the purpose of your landing page is and where it fits or doesn’t fit in your overall website.

Keep It Narrow

Remember to keep the focus of your landing page as narrow as possible. You want them to take one action, and everything on the page is directed at getting them to take it. The action can be anything you want — watching a video on a program, downloading an e-book to solve a problem, purchasing an item — but whatever that action is, keep it solo. Anything else you add to the page will only distract people from the thing you actually want them to do.

Massage Your Content

There are a few things you are going to want to do to make sure your landing page content sparkles — for one, use strong, effective headlines that speak directly to a problem that your target reader is having. Position the offer you are making as solving that problem. Include features of the offer, but focus on how they will benefit, what the pain points are, and how the offer will solve their pain or meet their desire. Build credibility and trust as succinctly as possible. Include really compelling social proof — explain why you or your company are knowledgeable and suited to solve their problems with the offer, highlighting results with testimonials (preferably with pictures). It may be appropriate to use media logos or logos of recognizable brands you’ve worked with, but make sure they carry some weight. Give enough information for your visitors to make a decision and anticipate what questions or reservations they may have in advance and address them.

Make It Pretty

You probably know the page needs to look good, but still, make sure your landing page’s design is attention-getting, looks professional and is clean and uncluttered. Make sure that every visual element of the page is working toward your overall goal of making the visitor take action. The button people need to click in order to opt-in will need to be particularly attractive, with compelling wording (don’t use “submit”). For your opt-in form, you will see higher conversion rates the less information people need to input, so use only first name and email if it will be fine, and you can even drop the name unless you think you will need it later.

Measure It All

So you think you’ve built the perfect landing page! How will you know for sure? The only way to be certain is to have analytics installed on your website that can track your conversions. You’d be surprised how often a very attractive, seemingly perfect landing page won’t convert because of some small oversight. You need analytics so that you can analyze any problem areas with actual data, rather than with your emotion-prone gut instinct.

Want landing pages the rake in the conversions? Give us a shout!

How Integrated are Your Communications?

phone-260409_1280With the advent of the digital era, the ways in which it is possible to communicate with your potential clients/customers have grown exponentially in number. These days, a savvy marketer is approaching the customer using a combination of direct mail, email, advertising both print and digital, social media in its ever-evolving forms, telemarketing, promotions and good old face-to-face meet-and-greet.

The problem is, even if you are doing each and every one of those things, it isn’t enough. You can flood your audience with a deluge of marketing from all available sources, but if those sources aren’t integrated, it all becomes a big mess. In the old days, when communication channels were limited, it was acceptable to have separate marketing campaigns for each channel. Today, with so many sources of communication available, it becomes necessary to normalize your messaging across all channels so that it doesn’t become confusing for people who may be receiving that messaging from multiple places.

So how does one make sure that their marketing communications are integrated? Stay tuned, and I’ll tell you! Continue reading

Growing Up Your Website

shackAs the barriers to entry into the world of websites and web-design have become less difficult to penetrate, more and more people find themselves managing their online presence without a map and no real understanding of the steps necessary to distinguish their business from the ocean of online content.

Perhaps you started a blog that’s turned into a real business, and now requires more functionality than a simple blog can deliver. Perhaps your older site hasn’t been updated to include the design and tech conventions of modern websites. Either way, growing your website into something that stands out and performs well can be a daunting task.

Not to worry! Stick around and we’ll go through some of the most important things to pay attention to when upgrading an older or under-performing site. Continue reading