If you have a B2B website, you should have Google Analytics installed. The free service provides meaningful insights into your site’s performance, helping you make improvements that will ultimately improve your business.
When you first open Google Analytics, you will most likely be very intimidated (and even highly confused)! Since Google Analytics was built with marketers in mind, there may be a steep learning curve if you try to analyze your website data on your own. If you’re lucky enough to work with a professional marketing company, they can do all the heavy lifting for you. They can analyze the data and present it to you in a straightforward way with recommendations for improvement.
If you’d like to dig around in your own Google Analytics account, the audience overview is a great place to start. It gives you an at-a-glance overview of the following basic metrics, based on your selected date ranges:
- Visits: How many people visit your site?
- Unique visitors: How many unique visitors come to your site?
- Page views: How many pages are visitors viewing when they are on your site?
- Pages per visit: What is the average number of pages viewed per visit?
- Average visit duration: How long do visitors stay on your site?
- Bounce rate: How many visitors come to your site and leave after a single page visit?
- New visitors: What percent of total visitors are visiting for the first time?
We like doing a deep dive into our clients’ analytics on a quarterly basis (along with basic monthly check-ins, if required). These reviews help our clients measure business goals against their websites’ effectiveness, and offer them insights into how to improve their visitors’ experiences, as well as how to drive more traffic to their sites.
Do you know how your website is performing? What analytics help you the most? Let us know in the comments below.
Few small businesses today question the marketing ROI of sites like Facebook and Twitter. Still, many small firms remain stuck in an awkward adolescence, unsure how to best use social media to engage their customers and integrate these standard tools with their overall business strategies.
While many small business owners realize it’s no longer sufficient simply to have a Facebook page, LinkedIn profile or Twitter handle, they often find themselves asking “now what?” after signing up for a social media account. For many, taking the social network plunge can be a daunting undertaking. But it’s not impossible if you keep these two concepts in mind.
Google is always evolving. Admittedly, some of my favorite innovations from the search engine giant are the interactive logos that appear every so often (did you see the zipper Google created last month in honor of Gideon Sundback’s birthday?).
Logo design aside, the company is trying constantly to create ways to search better, faster and more efficiently. There’s no stronger evidence of this inventive spirit than Knowledge Graph, Google’s latest and greatest in search result delivery.
One of the hallmarks of Google+ is that you’re actually sharing information with fewer people. The social media tool allows you to place contacts into separate groups called Circles, so users can keep their work colleagues in one group, personal contacts in another group, and so on. Before this segmented approach was available under Google+, we had two choices: Create multiple accounts (all of which need unique content and take time to sign in and out of), or send the same message out through one central account and risk only being relevant to a small percentage of your audience. As part of our three-part series on Google+, we’ll look at how the social media tool can help you target your marketing more effectively.
Vertical targeting: Wouldn’t it be great if every tweet or post was directly relevant to every reader? Google+ will bring us a lot closer to that, since you can create different Circles and place contacts in various groups as you please.
Consider a company that has prospects in every stage of the sales pipeline. Google+ will allow you post pieces introducing your work and trade show invitations to prospects, while targeting incentives to current customers to work with you once again or to refer new business to you. The ways you can sort your clients and prospects are endless, including location, company size, value of the sale, how much of a priority the target audience is and even the age of the decision-maker.
This isn’t to say that transmission services and segmented Google+ Circles are mutually exclusive. While e-blasting services also allow you to send information to specific verticals – and, unlike Google+, will provide you with analytics – Google+ offers a free supplementary outlet for targeted marketing. What’s more, it’s entirely possible that people are more willing to link with you on a trendy new social media outlet than to sign up for your e-newsletter. Simply put, marketers can use Google+ as a tool to increase the number of people who view their e-communications pieces and opt in to receive more of them in the future.
Remember that not every social media outlet is for every company. Some B2B companies offering five products total don’t need to segment their customer base any further. But for those that could benefit from segmentation, Google+ offers a powerful new way to accomplish that goal.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s entry – Google+ as a cloud-workflow tool.
Google recently announced the beta release of its new social media network, Google+, to a wave of speculation and curiosity. In addition to those seeking to link with friends and family in a new way, there undoubtedly will be those seeking to place a new skill in their social media marketing toolkits. It should be mentioned that businesses aren’t allowed to have profiles yet and that there is no timeline for when it will be opened to them (or the general public, for that matter). I managed to score an invite the night it was announced (not to brag or anything…) and have come up with a few examples of how Google+ might alter the social media landscape from a marketing perspective (at least in its current incarnation – the site is still in beta testing and is likely to continue to evolve).
Up first? Google+’s potential effect on your online rankings.
SEO: Will Google consider your Google+ profile in its SEO equation? Almost certainly – Google’s SEO rankings already include content posted across various social media channels (although using the same content across all channels only counts once). Early word is that Google will weigh a Google+ profile fairly and evenly against profiles on social media rivals Facebook and Twitter, but Google would be within its rights to rank it higher in its own proprietary equation (especially since it doesn’t have to tell anyone what that formula is).
Google Places: Similar to SEO, a robust Google+ profile with your address, phone number, fax number and multiple email addresses might raise your Google Places rank above other similarly qualified entries without that information. Appearing higher in these rankings would be a tremendous boon to companies that are being searched for under terms such as “Chicago construction.” Google+ could easily add a Places feature with tags to function as a sort of secondary SEO content tool.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s entry – Google+ as a transmission tool.
First came the spam filter. Now Google has embarked on a more ambitious e-mail filtration and prioritization feature for its Gmail mail service: Priority Inbox. Priority Inbox, which launched Aug. 31, prioritizes users’ e-mails using an algorithm that considers factors including senders, amount of people to which the e-mail was sent and keywords in the e-mail. It then pushes the most “important” e-mails into the Priority Inbox.
This article from CNN talks more about the feature. Google says that it created the feature because its users are overloaded with e-mails, but I’m not sure this is the solution to that problem. Would you use the Priority Inbox feature, or something like it? Or do you think the solution is a Band-Aid to the larger problem of e-mail excess?