When it comes to the success of any online business, having a strategy and blueprint for your SEO strategy in place is critical.
But probably more important is having the tools in place to measure the success of the strategy itself so that you can refine and tweak it to continually grow the strategy.
Building a website and filling it with great content is not enough these days. If you want to be on top of the search engines, and stay there, you need to know exactly how your site is performing every minute of the day, and this is very simple to do.
Google Analytics is a totally free tool available to any website owner, and is very simple to use, allowing you to not only track the basic statistics for your site, such as where your visitors came from, how many visitors you had etc. Google Analytics also provides you with the information to generate a lot more information about your visitors such as their age, gender, town they are viewing your site from, their interests, even the screensize and model of the device they are viewing your site from. All this information can be compiled to create a great strategy for ensuring your site is set up to capture your target audience.
But it doesn’t just end there. Google Analytics also provide User Flow, which is a very handy tool that lets you see how your visitors are navigating through your website, which pages they view the most and most importantly which pages they are dropping off in. By viewing this information can help you see exactly which pages you need to examine and find out why they are dropping off on that particular page, and work on creating a call to action to prompt them to continue further through the site.
If you are selling products and they are dropping off on a particular product category or particular item, review the page and it’s content and figure out why they are dropping off. Maybe the prices are too expensive, the images are too small, the text uninteresting, or maybe there is nothing prompting them hard enough to buy the product. by simply adding plugins into your site to generate related products or price comparisons with other products can increase the traffic for that product so they compare prices on your own site rather than going off to another site.
I have seen clients run Google adsense ads amongst their own products, generating a loss of traffic, and probably sales, by sending them to a competitors site for the sake of making 50 cents on a Google ad click.
By analysing your analytics, can tell you so much about your own site.
Google Analytics can be customised quite a bit to the exact information you want to gather.
Some of the core areas you should focus on when setting your analytics up are:
Speed of site loading
No one likes waiting for a page to load, and Google actually may penalise your site if it takes too long for the content to load. By running Google’s PageSpeed tools can tell you the loading speed of your site, and then using your analytics work out which pages are loading too slow and review the content creating the issue. In most cases a simple image resize or maybe turning some of your WordPress plugins off will dramatically increase your loading time.
Google allows you to create goals to track the action your site visitors take. You can set goals for a call to action, such as clicking on a banner, a button or downloading a catalogue, or other aspects. Ensuring your visitor is getting value out of your site is critical not only for the success of your online business sales, but also helps lower your bounce rate and in turn gives your site a higher quality score for value of content. Analyse the pages where your goals may be falling short and look at how you can improve this, by creating goals for each page.
Measuring the behaviour of your visitors is another important area as this can tell you if your user type are new or returning visitors. Obviously both are good for business, but ensuring you retain visitors and keep them coming back is important for every business, either online or offline, as this builds trust. By adding in a strategy to lure them back with possibly a coupon code, a product of the month, or via email marketing, can see your return rate soar, building your site’s credibility.
For attracting new visitors, blog posting is always a cost effective and informative way to attract new visitors, especially if linked to your social media posts. Schedule the posts at the prime times of the day that suit your target audience and you’ll find you’ll quickly gain plenty of new visitors to your blog posts. Add a call to action on each blog post page, such as a pop up mailing list box, or a coupon code, and you have them hooked!
Google Analytics can provide a lot more information than noted above, which can ensure you almost guaranteed success if monitored regularly, so if you are not using Google Analytics for planning and managing your ongoing strategy you should!