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FIND OUT EXACTLY HOW GOOD OR BAD YOUR WEB SITE IS DOING WITH A PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE ANALYSIS. A GOOD ANALYSIS SHOULD MAINLY FOCUS ON FINDABILITY, COMPETITOR RANKING AND GOAL CONVERSION.

Analytics:

Why do you have a website? What is your goal with it? Do you have a site just be online, get more clients/sales or advocate an issue dear to you? I often get people asking me to design a business card and then casually mention that they should probably get a small website so people can see them online. The same people will then send me a few sites where I need to get the copy from, a few pics taken online and finally, samples of sites they like. Not once, but a zillion times I have seen these people fail online, with search Engines penalising them and searches becoming a void.

Let me make it clear, if you want to have a measurable investment online - do it properly. Right from the start, even before I start design and layout - write down what you want to achieve with the site. Ultimately, a web site should earn you money. If its not doing that - go back to the drawing board and start analysing where the strong and weakpoints are.

Four concepts predominantly determines your initial success:

Can they find you when searching? (Ranking and position)
When found, do they click through to your site? (click through rate)
When they see the site, do they engage (view it) or leave (bounce)?
Did you achieve your goal? (Conversion)

 

Keeping track

Tracking starts with getting to know your market before you determine your goal. All of the above can be tracked and measured online, if at the outset, you created a measurable site. Google analytics will give you quite a few pointers on findability (search engine ranking), visitor demographics (new and repeat vistors) and quality score (the quality of search in relation to relevance). Keyword Planning becomes essential. Do the keywords used in your site relate to the search terms viewers are typing? Lastly: How many visitors in relation to conversions. Whether it is an online sale, a form completion or a competition entry - how many of your viewers engaged and responded?

 

The Jones...

Your website's primary goal is not only keeping up with the Jones, but ranking and performing better. Know your competition, locally and internationally. If someone in the same field performs better, look, investigate and improve your site content or design. Be vigilant and become a friend on their social media page. All of this can be verified and anylised online.

 

Again and again

Analytics is not a static excersise. I try to look weekly at my sites and evaluate performance. Initiate a concept/campaign, track and change - then start again. It's always rewarding, after a year, to see a bigger picture reflecting income fluctuations, traditional media campaign impact and ROI. It can be daunting in the beginning, but 12 months later, you will start seeing a pattern. For instance study loans will spike at beginning of year term, with a curious spike mid term. Be ready for them the next year with study loan campaigns two weeks before the spike. Read the newspapers (yes the printed stuff) and be attentive online. If competitors are running online/offline vouchers, do the same and track. Check your anlytics that week and see if it had an impact. If you launch a new product, push it with adwords and compare it with your organic (non paid) ranking.

 

A Handy Tip

Small to Medium Business owners: To make things cost effective - pick your top sellers or new products, not more than 5 and get analytics on them first. Once those products are giving you good return, invest on the remainder of your site. Same goes for seasonal spikes, i.e. change your analytics to track winter garments starting autumn or convertible sales starting spring. You do not have to track the complete site in order to get a clear picture. Start small and work your way outwards. Baby steps...

 

Worthy Reading

Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning by Thomas H. Davenport

"You have more information at hand about your business environment than ever before. But are you using it to “out-think” your rivals?".

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Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die by Eric Siegel

Prediction is powered by the world's most potent, booming unnatural resource: data. "

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Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt.

"Just read it..."

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