How To Manage And Analyze Your Website Traffic
Something that’s come to the front of the online world in the last few years is analytics.
There seems to be analytics software for everything these days.
There is software that gives you information and even software that takes that information and tells you exactly the action you should take to make improvements to your website and to your business.
It can all seem very important and analytics certainly are for a business, but I online analytics can certainly steer you in the wrong direction on certain things.
Sales Are All That Matters
My first job out of college was for a direct mail catalog company. One of the first things I learned on the job was that profit was the ultimate factor in every marketing activity the company did.
The business had been around for more than 100 years and I was fresh out of college. I figured it was wise to listen to what was being said and over my five years working with the company I had the pleasure of working with some really smart and talented people.
I learned a lot, but that original lesson on profit still remains the most important thing I learned about business including anything I learned during college or previous schooling.
Online Business Is About Profit
You see very little about profit in the online world. You get told about engagement and views and visits.
Some of these things lead to profit and some of them don’t.
What’s important to remember with analytics is to get yourself back to profit.
For a time I took the analytics program off my site Country Music Life. My focus was to get email subscribers and pageviews. The goal with that site is to build an audience that comes back again and again. To do that it required subscribers so decisions were made off that.
It’s always good to start with your business goals when you’re looking at your analytics program.
For GBW, we look at a few different metrics all relating back to sales and profit.
We have changed the content and the design to focus on our ideal customer. We want to attract a small to medium-sized business that needs more traffic and sales. The content on GBW is written in a way to attract those people to the site and to get them through the sales process until they reach out to inquiry.
This goes beyond traffic, which we discuss a lot here on the GBW Blog. When we’re working on traffic for our blog or for those of our clients we always focus on the right kind of targeted traffic.
The process starts with the business goals and the ideal customer. From there we write blog posts with the goal to bring those ideal customers to the site through search and social.
Managing Your Analytics Program
This is how you can manage your analytics program internally. I’ve seen how easy it can be to get lost in all kinds of analytics. There is so much data that you can get lost and confused.
If you keep the focus on your goals, the ideal customer and profit you’ll be in a better position to manage your analytics program.
Track your traffic, inquiries and new clients. If those start to falter you can dig in and see what you have to do on the site to increase those outcomes.
If you focus only on things like engagement, comments and traffic you can go down a wrong path. Optimizing for those things may lead to profit, but it doesn’t always work like that.
The final piece of information to remember is to focus on the long-term.
So much of the web analytics world is focused on conversion, which occurs in the short-term.
A new inquiry is great for GBW, but it has to be the type of inquiry that leads to a profitable long-term client relationship.
It goes beyond the single act of a conversion. It’s about the entire sales process.
Image: Steve Jurvetson