Saturday, October 23, 2010

Internet Marketing is Impossible without Stats!

Okay, so you’ve got your website! Congratulations. Now what? Before you jump out and set up facebook, twitter, and blogger and accounts, check your stats packages. You might need to call your webmaster to find out what they installed and how to access it, but trust me, it’s going to make the eventual difference between an effective website that draws in new customers, and a website you use to show your friends that you have a website.

Maybe I went overboard on one client’s site. From the moment we show up anywhere in the top 300 listings on google, to the time they leave our page, I know where they went, how long they spent there, where the left to, what they clicked, and even the likelihood that they are reading certain things. For a site that sells nothing and only serves to drive customers to a brick and mortar location, it may seem overkill, but this work allowed me to develop an SEO strategy that took six months for them to outpace every competitor, take top ranking on over  thirty local search results and oddly enough landing on the top of international search results in some things we never even tried. All of this without spending a dime on Pay Per Click programs.

Once a week, I compile a report of search rankings, inbound links, time spent on site and most popular pages. At a glance, I can determine what has worked, what isn’t working, and sometimes even identify emerging trends that I had never anticipated. Being able to take a weekly look at trends allows our methods to stay dynamic and to identify approaches that need more attention.

Sometimes poor stats are worse than no stats. Let me give an example.

Our blog gets more hits each day than our website, but only drives 1% of its traffic through to our homepage. Since we are a local business, this makes sense, people reading from around the world are going to find local vendors after using our blog entries to find out about a topic. With a poor statistical plan, you might kill the blog as ineffectual, since it drives almost no traffic to your site. However, with a good plan, you will notice that every topic you blog about sees a corresponding rise in search engine traffic from that query a week or two later.

You see, sometimes the most important readers of a blog are the search engines. Because the content of your blog and links back to your homepage are effectively reaching two audiences; your blog readers and search engine users. This is easy to see with good stat tracking, but nearly impossible to intuit without. If all you get is a list of referring links, and you see the blog sitting on the bottom, it’s easy to think the blog is useless, but by looking at everything going on around it, you will see that it is one of your most effective marketing tools.

If you lack stats, analytics or webmaster tools, contact us at Urban Merit! We offer a free 30 minute consultation for new clients in the Ukiah area, let us show you how to stand out!

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