Customer’s often come to me here at BizMarketinginaBox.com and ask me a simple question: “Teena, why do you say web statistics can help your business?”.
“Tell me – in a nutshell – how CAN web stats help my business, Teena?”
- The simplest explanation is that you can see exactly WHAT someone typed into a search engine before they chose your Description and Link, and landed on one of your web pages (these “search terms” or “keyword phrases” are like gold for the clever business owner).
- Web stats also show whether someone used a search engine, or read an article about your business, or listened to a podcast, or read an ebook or a book, etc etc — wouldn’t you like to know which one of your marketing efforts paid off? If you advertised in Craigslist or Gumtree, or paid for Google Adwords, would you like to know someone actually clicked your advert? Of course you would – you’re a smart business person who wants to know the “return on investment” – the ROI of whether money spent resulted in clicks, traffic and sales.
- If you write a Newsletter, you can see how many people clicked links and visited your website, and even follow their clicks as they moved through interesting info on your website (if you’re using stats software which can show you this, like Statcounter).
If you start to LOOK at your statistics, you can learn:
- which keyword phrases were used to find you, and which you can now use to create MORE PAGES OR POSTS so that MORE people will find your information online
- if one particular marketing effort is WORKING (like Press Releases, or being interviewed and having that published, or writing an ebook and placing juicy links inside) — then you’ll be able to “rinse and repeat” to boost your efforts
- if one or more of your efforts is NOT WORKING, you’ll be able to see that too – and then make a wise decision to stop spending money on that one marketing technique.
Ahh yes, a very good question indeed and an important one too for anyone who is looking to understand how to make sure their marketing efforts are paying off. And because I get this question so often, today I decided to write an article explaining to you the reasons why it’s so important to use your statistics to help you understand your business.
In the image above I’ve created a snapshot inside the dashboard for the website statistics of a 7 day period for one of my websites. The green area represents how many page views occurred during those 7 days, and the blue area shows how many unique visitors came to my site.
The fact that the greeen area is so much larger than the blue is because each visitor was tracked by the software, and viewed many more than one page each. So – what did I do to achieve these good results?
On Saturday I published a newsletter and over the next two days my page views increased by almost 400 percent – this is an excellent result!
Here’s another example from a different website – these results are also very promising:
So what can we learn from this?
- sending out email newsletters can boost the activity on our websites
- if we provide links and buttons within the content of our web pages and blog posts encouraging visitors to “view more”, people will click through to read more if our content is interesting enough
- if we write “stories” about our products and services and how they’ve helped people, more folks will click through to read more stories – everyone loves to hear about how others have been helped by us – the business owner
- the more articles and stories our website visitors read, the more they’ll get to know us, like us and eventually trust us enough to do business with us.
I also check several other statistics, like Recent Keyword Activity:
Recent Keyword Activity gives me two very important pieces of information – which search engine the “query” or “keyword phrase” was typed into, and which “keyword phrase” was typed. I check this on a regular basis because this can provide powerful information for me to start using when I create new pages for my website.
Each of the items on the left of the image above are important, and it only takes a second or two to check them. When I have all this information I can quickly see how that visitor ended up on my site — was it from an article online, a Press Release I published, a video I posted on Youtube, a newsletter I sent out?
Statistics for the past 30 days
If we look at the image above which respresents the past 30 days of a website’s statistics, it’s easy to see the two highest green peaks have outperformed all the other weeks in “page views” (or “page loads”).
As a business owner, it’s up to us to work out WHY.
- Was it the content of the Newsletter?
- was it the pages we sent them to from the Newsletter?
- was our Newsletter suddenly more interesting than in the past?
- did we use a lot more hyperlinking between pages to encourage our readers to click through to more pages?
We can drill down into our stats to find some of this out — or we can do something even simpler — we could ASK our Newsletter readers. We could simply ask that question in the next Newsletter, or create a little Quiz for folks to fill in, or ASK your subscribers to tell you WHAT they enjoyed the most and would like more of. By engaging with your visitors this way you’re opening up a conversation – and this leads to creating a rapport and potential long-term loyalty from your readers (subscribers). Can you see how powerful this is? Do you think you’d like to be able to have conversations with your readers about this? Yes? Excellent!
Which website analytics software is best to know how web statistics can help your business?
Most business owners are probably aware that they should have Google Analytics tracking their website statistics (if you don’t know about this, pop over to http://google.com/analytics and sign up). You can also have Google Webmaster Tools tracking your site, which alerts you to other things you can be doing for you site which aren’t covered by web statistics.
When I set up client websites, I like to also install Statcounter.com – and the main reason is because you can see colourful graphs and charts like the one above, right in the dashboard of your site, and it’s :
- quick and easy to use
- easy to understand
- easy to comprehend (as an image)
- easy to follow your Visitor’s path through and around your site (to see what they clicked on NEXT)
- easy to see keyword phrases at a glance, where they came from, what they clicked on, and much much more.
Yes Google Analytics does a lot of this too, but over the years I’ve listened to my website clients and the majority of them have all come to love their Statcounter stats – many have said they’re just so much easier to understand than the others, and so I continue to install them.
I don’t get any commission for recommending Statcounter, but I did want to share their name with you so you can check them out and see what you think.
Oh – did I tell you it doesn’t cost anything for 7 days of stats at a time? If you need to view more, you can pay their very low monthly fees.
If you’d like to have Statcounter.com installed on your website but you’re not sure how to do that, please do get in touch with me and I may be able to help you out.
How to Login to Statcounter to check your website statistics
What’s your take on this? Do you believe web statistics can help your business too? Have you got a story to share? I’d love to hear your thoughts, and really appreciate the time you take to share your comments.