Whether you are a small business or a Fortune 500 company, everyone wants to make sure that the money they are spending on marketing and advertising is well spent. In order to maximize your investment you need to learn to LOVE data. And some of the best data can be harnessed from your website.
When a customer walks into your store or gives you a call you can ask them "how did you find out about us?" This is a very important question and the insights you gain from it help direct how you best reach future prospective customers. You need to do the exact same thing online.
You need to be tracking every, single aspect of your website. In essence, this is your daily, free, market research. Companies that love data and USE it are the ones who stay up with the times, have customers who adore them, whip their competition and stay profitable.
If you don't already have an analytics software installed on your website, you can either install a free software like Google Analytics or you can use a website platform that has it built right in like Hubspot. Once you have it installed you should make a happen of checking it daily to see what is going on in these ares:
Where are People Coming From
- How are people getting to your site? Is it search engines, social media, direct by typing your web address, emails, etc?
- Of the top 3 avenues that people are coming from, what do they all have in common? Do you have a big focus on those areas currently? Are they really established, like social media and SEO?
- How can you improve the traffic from the other avenues? Can you integrate your offline with your online marketing? Get creative, think like your target consumer and take pieces of what is working well in your top 3 avenues.
- Also take into account any big campaigns that you have going on at certain points. Did your radio campaign cause an increase in traffic? What about that charity event you sponsored? You can even create specific landing pages or purls for each campaign so you can get really targeted information about how all of your marketing is working together.
Get Them Coming Back For More
- How many of the people who are coming to your site are new and how many are returning? Having new customers is great, but you also want those people who have already bought or are still in the buying process coming back for more. A healthy balance is key here.
- If returning customers are lacking, how can you encourage people to re-engage? Are you continually nurturing them with email blasts, calls, social media, events, mailings, a loyalty program, etc? In all of marketing, things work best when they work together. If people aren't returning to your site something from your other marketing programs is likely missing.
Landing Pages That Seduce
- What pages of your website are getting the most action? Is one offer from the home page out-performing another? Why? Try some different A/B testing to see if it is just the positioning, color, wording, etc or if that offer is just not as appealing. Once you feel confident about why people are gravitating to that offer, try to repeat that success with a similar one.
- Where are people spending the most time when they are on your site? The blog, watching videos, finding out more about the company? This gives you a really good sense of what the hot buttons of your prospects are. So listen to them and give them more of it.
Blogs, Social Media Posts and Emails
- Which blogs are most popular? Again, this is your insight into what your target market wants. You can focus more attention on certain topics and even condense them into a whitepaper that people can download.
- What social media posts get the most engagement? Which network seems to have the broadest impact to your customers and prospects - are people on Facebook or Google+? Is there a specific time of day that gets more action? A lot of insights are offered through Facebook's own analytics. Use them to improve how you interact. Just remember, this is NOT the place to be all used car salesman in a cheap suit.
- Do people respond to your emails better when you send them a video or a link to a coupon or offer? Do they like simple emails or cool ones with a ton of pictures? Website analytics will give you insight on how people behave once they get to your site, but make sure that you are paying attention to the reporting from your email platform as well in terms of bounce rates, click through rates and opens.
Key to Success
In marketing, as with most things, there is no silver bullet or quick fixes. The key to ensuring that your marketing is a success is data and putting that information to good use. Simple as that. But, it is time consuming and takes a commitment. Make it a part of your routine or get some outside help to do it for you.