For those who are not able to embark on a new website design this year as a New Year’s resolution mentioned in a previous post, there are other places where you can focus to keep your online marketing performance on track. A great place to start when analyzing your marketing performance from previous years is your website’s analytics data. If you weren’t tracking anything in 2009, then there is an easy New Years resolution for you!
If you have been tracking your efforts, what trends are you seeing? Where has the majority of your traffic originated from: organic, paid, direct traffic or referring sites? If you see that most of your traffic came through paid efforts, this might be a sign that shifting some of your focus to search engine optimization (SEO) to improve rankings may be valuable for you. Over time, as you monitor your analytics, you may start to see an opportunity to pull back on the paid traffic and rely more heavily on organic traffic, which is free!
Within your analytics, continue to dig deeper beyond the source of the traffic to see the behavior of your website’s visitors. What do visitors do when arriving at your site? Do they simply leave after viewing only one page (also known as a bounce)? In this case, look into where they are landing. There is a great report in Google Analytics called a Top Landing Pages report (particularly the Comparison view) which will enable you to have a quick and easy look at the landing pages that lead to a higher bounce rate than others. Or, perhaps you see many page views during visits, but very few conversions. If so, think about the user experience and the calls to action throughout the site. If you have an e-commerce site, perhaps it is the checkout process that is losing your visitors.
This year, strive to analyze your online marketing as a whole and source your analytics frequently. Within your analytics platform, it may be easy to look at a high level view of the traffic, but don’t ignore the detailed information available to you as well. This can shed light into ways to reduce costs, such as by possibly making a shift from less paid traffic to more organic traffic. Also use Google’s free tools, such as Google Analytics, Website Optimizer and Insights for Search to name a few. These tools can help you to analyze your website’s data, perform tests to continue to make improvements, and identify search volumes and patterns over time that may be relevant to your website or industry.