In our July 8 “Master social media” column, we touched on the importance of measuring the success of your social media marketing. The first thing to do is to attend our free monthly Internet Optimization Workshop, held the third Wednesday of every month at the College of Central Florida Citrus Campus in Lecanto. To register for the Aug. 15 workshop, on our website click Take A Workshop and select Citrus County SCORE Workshop. You may attend in person or online.
Rich Hunzinger covered the second most important action you can take in his July 18 workshop — use Google Analytics, a highly effective website analysis platform that allows businesses to assess how well they’re doing with their online marketing efforts. The link is https://analytics.google.com. Do not be intimidated, it’s easier than you think to use their analytics and increase your knowledge.
A sidebar here while speaking of Google — if you are in Levy County, you should seriously consider registering for our Google Workshop at the College of Central Florida’s Chiefland Campus, sponsored by SCORE Citrus/Levy County and the Chiefland Chamber of Commerce. It will be from 5:30-7:30 pm. Aug. 28. We get rave reviews when Pamela Starr presents this “must-attend” workshop. To register, go to www.citruscounty.score.org, click Take A Workshop, select the Levy County Google Workshop and then click register. You’ll be glad you did!
Back to analytics: According to Mark Boyd, SEO director at Mind Development & Design, you don’t have to be an SEO (search engine optimization) expert to glean valuable insight from Google Analytics. By familiarizing yourself with how to pull some basic information, you can gain an understanding of how well your website is performing for your business.
“Not only can you track results, but you can also track how you’ve gotten those results,” says Boyd.
With Google Analytics, you can track:
- Traffic volume — View your daily and monthly traffic, and monitor ebbs and flows, and highs and lows.
- Average time visitors spend on your website — See the pages visitors viewed while on your site and how much time they spent on them.
- Bounce rate — This reflects the number of visitors who left your website after only visiting one page. Bounce rate and average time spent on a website are closely tied. When a visitor views multiple pages, the time onsite is typically longer than if they landed on one page and left.
- Number and percentage of new and repeat visits — Knowing this can help as you build engagement with your audience. You can see what percentage of your daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly visits are new visitors versus repeat visitors.
- Traffic sources — You can see geographically where your website traffic is coming from and if the traffic sources are organic listings, pay-per-click ads, referrals (such as from social media), etc.
- Compare current traffic to that of previous months and years — This enables you to compare performance and detect trends.
All of these can help you understand how your website engages visitors and how effective your off-site digital marketing efforts are at driving traffic to your website. And these are only what are at the tip of the analytics iceberg; there’s much more data available, but interpreting some of it requires a higher degree of knowledge about the platform.
“My favorite part of Google Analytics is comparing current numbers to the previous year,” says Boyd. “It’s amazing how you can see the same traffic trends from year to year. That’s very helpful in planning your SEO, paid advertising and social media efforts.”
For guidance and resources to help you with your marketing strategy (or any other business need), contact SCORE Citrus/Levy County at 352-249-1236 and schedule a meeting so we can assign you a certified mentor. Mentoring is free and SCORE’s certified mentors have a broad range of expertise in all aspects of starting, growing or fixing a struggling business.
Jeff Bauman is certified mentor and chapter secretary of SCORE Citrus/Levy County.