by Kim Niemi
The end of each quarter is a good time to check in on a variety of things – like your action plan, your budget, your editorial calendar, and of course Web analytics.
Many avoid this task because they don’t know what they’re doing, and admittedly analytics can seem scary. There are so many things to consider, to track, and to plan for.
But putting OUT (online) without measuring how that output is being received or what’s coming back, is sort of like driving a car blindfolded.
You don’t stand a chance of reaching your destination – and you can do a lot of damage in the meantime.
Part of the problem, especially if you’re new to measuring analytics, is that there’s so much information out there, it can be hard to know where to start. There are a variety of tutorials available at and about each social platform, and getting the most out of whatever analytics they offer. But what about the broader picture, namely your website? What should you be tracking there, and how do you get the most out of your overall Web presence?
Here are some areas to understand and explore to improve your analytic results:
SEM – Search engine marketing involves optimizing and promoting your website so it achieves better results in search. This might involve rewriting Web content to include high-ranking search terms (SEO), or pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.
CRM – Customer relationship management might not seem like it falls under the analytics umbrella, but when you consider that your website is FOR your customers, it becomes hard to ignore that angle. Having an eye on the customer side as you’re creating your Web experience can give you an edge over the many businesses that don’t.
Tools & Add-ons – Capturing analytics doesn’t have to be a hassle. If you need to know more than your hosting company offers, but can’t afford to hire a team of experts to wrangle every metric known to man, expand your reach and simplify your process with things like sharing widgets (especially in your blog) and toolbars like Mozbar.
In the end, all of this effort with SEM, SEO, etc. is in the name of higher page rankings on Google. Google Analytics is no small subject, nor is it for the feint-of-heart – then again, neither is anything else mentioned above.
Luckily the Internet is nothing if not a treasure trove of experts ready to share their knowledge with you, in terms you can understand. For help with any of the above, here are five bloggers with all the answers you could ever want. Follow them and come next quarter you’ll be looking forward to finding out what your analytics have to tell you.
Have a great analytics tip to share? Hit me up on Twitter!
IMAGE CREDIT: LOURDES NIGHTINGALE