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You always hear people say, “It’s not the number that matters.” Well I disagreed. Call me downright shallow, but here is my dirty little secret. I don’t care only how I “feel” in my clothes; I still weigh myself to see the number. I have found more often then not, people who proudly boast that they have “thrown away the scale,” are the ones who secretly weigh themselves in other people’s bathrooms at a dinner party. Ok, maybe not everyone does this, but in a business setting knowing the numbers is a must. Measuring can apply to so many areas to be utilized as a future indicator for change, growth, strategies, eliminations and new additions, yet you would be surprised at the number of companies that don’t use analytics and just shoot in the dark.
For example, most people in business will proudly say they own a website. But start to ask them about what’s really going on in there and they will be as quiet as a box of hair. It completely boggles my mind that many businesses just stop there. They know they are “required” to have a website in order to have an online presence, but usually don’t have any idea what their analytics are or how to use the results as a powerful marketing tool. Think of a website and blog as a GPS, giving off loads of information for your marketing strategies showing you the way.
Ask yourself this -do you know how to get leads? Sales? When or from where? Any clue what key-words perform best or how your site is ranking? What is it really costing you and what areas need to be strengthened? How’s your internal search working? How are traffic and conversions locally, nationally, or over the big pond? Are people doing what you want them to do when they come to your website? (Buying your stuff, not wandering off to make a sandwich) Are they finding the products they want? How are your SEO and PPC campaigns doing these days? What are SEO and PPC anyway?
This is akin to joining a gym, faithfully going in everyday and sitting on the lobby floor.
“Well” you say –“I joined the gym didn’t I? Look, everyone can see I am here” then scratch your head and wonder, “now what do I do and how do I gain improvement, increase my strength, and what is this costing me? How do I get in shape? Lose weight? Heck, I don’t even know what I weighed in the beginning.”
We’ve all heard preaching on the subject of ROI (return on investment) until we are blue in the face. Businesses are understandably looking for an excellent return on their advertising dollars; and many may even be going to marketing hell for ditching some of the traditional marketing and jumping onto the internet marketing band wagon. But without a true understanding on how to read and manipulate the “what’s going on in there” part, you are right back to where you started. You’re still sitting on the gym floor and everyone else is passing you by, and rolling up their sleeves ready to do the work that gets the results.
According to one study’s projections for 2009 – 2014, money spent on web marketing will climb to a mind boggling $55 billion. That’s nothing to shake a stick at unless you own oil. A full 70% of those surveyed said they will be adding analytics, online video, mobile marketing and social media to their budgets. You will need a way to analyze and keep track of all of these efforts.
Digital advertising is no longer a hazy mystery, but the core of a powerful marketing approach. This combined with a strong analytic strategy can pack a powerful punch into your campaign, while potentially changing the entire face of your company. Companies all over the world are already treading water just to keep up with the technology and expertise in this new arena. We now see a shift in businesses utilizing outside experts for online marketing and analytic strategies, seeing them as an extension of their own staff.
Using a web marketing expert shouldn’t be an option, but be an essential part of all marketing budgets. Although not a silver bullet, we can’t ignore web marketing’s value anymore, and can’t afford to do it incorrectly. It takes skill, experience and a keen eye to provide innovative internet marketing while leveraging sharp in-depth analytics to recognize strategies that work effectively for true growth and brand awareness.
See you at the gym.
Lisa’s Web Analytics To-Do List
- what marketing efforts or parts of the site have challenges
- what needs to be improved
- what areas need to be tested
- what efforts should be reduced
- what efforts should be increased
Then, prioritize based on the answers above based on what will specifically impact objectives. The data is there, waiting for you to turn it into valuable information to help your business succeed with your web strategy. Take the time to make business decisions that are supported by facts.