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What SMEs need to know for effective marketing in 2016 – seminar summary

Last week, TLC Business held our annual marketing seminar at The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton, but with a slight twist. We teamed up with Simon Harmer and his company Blown Away to deliver an inspirational session for businesses looking to get their marketing up and running.

This year, the focus was to ‘Get Your Marketing in Order for 2016’, and this blog will outline the main themes explored on the day, just in case you missed it!

Social media

With social media now firmly embedded into all our lives, it is clearly of big importance to us marketers. To help you succeed in your social media exploits, here are some top tips:

  1. Make sure your timing’s are on point. Many businesses fail to engage with their social media audience because they are posting at the wrong times. There are now a variety of scheduling platforms such as Buffer that suggests the best times to post updates for your business – so take advantage!
  2. Get your business on the right platforms. If you’re looking to build meaningful B2B connections and the ability to forge lasting business relationships, then LinkedIn consistently comes out on top as your best bet. In contrast, if you’re a B2C organisation and are looking to drive audience engagement and ultimately sales, then Facebook tops the list.
  3. Ensure that your posts have that ‘visual’ appeal. Posts that contain an image are 94% more likely to be shared than ones that don’t. Many marketers miss out on this simple trick that can increase social media engagement and reach dramatically!
  4. Posting the same content to all channels can become a bit tedious for your audience if they are present on each platform. Take advantage of the respective strengths of each social media platform and post content accordingly.

SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is still perceived by many as a bit of a dark art. Despite constant algorithm updates, there are still opportunities to play the SEO game effectively and win.

Google is increasingly positioning itself as an ‘answers engine’. The advent of mobile has also put the cats amongst the pigeons (excuse the pun for those SEO geeks out there!) meaning there are even more opportunities to make your local business standout from the crowd.

Tips:

  1. Ensure that Google Analytics and Webmaster tools are installed and active on your website. Combined they will give you all the information you need (and more!) to get your website to be the best it can be. Google Webmaster tools will tell you what terms your site is being found for in Google, as well as identify any aspects of your site that are holding it back.
  2. Take full advantage of Google’s Keyword Planner to help inform the decision making process behind the keywords you choose to optimise your website pages for. And remember, keywords don’t have to be one word; they can effectively be phrases too.
  3. If you only do a few things SEO related on your website, make sure two of them are creating unique meta titles and descriptions optimised for the keyword-focus for each particular page.
  4. Get involved with Google Developer for page speed insights and how accessible on desktop or mobile your website is. Google gives marketers an insight into the loading speeds of their website, and will also give tips on how to increase load speed times. Alongside this, Google Developer provides a mobile-friendly test that will give marketers the tips and improvement suggestions they need to make their site better for mobile users.

PPC

96% of Google’s revenue comes from PPC ads, so clearly PPC is an important tool for them. We are sure you must be aware of the ads that populate Google’s search results pages! Statistics show that the top 3 ads on each search page receive 46% of traffic. PPC click-through rates are also shown to be 10 times higher than organic search clicks.

So what influences a good PPC ad? Each ad on every search page is ranked by Google. One’s ad rank is based on their cost-per-click and quality score. Your ads quality score has the ability to make or break your campaigns success. The quality score is made up of your ads click through rate, alongside your ads relevance to the keyword and your landing page’s relevance to the targeted keyword. The more relevant the better!

Tips:

  1. Make your ad text as relevant as possible to the keyword and ensure your landing page is targeted at that keyword too! Try getting your landing page’s URL to include the keyword in too.
  2. Get retargeting. Retargeting has given us marketers another tool to boost our marketing with. With retargeted visitors 70% more likely to convert, it doesn’t come as a surprise that retargeting is another highly effective marketing technique. To put it in its most simple form, retargeting is the practice of serving display ads to people who have previously engaged with your brand. It is vital for marketers looking to increase marketing results in 2016, helping to drive sales and increase brand awareness.  The numbers are compelling. Statistics have shown that retargeted ads receive a 0.70% click-through rate, compared to just 0.07% for regular display ads. Following this, brand search exposure can increase by over 1000%, just from retargeting. With this in mind, retargeting is a must for 2016!

E-marketing

With 2.6 billion email users worldwide, it doesn’t come as a surprise that e-marketing is still a massive hit with marketers. It is reported that for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $44.25, providing yet more reason for you to start thinking about promotion through email if you haven’t done so already.

The popularity of email marketing is continuing to grow, and more email scheduling platforms are being introduced. Platforms such as Campaign Monitor, ReplyApp and MailChimp are great tools for creating, scheduling and managing marketing email campaigns.

Tips:

  1. Use email marketing platforms such as Campaign Monitor to split test each email campaign. This will allow you to identify what content and approach is most effective at meeting your objectives and enables you to continually refine and improve on what works best.
  2. Personalisation is key! Send emails that are personalised to the recipient. Include their name in the subject line, reference topics and include content that they have expressed in interest in. This will not only help build better relationships between your business and consumer, but it will be demonstrable through better engagement and open rates.
  3. Make the email content mobile-friendly, that way the emails can be accessed by a wider audience.

Content Marketing

Creating and sharing content that engages your audience (Content Marketing in a nutshell!) is now a vital component of the marketing mix for marketers. New and fresh content should be published regularly. What regularly looks like depends on your audience. For B2B marketers, 26% post news and updates multiple times a week.

92% of businesses that use social media, use it as a tool to present content. Email is another vital content distribution tool.  LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube make up the top 3 for effectiveness when sharing content, but all have different advantages and disadvantages; therefore it’s important to make sure your content is tailored to your different channels.

Top Tools

With 2016 approaching, what are the top tools for more effective marketing? We have identified Datananas as a potentially effective tool for those looking to build their professional database, with its ability to export LinkedIn users and their contact information from LinkedIn without the need to be connected to them.

Other platforms like Buffer have also popped up on the radar, with its unique imaging software – Pablo! Brands are now able to upload an image of their choice and add text to it, making each social media post unique and eye-catching for their audience.

SumoMe is another top marketing tool for 2016, incorporating a series of apps all designed to get your website and content working. The toolbox includes on page analytics, free traffic for your site, image sharer and a smart bar that will increase your number of email subscribers – amazing!

What else is there to add to the marketing tool list? Google’s Webmaster Tools crops up again! As mentioned before, Google’s Webmaster Tools is a vitally important tool for anyone with a website. With the ability to understand your site’s organic search performance, as well as providing tips and tricks on how to get more traffic, the tool is a must.

One New Year’s resolution for you – download these marketing tools!

So, what matters for SMEs?

We think the top 5 themes that SMEs should consider in 2016 are:

  1. Content is king – still!
  2. Analytics
  3. Personalisation
  4. Online ads
  5. Video

We hope you find this useful and would like to thank everyone who attended. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

#MarketingTitbits – John Lewis’ Christmas Ad, Google Analytics, Marketing Predictions

christmas-google-predictions1. Is John Lewis playing with fire with its annual Christmas advert?
With the combination of John Lewis Christmas ads being the second most shared of all time, will #ManOnTheMoon be another unqualified success? According to BrandWatch, the ad was mentioned more than 23,000 times on social media just two hours after its launch. With such huge expectation, is there a risk associated with pursuing such campaigns year after year?

John Lewis has definitely caught our attention with their Christmas ad, and the top marketers from the Post Office, eHarmony and Virgin Games have given their verdicts. Romain Bertrand, eHarmony’s marketing director, states “#ManOnTheMoon delivers all the things we’ve come to expect from a John Lewis Christmas ad”, but will the leading brand be able to keep up with the hype each year? We will have to see.

To see what the other marketing magicians thought, click here.

2. Should we dare to leap beyond Google Analytics?

It doesn’t come as a surprise that many marketers use Google Analytics as their primary website analytics tool, but are there others out there? With the tool being part of the Google family, we feel that we can trust it; our peers use the tool, its free, and provides top level website performance statistics.

The question is – should we leap beyond Google Analytics? There are a many of tools available to you which help to form an insight into your website data. Behavioural insights from the likes of Decibel Insight and Hotjar are a ‘must’ for marketers, as well as testing tools such as Optimizely and Visual Web Optimizer. These tools vary in cost and each offer different insights. Whether you feel you need them as an addition to Google Analytics is very much down to your specific requirements. What we can say is that there is a whole world of web analytics tools out there beyond Google’s offering, make sure you explore them.

Click here to find out more.

3. 16 marketing predictions for 2016

With the internet turning into television and mobile turning into our new browser, have you wondered what will happen to marketing in 2016? For an expert perspective, some of the leading marketers, including CEOs, authors and executive recruiters have been asked for their thoughts – enjoy!

IBMs Chief Marketing Officer, Deepak Advani, believes the key for marketing in 2016 is cognitive commerce. Brian Kardon, CMO of ThinkingPhones, believes real-time marketing analytics will unite online and offline behaviour for richer lead scoring and nurturing in 2016. However, Michael Schinelli, CMO of UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, states that digital marketing will cease, as marketers move towards a concept of marketing in a digital world.

Do you have a prediction for marketing in 2016? Share it with us today! Or click here for the full list of predictions.

#MarketingTitbits – Masters of Marketing, Instagram, Google Analytics

award-photo1. Get your nominations in for brand of the year at the Masters of Marketing Awards
Marketing Week are seeking nominations for the ‘brand of the year’ category at the Masters of Marketing Awards, held at this year’s Festival of Marketing. They’re on the hunt for their readers to name the brand whose work has impressed them the most in 2015.

The Masters of Marketing is a new way of celebrating the most inspirational work in the marketing industry. The ‘brand of the year’ must be capable of showing the power of marketing to the wider business community, as well as demonstrating marketing excellence to their consumers.

To find out how to nominate, click here.

2. How Instagram is changing the way brands look at photography, online and beyond

Instagram has completely reinvented the way people see themselves and others. Design teams are beginning to see the benefits of moving away from over-edited photography and instead are favouring Instagram’s more organic look.

As Nathan Iverson states, evp and design director at Deutsch LA, “Instagram certainly isn’t pioneering the use of effects, but it is resurrecting and evolving an old-school aesthetic”. For advertisers, the network has quickly become one of the top ad platforms for major brands, so designers are beginning to move from traditional designs in favour of content that looks more natural.

Click here for more information.

3. How to stop referral spam from screwing up your Google Analytics stats

Google Analytics users will know the dreaded task of finding ways to stop referral spam, but we might have found the solution. Referral spam has been a trend for the last year or two, and is virtually impossible to prevent. It occurs when some corrupt website owner attempts to send bogus referral traffic to a website or product; however this is not actual traffic.

So how do we get rid of referral spam? Econsultancy shows us how Google Analytics filtering allows the website owner to filter out any concerning referral traffic so they can’t interfere in the future.

To find out how to do so, click here.

SEO: Video makes a difference

seo-image-final!Last month, we provided you with a series of top tips to help you improve the visibility of your website, by uploading regular, quality content.  To help you make the most of your website, the second part of our ‘demystifying SEO’ blog delves into the world of video and viral marketing.
If executed correctly, video content can be extremely beneficial when trying to improve your organisation’s position online.  The average internet user views 32.2 videos a month and it’s been shown that videos can increase the number of website visits by 55%. It has also been predicted that by 2014, 90% of website traffic will be video. With numbers that significant, what business would argue against the incredible opportunity video can offer your organisation?

In order to use video to boost your online presence, it is important to consider the following points.

1.  Outline your SEO goals, strategy and content:

With SEO and video, it’s important to first establish what you want to achieve. Do you want to increase your social presence? Generate lots of views on YouTube, or perhaps create more tailored traffic to your website? Designing and making the video is the simple part, but companies often fail when it comes to defining goals and putting an online strategy in place. Goals can include:

  • Improving website traffic as a whole or for specific pages
  • Generating social shares and creating a viral campaign
  • Increase sales from your website
  • Building your brand awareness online

In addition to this, you will need to decide what type of video you want to produce. Over 80% of the videos that list in Google’s search results are informational. Pushy sales videos do not tend to rank as well within Google, so it is important that you produce content that appeals to your target market and adds value.  Video content can include.

  • Client testimonials
  • Introducing your organisation and team
  • Product demonstrations
  • Top industry tips
  • Fun viral video about your organisation

2.  Include a title and description within your videos:

Search engines look at the information you have provided about the video and compare it with the context of the page that the video is on. If the page title and the video title match up, there is more of a chance that you will get a higher ranking on Google.  It is also very important to make your video’s title specific; you are much more likely to rank higher when the keyword is not too general.

3.  Take into account the length of your video – less is more

Most people would rather spend two minutes watching an interesting video than spend ten minutes reading an article. Statistics show that people tend to engage with online videos for 2.5 minutes on average, so when making your video, try not to make it too long in order to keep you audience interested.

4.  Duplicate your video across several platforms.

To reap the SEO benefits associated with video, you will need to include your content on several different platforms. There are numerous outlets for you to take advantage of, the most important being YouTube.  Having recently celebrated their 8th birthday, YouTube is now one of the most viewed websites in the world, generating billions of hits. Once you have created a YouTube channel, you can then embed the video on to your website and include it on social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn to increase the exposure and linking potential.

5.  Create a Video Sitemap

Once you have included the video on your website, you will need to create a Video Sitemap. Currently search engines can’t look at what is in the video, so the Video Sitemap tells the search engine everything it needs to know about the content, for example, the title, description and duration.

6.  Measure the success of your video with Google Analytics:

Like any other marketing activity, you will need to measure your results.  Free tools such as Google Analytics will help you establish if your video content has increased the level of traffic to your website.  You could produce a couple of different videos and compare the results, this will determine the type of content that your audience responds the best to.

Even though video isn’t new to the web, many businesses fail to make the best use of tools that will take their video and SEO results to the next level. If you are going to invest time and money in boosting your SEO, start considering video in your marketing mix.

Not only is video a great way to share your story, it’s also  an effective way to build links back to your site and if you target your audience in an exciting, unique way, maybe your video will even go viral. This is where the major search engine optimisation benefit comes into play.

Making your marketing work

Spring has sprung…finally.  This is a good time of year to reflect back on the last few months and decide what worked and what didn’t for your business. All too often, companies at the start of the year create and launch marketing campaigns without ever reviewing the end results.  In order to ensure your marketing is performing as it needs to, to enable you to meet your business goals, it is vital that you take the time to look back at the last few months and review the impact of your marketing activity.
To help you get started, we have highlighted below some key areas your business should be reviewing and some simple steps to help get your social media, website and email campaigns running smoothly this Spring.

 

Website:

We cannot stress enough the importance of reviewing your website’s performance through Google Analytics. Yes, the amount of data can be overwhelming and sometimes it’s difficult knowing where to start and how to use the data available. Reviewing the basics first, for example number of visitors, referral, search and direct traffic and the bounce rate, will help provide you with a good idea of how successful your website is performing. However, there are a few additional metrics we’d recommend including in your review:

  • Page load speed

There has been an increasing importance placed on page load speeds when it comes to user experience and its impact on a site’s search engine ranking. Internet users have a notoriously short attention span and if a site takes more than a few seconds to load a page, users will quickly loose interest. To find out how you can improve the page load speeds on your website, the nice people at Google have provided a free tool, PageSpeed Insights

  • Devices

The way we engage online is changing. More and more people are using mobile devices to access information quickly. You might find that the majority of your visitors access your site through mobile, if so, you would need to present you site in a way that bests fits with this form of device.

 

Social media:

Vowed to make the most of what social media has to offer your business? It is common for businesses to dive into social media, joining all the relevant platforms and making a promise to move the company’s marketing online. However, many companies are often disappointed with the results social media generates.

Has your social media activity been disappointing? Have you struggled to write interesting content and find interesting updates to share with your followers? Like any marketing activity, you will need to put in place a social media strategy that aligns with your overall marketing objectives. The strategy doesn’t have to be complicated, but it will help your team understand what it is you want to achieve from your social media activity and how you plan to achieve it. Consider what content they should be sharing, what links they should be including and who they should be targeting.

Social media doesn’t have to be time consuming. If you’re struggling to update your accounts consistently, there are tools like Hootsuite that will let you schedule tweets and Facebook updates. You could schedule a whole week’s worth of posts in 15 minutes.

 

Email marketing:

Have you recently launched an email campaign? Did you review the results? Was it successful?

We have previously discussed the importance of fine-tuning your email marketing and making the most of what email software has to offer. If you are struggling to get good results from your campaigns, it is important that you review where you might be going wrong. Several factors can influence the success rate of your marketing emails, including:

  • Time of day your emails were sent
  • The subject line
  • Email content and links
  • Plain text or HTML?
  • Your data

A/B split testing campaigns can help you decide what time of day, content and subject line work best for your database.

Segmenting your database down into sensible groups, rather than sending one email to everyone on the list, will improve open and engagement rates. In addition, it will also help you identify if certain segments of your list are poor quality or not receptive to email marketing as a marketing medium.

A poor campaign could actually be the best thing that happens to your marketing, if it provides you with an insight which can inform and improve your future marketing programmes. If you cannot pinpoint what went wrong, it then just becomes a waste of money.

To aid this process, make sure you make changes to campaigns iteratively, so you can attribute any changes in results to a particular amendment.

Good luck and make sure your marketing is working for your business!

Marketing Titbits – free social media monitoring tool, Google URL builder & Huggies!

  1. ‘Mention’ is a comprehensive online monitoring tool, which covers both web and social media. Businesses can use ‘Mention’ to monitor their brand, company, keyword, competitor and more ‘mentions’ online, in real time. Unlike some monitoring services, ‘Mention’s’ pricing offers something for everyone, including those that want something for free! For more information and to sign up click here.
  2. Google Analytics URL builder. We’ve referenced it before but it is so useful we’ll mention it again. If you are keen to monitor more effectively your online campaigns, Google Analytics URL builder is a fabulously effective tool (and its free!) for generating trackable URLs for your custom campaigns. Review your Google Analytics and see what the impact is of each campaign on your website.
  3. And finally, here’s a little bit of positive inspiration for you, from a Huggies advert of all things. You can’t always control what happens to you but you can control how you respond to it. Enjoy! Always look on the bright side of life.

Don’t delay – review your marketing straight away

As the end of the year approaches, businesses need to take the time to look at how they are going to improve their marketing’s effectiveness and grow their business in the coming year.
What tools are you currently using for business growth? Are you reviewing their success? Are your campaigns actually generating your organisation new business?

No matter how brilliant, creative and unique a marketing strategy may seem to be, if it doesn’t generate results and return on investment, something needs to change.  Now is the time to go back to basics and simply look at what worked and what didn’t in 2012.

So where do you start? How do you review your marketing and what should you be looking for?

For any marketing campaign you undertake, analysis should be a vital part of your plan. If you have missed this step, or you are unsure what you should be reviewing, take a look at our 3 top tips for reviewing marketing effectiveness.

 

Email marketing – don’t ignore the data:

Many businesses understand the importance of sending out emails to their database, whether it be a monthly e-newsletter, or the occasional special offer.  A company invests time and resources into creating campaigns, but few measure the end result effectively.

There are many email software packages available to businesses, two of the biggest are Mail Chimp and Campaign Monitor. They allow you to review in-depth results generated from your emails, including open and click-through rates. The results are key to determining if your campaigns are effectively engaging with your database. An open rate indicates the percentage of people who opened your email, whilst a click through rate measures how many people actively clicked on a link and engaged with your communication.

The subject line and email address will influence the open rate most significantly.

The click through data reflects the level of engagement in your email. It shows exactly what information people are interested in. If you’re writing about multiple topics in a newsletter, click-through information can be used to determine which topics are of most interest to readers. Are the same people reading your emails each week, if so, are you following up the email with a telephone call?

Use you results to establish trends. Look at what time of day your emails are sent and what subject lines you include. Does your email include a hook?

 

Social media isn’t just for show – measure your engagement 

Like any marketing activity, in order for your social media activities and goals to be achieved, you need to put together your company’s social media strategy. Your strategy is just like your business plan; it enables you to define your social media goals and future objectives.

It is important to review the social media channels you currently use. What platforms are popular amongst your target audience and what content is worth ‘tweeting’?   In the past, a measurement of social media success was determined by the number of followers or ‘Likes’ generated through Facebook and Twitter. Google Analytics have taken their social analytics tools a step further, enabling you to drill down and measure the full value of traffic to your website coming from social networking sites. Follower engagement is also an import metric. How engaged are you with your social network? Is your content being retweeted? Are you interacting with your network?

The world of social media is constantly changing, what was popular last year isn’t necessarily relevant this year , stay on top of the trends and engage with your target audience effectively. There are many social media analytic tools out there. Some are free; take a look at Hootsuite’s free in-built analytics function or Topsy for instant social media insights.

 

Website – analyse your traffic

We can’t stress enough the importance of reviewing your website analytics. Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tools out there for businesses, providing a wealth of insight and data into the performance of your website and marketing overall. It is invaluable for monitoring and analysing traffic, allowing you to evaluate both on and offline marketing campaigns. Simply installing analytics won’t give you the results you need; value is only gained when that data is used to drive action to improve your site.

The volume of results available can be daunting; however, if you break down the data into more manageable chunks, like: traffic, bounce rate, visitor flow and keywords, you can start measuring your performance more effectively.

For more guidance on what you should be measuring with your Google Analytics, click here.

 

No matter what marketing activity you undertake, return on investment is vital.  When reviewing your marketing you need to consider every element of your campaign, from data and content through to execution and evaluation.  Reviewing your marketing each year can be the difference between having an ok year and a great one. If you have failed to generate enquiries from an advert, email or campaign, something needs to change. Start reviewing today and make use of your findings….don’t ignore the data.

Top Marketing Tips September 2012

  1. A tool to help you expand your Google+ following. Use Find People On Plus to search for individuals and companies using Google+.
  2. Followerwonk helps you explore and grow your social graph. Dig deeper into Twitter analytics: Who are your followers? Where are they located? When do they tweet?
  3. Removeem, a tool for identifying which backlinks are hampering your SEO efforts.

Drill-down into your social activity

Following on from our July marketing seminar, last month we provided you with a blog dedicated to the importance of Google Analytics and what your business should be measuring. As promised, in this blog we delve deeper into the world of social analytics to provide you with additional tools to help you make sense of your social media presence.
Identifying social media ROI is a difficult task for any business.  We have seen a dramatic rise in the number of businesses using social media within their marketing mix over the last few years; however, many have jumped on the bandwagon with little consideration for the actual benefits to their business. Identifying ROI has been, for the most part, fairly elusive for marketers and business owners; provoking questions such as, ‘How do I know if social media activity will generate business?  Is this really an effective way to spend my time?’

In the past, a measurement of social media success was determined by the number of followers or ‘Likes’ generated through Facebook and Twitter. Many businesses struggled to see the bigger picture, often basing their decisions on assumptions, because defining a meaningful ROI was difficult. However, recent changes to Google Analytics have helped ensure marketers and businesses owners are now better informed about the impact of their social media activities on their website traffic, helping them establish how to spend their social media time and budget most effectively.

Google Analytics have taken their social analytics tools a step further with the intention of delivering the following information:

  • The full value of traffic to your website coming from social networking sites and the ability to measure how they lead to direct conversions or assist in future conversions.
  • What social activities are happening both on and off of your site to help you optimise user engagement and increase social key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Make better, more efficient data-driven decisions in your social media marketing programs.

So how will the latest Google Analytics developments help businesses achieve the above?

New data is now available under the “Social” tab in Google Analytics, which includes:

Overview:

The overview report provides data from all the other social reports and contains a Social Value visualisation of how social networks contribute to website conversions.

Sources:

The Sources report shows the source activity based on social referrers. Google unifies different URLs that can be used to send traffic from one social network. For example, Twitter can send traffic from both twitter.com and t.co. Traffic from both sources are combined under the category of Twitter.

Pages:

This report highlights social activity per page, what happened on and off the site.

Conversions:

The Conversions data provides a quick view of which social sources drove conversions on the site.

Social Plugins:

Social Plugins is a summary of pages and the social activity that happened, such as clicking on a like, tweet or +1 button.

Social Visitors Flow:

Social Visitors Flow is a visual presentation of how visitors from social properties are navigating your website. Assuming the goal of your social media campaign is to get more traffic to your website, this report gives you insight into which social platforms are sending the most traffic to your site and what your social visitors are doing once they get there.

The reports available have the ability to drill-down further into data and reflect things like comments, shares or likes to help you identify successful social media campaigns and what works for your business.

At TLC Business, we believe measuring the ROI of any marketing activity is essential, the new tools from Google Analytics will help you perfect, tailor and manage your social media campaigns, helping you make the most your time.

Install, sign in and start measuring your Google Analytics today.

Google Analytics – Where To Start?

Last week, TLC Business hosted a marketing seminar on the ‘Top Ten Tools to Effective SME Marketing’, with topics including, CRM systems, video and email marketing.  Over the next few months, we will be exploring these topics further, providing you with top tips to help you get more out of your marketing.

First stop…Google Analytics

Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tools out there for marketers. It is invaluable for monitoring and analysing traffic on your website, allowing you to evaluate both on and offline marketing campaigns. It gives you an enormous amount of information about who is visiting your site, how they got there, and what they are looking for.

We are always surprised by the number of businesses who do not actively review their Google Analytics reports. Yes, the volume of results available can be daunting; however, the importance of the information stored is critical for any business.

So what information should my business be measuring?
Let’s start with the basics:

  • No. visitors – How many people visit your website in a day, month and year? Are there any trends that appear…quieter in August but a peak in September?
  • Bounce rate -The lower the better. Are people looking around your website or simply jumping off after the homepage? Has a particular page got a higher bounce rate than others?
  • Length of time on site – How long is a visitor spending on your website before leaving? 10 seconds or 2 minutes? Does a particular page retain visitors for longer?
  • How many pages visited – Are the majority of people visiting one page on the website, or exploring multiple, for example, ‘news’, ‘services’ and ‘contact us’?
  • Traffic – Are visitors coming from a direct source or referral links?
  • Keywords – Which keywords are pulling in traffic to your website?

Google Analytics doesn’t just stop there; explore your site in more detail:

  • Visitor flow -This graphically represents the pathway visitors take through your site, from the source, the various pages viewed and where along their paths they exited your site.
  • Form Field Tracking – Filling out forms online is well known, not only for tracking conversions but also for losing visitors. You can use the Google Analytics tracking feature to improve your conversion rate by analysing and optimising the form to make the process easier and more efficient.
  • Page load speed – The report provides an at-a-glance view of essential information. Which landing pages are slowest? Which campaigns correspond to faster page loads overall?
  • In-Page Analytics – This enables you to visually analyse your website pages in order to assess how users interact with your website and understand the following questions, are my users seeing the content I want them to see? Which links are users clicking?
  • Social Visitors Flow – A visual presentation of how visitors from social platforms  are navigating your website. Assuming the goal of your social media campaign is to get more traffic to your website, this report provides you with insight into which social sites are sending the most traffic to your website and what your social visitors are doing once they get there.

The information above may be overwhelming; however, using Google Analytics to measure the performance of your website can reveal useful insights into the effectiveness of the content and layout of your site. Advanced areas within Google Analytics provide you with a vital tool to help you understand and breakdown those larger numbers and daunting information into smaller, more meaningful numbers.

To provide you with even more insights into using website analytics more effectively, our next blog will look at the latest social media developments within Google Analytics and how this can help you successfully drive traffic to your website.

Stay tuned!