Many marketing professionals cannot answer statistical questions about their websites with confidence. “So how many visitors did we have last month?”. The responses are normally filled with guess and exaggerations. Google analytics will give you all the insights you need.
I want you to be able to know the true statistics around your website. How many people click to your website from Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms? How much time does an average person spend on your website? What about the ages and gender of your most frequent visitor? You have so much content, but what is it doing well on Google or what do people resonate to?
These answers and more are all available in Google Analytics and other similar analytics tools.
The importance of measuring
What’s get measured gets done! Online marketing is not an exempted from the need for measuring.
To know whether your efforts are producing results or not is a basic requirement to online marketing efforts. It’s very expensive to assume things when it comes to online marketing. A good business will invest in good analytics for their business.
The importance of analytics cannot be over emphasized. The following is a list of things you will avoid by properly measuring and continuously analyzing your website for performance and user behaviour.
Problems that unmeasured website owners will have
1. Wasted investment.
Without measuring website performance website owners risk investing in something that is not going to work. Resources that can be wasted include money and time. Measuring and analytics will make it clear to everyone on the team what’s working and what’s not over time.
For example, there are radio and TV adverts which refer to websites which are not at all helping in the subject matter. The company will be running a promotion and refer people to their website in the promotional message.
Without prior knowledge of how well that website is converting people into your clients, all those heading there may not enter into the sales funnel. Making all the investment in the advert being wasted.
2. Working on assumptions.
Some website owners feel that they know how their clients will behave on their website. They have this strong ‘gut’ feeling which makes them know exactly what works and what doesn’t. This is not always true.
For recording musicians, sometimes their preferred song on an album is not what will resonate with their fans. You can see this from the fact that title tracks are not always the most popular on albums. This is true also with online content and website usability.
With analytics you will be able measure which pages are performing well and which actions are being taken more than others. After sending thousands of emails on a campaign you want to know how many people visited the website from that email campaign.
3. Driven by preferences.
When the efforts you put on your website are driven by what you prefer, you only reach to a few people whose preferences match yours. It is very important to model your business and improve it based on what clients want.
Analytics makes it possible to tell what your website visitors prefer, what’s confusing to them and what they are looking for. This information is what should lead website redesign and all such improvement efforts.
4. Developmental efforts can be destructive.
With no knowledge of what works and what doesn’t, efforts to make your website better may actually destroy it. How can this happen?
Imagine that your contact us page was the one with the highest conversion rate. In the efforts of improving the website, you change the position of the contact us page to a less visible position. That simple change, in the name of improvement, actually will cause more harm than good.
Using the artist example, imagine that the artist is now going to do a live show. Since he doesn’t know which songs his fans want, he will sweat and blast on all of his unpopular title songs. I can guarantee you a very attendance to his shows next time!
Knowledge of what your clients are enjoying on your website is very essential for business success.
5. No experience gained.
Overtime, you can’t give any advice or recommendation over the trends observed from the website. So even though the website has been running for so long, you will not have much to say as to why it working or not working.
This may sound unnecessary but you know why it takes some industries to develop over time? The people who are professionals do not seed their experience and knowledge in writing and training those behind them. So in the end, everyone goes through the same learning curve since there will be no prior knowledge to them wiser.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the biggest companies in Zimbabwe, were the ones advocating SMEs to do online marketing? It definitely would make a difference. But many of these big companies do not have good websites, they have no analytics even on the bad ones they have and have no experience to share about online marketing. Sorry, but some are actually bump!
Google analytics is a free analytics tool
. You can learn how to setup on your own here.
Or get someone with technical knowledge to assist you. If you want to do nothing, at least desire to know more about your website as a business owner, marketer or anything that you are!
After installing the analytics tool, you will need to learn how to interpret the data and information you get from the tool. Of course, the learning has to continue if you are going to keep improving.