Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Analytics and marketing maths

Clients know that I am a bit of a nag about testing and measuring, especially web stats.  Checking your web site analytics tool in an effective way is a vital piece of marketing house-keeping.  So why do so few SMBs actually do this?

Do you need our help to understand and interpret your web stats?
I am reminded of this because I just took a call from an online directory saleswoman regarding a business whose online advertising we manage.  With a sales script that centred on the amount of quality traffic her directory sends to the website in question she felt confident that she was on safe ground, not realising she was talking to a marketing agency.  Armed by the stats that I manage for this business, I knew she was blagging.  Checking referral traffic from paid sources is a no brainer.  We've put in place a sales tracking system which is rigorously followed.  It is our job to keep an eye on what is working and what is not. Poor telesales lady! She finished up trying to suggest the client should pay for the directory entry out of loyalty; such a desperate attempt to play on the emotions was wasted on my role. My job is to take this pressure away from the client. Looking at the stats I am certain the client would think re-booking this entry was not best use of a tight marketing budget so I politely thanked the caller and suggested she contact us again in 6 months.

Sales calls to clients are directed to us precisely because we can make informed decisions and not be bamboozled by telesales claims about Google rankings and quality traffic etc.  But clearly those sales tactics work or they wouldn't be so prevalent.  (By the way, I am not against paid directory entries - far from it, if they work it is great.)

So, please, check your stats.  Check them and use the information!  If you don't know what all those numbers mean and how to interpret them we can train you.  If you can't bear doing this sort of work then for a small fee we'll do it for you.  Either way, it is time or money well spent because the information should improve your marketing focus and maybe cut some unnecessary spend.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Small business web sites - bite sized pieces

Yesterday I gave a workshop to a few WiRE members who wanted to get to grips with their websites. The desired outcome was a list of changes they could brief their web designer on. During the session I was reminded again how important it is that a business owner considers a web site as a three part project.

Content - Look - Build
(navigation is a core consideration of each of these).

  • content falls into the realms of 'marketing communications' . I would urge clients to bash some wording about in a word processing package before they even consider contacting a 'web designer'. Start to section it in a way that makes sense to your reader to help them navigate through your information. 
  • the look of the site requires design and branding skill. Your web site is a highly visible application of your brand. Select some images or take some photos that will resonate with your readers. 
  • Building the site is the techy bit, which is where most 'web designers' (in most cases web technician is a better description) are most comfortable. Web technicians are brilliant if they have a great brief they can comment on - hence the importance of business owners taking responsibility for the two points above. 
A website needn't be a huge elephantine project. Break it into these bite sized chunks. Contract the support or learn the DIY toolset to help you put it together and manage it. Conduct a strategic review to ensure it meets your marketing needs.

If you would like to join our next group 2 hour strategic review workshop or have your own private review session please email us.