So, you’ve got a decent website – it’s on-brand, it’s well designed, it’s optimised for search keywords, it’s full of relevant content, it’s easy to navigate, you’re getting lots of hits, and you’re even receiving some decent sales enquiries. Well done! It’s now time to turn the screw on the competition. (If you don’t have a decent website yet, make that your number one priority…).
When potential customers visit your website, do you know which company they’re from? Or what they’re doing when they get there? This information is really useful to know, as it will allow you to test ways to improve the efficacy of your website. Just like any other marketing activity, it’s important to know what’s working and what’s not. By analysing website traffic and visitor behaviour, you’ll be able to fine-tune how you spend your marketing budget and where to dedicate your efforts in order to increase visitor numbers and improve user experience – which will increase the number of CTAs (calls to action) you receive – such as placing an order, calling you up, signing up for a newsletter or social media, or emailing you with an enquiry.
One of the most popular web analytics tools is Google Analytics www.google.com/analytics – quite naturally because of its relationship with the most popular search engine in the UK by far. It’s free to use and has some great features. This is a great place to start and, for most SMEs, this is all you’ll need to make a big improvement to your digital marketing efficacy. That being said, you really ought to get an expert involved if you wish to get the most out of the data available – most SME companies probably only use 1-10% of its potential. Used in conjunction with Google’s Webmaster Tools, www.google.com/webmasters/tools you’ll also be able to optimise your website’s visibility, index each page of your website, check for faults, and show results for individual keywords. That being said, a lot of keywords are now not available through Google Analytic, for reasons we don’t need to go into here, which is why you also need to look at other online resources, such as SEMrush and A1 Web stats or Lead Forensics if you want to gain an SEO advantage on your competitors (trust us, you do..!).
If you’re particularly interested in how your competitors are doing, and you’re prepared to invest a little bit more, SEMrush www.semrush.com/ is another useful tool. Enter your web URL to generate free data about your website. SEMrush is probably the most powerful SEO tool on the market in terms of bang for its buck – again, you will need to get an SEO expert on-board to exploit its full potential. In fact, you won’t need to buy it as long as they have it – make sure they do..!
For far more detailed, and hence useful, information on the individual visitors to your website, A1 Web stats www.a1webstats.com is one of the best value website analytic tools on the market today. You can drill down from any level – keyword, PPC, browser, page etc. – and the information you receive is more or less instant. You’ll know who’s been on your website and exactly what they’re doing – what they searched for, how they found your site, and in many instances, you will be able to tell which company they’re from, how they navigated through your website etc. The level of detail and current nature of the data enables far more useful analysis. It only costs £49 per month and there is no contract to sign. Lead Forensics www.leadforensics.com is more powerful but it is also more expensive and comes with a one year contract.
Website analytics tool provides powerful insights that enable you to improve your marketing activity and test campaigns against measurable business targets – to reach new audiences, generate more visitors to your website and, ultimately, to receive more sales opportunities. It goes without saying – but we shall say it anyway – that you will also need some customer acquisition activity in place to drive traffic volume to your website.