Ah, September… the morning air is refreshingly crisp; you’re wondering how long you can wait before putting the winter tires on the car; and the kids are heading back to school.
That got us thinking – what do our clients, most of whom are business owners, need to learn more about?
Here’s our top three suggestions
Analytics are statistics about visitors to your website and can provide you with a wealth of information about your customers and how they interact with your website. Information about visitors includes the number of visitors, how often the same visitors come back, where they’re located, and much, much more. Analytics also capture information about what site they were on just before coming to your site, which pages of your site are most popular, how long visitors stay on the page, which page they visit next, and which page they are most likely to leave your site from. You can use that information in a variety of ways, but here are a few examples:
Geographic profiling – Monitoring the location of your website visitors, and particularly any changes to the percentages from different locations, gives you valuable information about targeting online ads, whether you should have your site in multiple languages, and the type of products they might be interested in.
Timing of sales calls – We’ve all had those days when NO ONE wants to talk to us. You can use analytics to find out what day of the week your website is most frequently visited, which is likely a good day for those calls.
Products and pricing – Sales alone do not tell the whole story about a product’s potential. Analytics can help you gain more insight into what your customers are thinking. For example, if you see a product page that gets a high volume of visitors but very few sales that could be telling you the item is viewed as overpriced rather than undesirable or there is a problem with ordering from the page.
We’re a big fan of Google Analytics and they have some great learning tools available. Check out skillshop.withgoogle.com
How Targeted Advertising Works
One very good reason to get familiar with analytics is that it will save you a lot of money on advertising. Almost all online advertising venues allow you to create a profile of your target market that includes age, gender, and location, and some will also include income and level of education. What that means is that you can set up your ad program so that your ads only appear to those who are truly potential customers. If you sell luxury cars from a storefront in Surrey, there’s not much point spending money to advertise to pre-teens or to people in Newfoundland.
The other great advantage of targeted ads is that if you don’t have a good handle on your target market yet or want to test market a new product, you can do that quite easily.
LinkedIn is an online business networking site. It’s somewhat similar to Facebook, but clearly set up for working professionals in that it’s the people you don’t already know that you want to connect with. LinkedIn has been around for quite a while, but according to this article in Entrepreneur magazine [http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247988], now is the time to make sure you are actively participating in this forum, particularly if your customers are other businesses.
There’s a free version and a few paid options to subscribe to additional features, which include the ability to send email via the site, so perhaps worth the fee. If you don’t already have an account, start by setting up a free one and get familiar with the site.
Understand that this is a networking site and not an advertising billboard. Play nice, get to know people and help them get to know you and your business.
(And while we’re on the topic of online networking, here’s another good article from Entrepreneur with tips for your Facebook business page.)