Analytics Will Always Be There for You

Specific Goals Needed to Make Analytics Pay Off

“You don’t control how people are coming to your site; you only control what they do once they get there.”

Greg Krehbiel, director of marketing at Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc., subtitles his always well-received presentation of Actionable Analytics, “What to do with all those numbers.”

How many of us have asked that very question? Here’s another one: How much do you know about your landing pages? Krehbiel lists some questions that he believes you should know the answer to.

Top Landing (Entrance) Pages
– How are visitors coming to each of your landing pages? (What keywords, links)
– What is your visitors’ likely expectation coming to your page?
– How does your site structure/navigation help the user achieve his goal? (Remember, you don’t control the flow of traffic to or within your website.)
– How does your page help achieve your goal?
– Does your home page really matter that much?

On Tuesday, Dec. 14, Krehbiel will help answer those questions and more in his all-star presentation, this time in a SIPA/Mequoda webinar. He has always received very high marks for a practical, well thought-out session that often includes examples from his own company. Of course, everything will be updated and fresh.

“Know why you have a Website and what you’re trying to accomplish,” he said. “When people go online, they’re looking for something, searching. They have something in mind. You want your Website to target that ‘relevant visitor intent’ and then facilitate an action.”

Krehbiel said that back in 1999, people tried to design Web pages to get users to follow a supposed path. “But people do what they want,” he said. “They won’t follow your path.” He suggested that you find the top 100 search terms that are drawing people into your site and sort them by rank. “The top end should be closer to what your site is about. This way you can tell if they are coming for the right reasons.”

To increase the traffic coming from other companies, Krehbiel suggested participating in their forums. “But make sure you contribute genuine content to the discussion so it’s a meaningful interaction—and then just put your name and link at the bottom of your post. There’s also the old-fashioned link exchange and syndicating content. If their site is superior to yours, perhaps you do one thing better or attract more users in one area and can pitch the exchange based on that.”

Krehbiel also gets into bounce rates in his presentations. Pages with a high bounce rate are not delivering on whatever promise brought the visitor to your site, he said. So what’s wrong? Is it the page, the promise or the persuasion? Look at specific bounce rates by page and by traffic source. Does the page have a clear call to action? Does it have links to “similar stories” or “related items”?

There’s no rule of thumb for bounce rates, Krehbiel advised, but you need to know how people are coming to your site. Find out the pages per visit. “It should be better for repeating visitors,” he said. “They should be spending more time and signing up for your products. You can submit numbers to Google Analytics, and they can actually tell you how you compare to other companies in your field.”

He added that Google Analytics also allows you to really break down how long visitors are staying on each of your pages—custom segments he called them. “You can even compare the difference between people who returned once, twice or every month,” Krehbiel said.

“My point is that you need specific goals or else you can spend an endless amount of time. ‘I want to find out what keywords are driving to this page.’ ‘Can I change a headline or title and get more traffic to this page?’ ”

These issues and so much more will be discussed on Dec. 14.

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SIPA/Mequoda Webinar: Actionable Analytics
What to Do with All Those Numbers

Tuesday, December 14, 2010, 12:30 pm EST

Register today for this new and fully updated 90-minute webinar,
co-sponsored by SIPA and Mequoda, and discover how to use
analytics to modify your website’s Internet marketing strategy.

Save money and sign up now!

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