With Christmas and the New Year fast approaching, here are a few simple ideas to help you make the most of your website in 2013. It won’t take long (we promise) so you’ll soon be back to the sherry and mince pies!
Start by thinking about your business goals and write these down. Now, take some time to click through the various tools within your ‘Google Analytics’ account and you’ll soon locate the information you need to help you identify how your website is performing against those goals (if you don’t know what Google Analytics are then talk to us and we can help).
Google Analytics can sometimes be a bit intimidating, especially if you haven’t looked at yours for a while! So here’s where to start...
When analysing website statistics we generally start with how people have arrived at the site. Take a look at the keywords that people have used to find your site via search engines (these can be found by clicking on ‘Traffic Sources’ in the left hand menu, then ‘Sources’ and finally ‘Search’). Ask yourself if these are the kind of keywords you want to target and, if not, try and write a short list of the keywords you would like to be found with. Remember to think like a customer and avoid jargon and industry slang.
Sometimes the keywords you'd liek to use are unrealistic. Popular phrases like ‘iPhone 5’ are very difficult to target because there are simply thousands of sites trying to reach customers through those keywords*. Try to be original but still relevant to the people you want to appeal to.
To find out how visitors move through your website, Google Analytics now offer a really cool feature called ‘Visitor Flow’ which you’ll find in the left hand menu under ‘Audience’. This shows how people click through your site using simple graphics and you can see very quickly if they’re moving through the site in the way you want. Most importantly, you can see if they end up at the right page - this might be your contact page, your basket or maybe a list of your retailers.
You probably already know about the new products, services or promotions you’re going to introduce in the first half of next year. Why not start a wall planner for your website? Mark on the planner your important product launches, promotions and trade shows plus any other important events and then start to plan out what you’ll do with your website around these. Don’t forget to talk to your Web Designer about the really big stuff like new product ranges that might require more than just a simple page addition or news story!
While you’re in a planning mood, why not set yourself some targets for 2013? These could include increasing the number of total visits to your site per month, improving the number of conversions of visits to product sales or maybe some other important targets like increasing the visits from social media sites.
Next, plan out some blog articles that you’ll add to the site during the year. Now you know about all your big events and launches, you can target these blog articles to support them. If your asking other people to generate the articles letting them know well in advance will also maximise your chance of getting great content on time!
Finally, set regular meetings with your team to look at your website statistics, say once a month. Go back to your targets and to your plan and see how you’re getting on. Doing this regularly will help you stay on course, give you early warnings signs when things are going wrong and, more importantly, tell you what additions are driving sales (so you can do some more of those)!
We really hope you’ve enjoyed these few ideas about maximising the return on investment for your website. If there’s anything in this article you’d like to know more about please do get in touch.
In the meantime we wish you a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
*According to Google AdWords Keyword tool over 185,000,000 searches per month feature the phrase "iPhone 5". Wow!