Let's say that you just finished implementing a great website that customers even occasionally compliment you on. You seem to be getting more inquiries for business lately. Life is good! You don't know how people found out about your website and you could care less, as business is doing well.
This. Is. Wrong.
Listen - even we're thrilled for you that your website is thriving. But not only is your website an amazing marketing platform for you, but it's also an amazing marketing tool - for you to gain valuable insights about how people are finding you online (and what kind of people).
A free tool to use is Google Analytics, which you've probably heard about it. It is a very useful though complicated tool that takes time to learn. Setup is fortunately easy; simply create an account an embed a bit of code on your website. Once configured, the data will automatically be gathered and you can check it online as you please (and use it as you like).
Some useful and basic analytics:
- Number of visitors per day
- What pages are being viewed most
- How visitors arrive on your site ("referrers")
With this information, you can test frequently to see what marketing efforts are working and what aren't. For example, if you see that more of your Facebook users are visiting your website than those on Twitter, you can put more effort into engaging your Twitter users. If you see that viewers aren't getting to the contact page (and that's often a place you want them to go), then you can make the necessary adjustments to get more people to click to there. If you notice that your website traffic spikes after a certain marketing effort, such as a recent direct mail campaign you sent out, you can correlate how many extra website visits you can get from such an endeavor and monitor if it's effective enough to be worth your time/money.
A website is a great way to test how effective other marketing methods are. A website should serve as the "hub" - where you always want users to go (at least early in the sales cycle). So you should be proud of it!
The online platform that we use exclusively to build websites - Squarespace - has a simpler (yet still very useful) analytics tool already built-in and ready-to-use for all Squarespace sites.