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Be Sure You’re Looking At Bounce Rate For The Right Thing

Bounce rate is a great metric of how much your visitors like your site, however it can also be completely misleading when taken out of context, especially for business-to-business (B2B) companies. Let's put this bounce rate thing into perspective by looking at what the heck bounce rate is and then seeing how you can use custom segments in Google Analytics to gain the perspective your business needs.

First, the definition. [Read more…]

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Find Out Where Your Email Subscribers Really Come From

When you log in to any analytics tool, for instance HitSniffer or Google Analytics (or both if you're a super geek like me) you're greeted with an overwhelming amount of data. Having this wealth of information at your fingertips is awesome, but it can also hinder you.

When it comes to analytics – less is more. And by less I'm talking about segmenting your visitors like there's no tomorrow.

I've written before about how to create custom segments in Google Analytics so I won't repeat that (only link to it) however in this post I want to show you how to not be mislead when it comes to seeing where your email subscribers really come from.

[Read more…]

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Find Out What Your Blog Readers Really Want With Google Site Search

Many of the website analytics we use tell us quantitative things – how many people are visiting our blogs, what they read, how much the read, and on and on. However that's only 50% of what we need to know to make our blogs more effective business tools. The other 50%? Qualitative data.

Qualitative data tells us the why, which isn't always easy to figure out. One step in the right direction is using Google Site Search inside of Google Analytics.

Google Site Search tracks what people are searching for on our sites. And not only that, it can tell us if they didn't find what they were looking for with their first query! That's rock your socks off kind of stuff. [Read more…]

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Finding Partners And Clients Using HitSniffer

Google Analytics doesn't do this. And this IS what YOU want.

Check out the following screenshot from HitSniffer:

Loyal Visitors In HitSniffer

Click to see the full size image

Don't mind the nav bar in the middle of the image – that's  just there because my screenshot app can scroll faster than the bar can move down the page as it scrolls (which it does – very cool).

This is one of the reasons that I chose to use WordPress comments on this blog after trying Disqus and LiveFyre – full integration with HitSniffer.

And this is where the “finding partners and clients” comes in. If someone becomes a repeat visitor to your blog and leaves comments chances are they are a potential client or partner. With HitSniffer you'll know exactly:

  1. Who these folks are
  2. How many times they visited your website
  3. Which pages they saw
  4. When the first visited your site
  5. When the last visited your site
  6. How they got to your site in the first place – where they came from
  7. Which page they first visited
  8. And so much more

Here's a screenshot of an individual profile. Click on it to see the full size image.

Loyal Visitor Detail in HitSniffer

Click for the full size image

Now imagine what you can do with this information.

If they've left a comment on your site then you have their email address. You can send them a personalized email message and initiate more conversation. Do NOT add them to your email list without their permission.

When you do speak with them you'll have a lot to talk about and have a much better conversation.

And this my friend is tip of the iceberg of the analysis we do for our clients.

Ready to go down the rabbit hole with us?

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Slice And Dice Site Blog Traffic Like A Google Analytics Ninja

Have you ever sat in your chair thinking, “Gee, I'd like to be able to compare the traffic my blog gets against the traffic my entire site gets?” Yes?! Then you're in luck today my fellow data geek.

The bottom line is this – if you want to attract and convert more of your ideal customers online you need to look at a few key data points:

  1. How people get to your site
  2. What they do once they get there
  3. Most importantly, what got them to convert to a lead

And for that you need a website analytics package. We use three on all of our sites and those of our clients:

  1. Google Analytics
  2. HitSniffer
  3. ClickTale

Between the three of them we have enough data to be doing nothing all day but looking at data. Yes, I'm a geek like that.

But if you're making business decisions based on nothing but guesses you're going to be SOL. So let's not let that happen!

In this video we're going to look at advanced segments of Google Analytics, and specifically how to set one up so that you can compare the traffic your blog gets to the total traffic your site gets.

Take a watch now, and if you have any questions please leave them in the comments below.

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Google Click Tracking: Is Your Site Click Worthy?

One of the first things people see on your website right after the header is the top navigation. So is it helping people get where they want to go or blocking them at every turn? Also, could you improve the readers path by making adjustments, and if you do, were they actually effective?

This is where Google click tracking, labeled “In-Page Analytics” comes into play.

In this post I'll show you how to use In-Page Analytics to test changes to your site.

Quick note: if you are using WordPress it appears that you have to be logged out of your site for this to work. I'm not sure if it's the admin bar that causes trouble, but in I couldn't get the stats to show up when I was logged into any of my WordPress sites, which is pretty much all of them.

So now for some how to!

Show Me The Clicks!

To access the In-Page Analytics:

  1. Log in to your Google Analytics account
  2. Select the site you want
  3. Click the “Content” section
  4. On the bottom right you'll see “Click Patterns”  and the “In-Page Analytics” link. Click that one.

In-Page Analytics Link

There's also a link to the In-Page Analytics under the content section.

This will load your website with an overlay of the click data, like so:

In-Page Analytics Overlay

Click the pic for a larger view

Tasty Numbers

When you highlight one of the numbers you get even more data! You can see:

  • How many clicks the link got
  • What percentage of all clicks on the page the link received
  • How many goals started with a click on the link <– pure awesome

You can also change the date range as well as compare dates.

How To Use Click Tracking For Testing

The power of click tracking is, frankly, awesome. And it works on every page of your site. Knowing what people are clicking most on in your navigation is one thing, but apply this to sales pages and landing pages and you're in data and testing geek heaven.

Step 1: Take A Screenshot

The first thing you want to do is take a screen capture of the page you're testing. When you start changing the dates in Google Analytics it isn't smart enough to know what the page used to look like, it simply overlays the data it has on top of what currently exists. So take a screenshot and mark it up with the current click data.

Step 2: Make Your Changes… And Take Another Screenshot

Next make your changes and take another screenshot. This way you have a baseline and a full record of your changes.

I recommend allowing at least a week to gather enough data to see if your changes are having a positive effect. If you have a lot of visits to your site though (in the thousands per day) you can make changes faster.

Step 3: Optimize

The final step is to continue to take screenshots, analyze the changes, make another and see if it's positive or negative, and keep doing it. Over and over again until the incremental advances are so small it doesn't make a significant difference. Of course “incremental” is relative to your situation. 1% of 1M is a lot more than 1% of 10k

Let The Optimization Begin!

There are all sorts of things you could test on your page:

  • Navigation text
  • Opt-in buttons
  • Image links
  • Call to action links

Dive into your analytics and see where people are clicking in the navigation. Do they like your blog? Does the terminology of a product or service cause confusion and reduce the number of clicks you get?

Test, tweak and find out.

Happy testing!

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Web Analytics: Overview Of The HitSniffer Dashboard

HS Dashboard Video ScreencapI've talked about HitSniffer before, and swear by it for real-time web analytics. For the price you can't beat the functionality, and they keep updating the app. The charts are better and updated more often, and most importantly it makes navigating and using the ton of data it provides extremely easy.

I've been using the HitSniffer WordPress plugin for easy integration, and somehow missed that they have plugins for every major web browser. My Firefox now has HitSniffer integrated. Works wonders for my ADD.

In this video I give an overview of the dashboard, your panel to analytics awesome.

Sign up for a 7-day free trial of HitSniffer and check it out for yourself.

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How To Track The 10 Most Important Online Marketing Metrics

Unlike offline advertising that could only be tracked if someone called a certain phone number or sent in a letter or fax, online marketing has an enormous number of metrics we can use to track the effectiveness and ROI of our campaigns.

An eMarketer article listed 10 online marketing metrics US marketers are using:

eMarketer Interactive Marketing Metrics

eMarketer Interactive Marketing Metrics

So how do we measure these? Let's take a look.

Clickthroughs

There are a many types of clickthroughs we can track online. Here's a list and how we can track each:

  • Clicks on Twitter – use bit.ly or if using HootSuite one of their URL shorteners. Triberr has the naked stats feature (uber awesome)
  • Clicks on text ads – all ad networks (Google, Bing) will give you stats on your ads that you can export, slice and dice
  • Clicks on purchased banners – the site you made the purchase from should provide click through stats for you
  • Clicks on our own banners – if you have an adserver set up it will give you this information. This is a service we provide at Dempsey Advertising
  • Clicks in emails – every email marketing system (AWeber, Infusionsoft) can track clicks on links in HTML emails. If you're using text-only you're out of luck.

Clicks only tell you one part of the equation, but they're the starting point.

Traffic (People) to Website

People come to your site from a variety of sources. The easiest way to measure it is using an web analytics package. Google Analytics is free and gives more information than you can handle.

To see where people are coming from do the following:

  1. Log into your Google Analytics dashboard
  2. Click the Traffic Sources link on the left

Easy peasy.

If you want to slice and dice more though, read this post on how to create advanced segments.

Lead Generation / User Opt-In

This is one of my favorites as it's all about the leads. Does that sound mercenary? Perhaps. But without leads we don't have customers, and without them we don't have business. While the term “lead” can seem dehumanizing, always remember we're interacting with people.

In order to measure leads you have to have a system in place that allows you to capture leads. For me that's Infusionsoft. If you're a HubSpot customer you're covered too.

Both of these systems will give you the total number of people that opt-ed in to a particular offer (ebook, video, etc.).

Here's a screenshot from my Infusionsoft dashboard:

Infusionsoft Lead Gen Dashboard

Infusionsoft Lead Gen Dashboard

That beauty is a dashboard widget created from a custom report. Each time someone opt-in to one of my forms the numbers go up. Never down. I like those types of numbers.

Page Views

Page views is another thing handled by your web analytics software. In Google Analytics there are a few ways to look at this information:

  1. Dashboard – on the dashboard you can see the total page views for your entire website
  2. Dashboard -> Content -> Content Drilldown – this gives more detailed information on each page of your site

TIP: if you have a particularly good day with lot's of people coming to your site, if you did something different, make an annotation.

ROI

The easiest way to measure ROI of an online campaign is:

ROI = Total $$ Earned – Total $ Spent

Hopefully that number is positive. If not, it's time to look at more data and see where the campaign went wrong.

If you want fancy math, check Wikipedia. We keep it fairly simple here.

Offer Response Rates

Tracking offer response rates requires a few pieces of information:

  1. How many people saw your offer
  2. How many people took action on your offer (conversions)

One you have those we employ a little algebra (the most math I ever want to do) and we get:

Response Rate % = (#People Took Action / # People Saw Offer) * 100

Again easy peasy. You can get these numbers by looking at the number of visits to your landing page and the number of people that filled out your opt-in form.

What Are You Tracking?

Are you tracking online campaigns using any of the 10 mentioned in the graphic? Are there any non listed that you're using? Still wondering how to measure some of these?

Let's talk about it in the comments below.

See you there…

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Real-Time Analytics & Inbound Marketing = More Sales

Businessman in Giant HandThe better you understand the people in your market, the deeper the connection you can make with them, and the more likely they are to become your fans and customers.

This isn't a discussion of demographics – that's easy to get. And while age, race, gender, and income level can tell you a few things about a person, it isn't nearly enough to make the kind of connection you need to build a tribe of raving fans and customers for life.

For that, you need to go to a whole new level.

So Your Next Customer Comes To Your Site

A potential customer comes to your website – the beginning of the sales process. They might view a few pages, and if they like what they see, subscribe to your blog using email or RSS.

A few weeks later after reading more of your blog posts, this same person comes back and begins to peruse your sales pages, looking at the products and services you're offering. But this time they leave.

A few more weeks pass with this same person reading your posts. And this time when they visit your sales pages, they fill out your contact form.

The ball is in your court, and the question becomes, how best to approach this potential customer?

Preparing For Contact

You log into an application and do a search for this person's name. It's found and what you are presented with is a full history of what pages the person has read, how long they spent there, the days and times they've been there, and how they got there in the first place.

You then do a little due diligence on your new lead by visiting their website and learning more.

With all of this information in hand you send your reply email. After a little back and forth you have the call scheduled.

A First Impression With The Impact Of A Rhino

You read over your notes again, comparing what you've learned about your next customer with what they've read and done on your website.

You pick up the phone.

You address the person on the other end by name, and tell them why you are calling them – they filled out the contact form on your sales page inquiring about XYZ Service.

With you speaking in a very positive and upbeat tone of voice from the beginning the conversation goes very well. As things progress you keep the conversation around the things you know they are interested in, and make indirect references to the posts they have viewed on your site.

By the end of your talk you know exactly what your next customer needs help with, and how they describe that help.

You hang up on a very positive tone, and promise to have a proposal to them 5 days later.

Your Next Customer Becomes Your Now Customer

You send your proposal to your next customer and request another phone call at a specific time. The call is scheduled.

This call goes even better than the first – you match all the benefits of your deliverables to their goals, and answer all of their questions.

After a short negotiation on price and timeline, the contract is signed.

Your next customer becomes your now customer.

Real-Time Analytics Meets Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing is a term used to describe using content to get in front of customers, make a connection, and ultimately bring that person deeper into your sales funnel, resulting with them becoming a customer and a raving fan. In the scenario above, it was the content that got your next customer interested in the first place  – it introduced you and what you do, to them. But content is only half of the equation.

Once that next customer hit your site, everything they did was then recorded by a real-time analytics application. And once they filled out your contact form, that history was matched to the person. That is the second part of the equation, and is what allowed you to make a much deeper connection with your next customer as soon as you sent your email. It is that connection that turned your next customer into your now customer.

To be able to make that connection you need the real-time analytics application that helps you understand that next customer.

For me, that application is HitSniffer.

Are You Using Real-Time Analytics?

Be it HitSniffer or another application, are you using real-time analytics on your site? Is it helping you get more customers?

Let's talk about it in the comments below.

See you there!

Find out if your time is best spent

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Do You Know Which Sites Are Best For Commenting?

Two CentsWhich of the sites that you comment on are actually worth your time? Do you know?

Would you like to know?

There are two parts to my commenting strategy. And please feel free to steal this idea, do it, and then let me know how it works for you.

Here are the two parts:

  1. Targeting specific sites for commenting and leaving comments (standard)
  2. Commenting on the comments, or put another way, replying to the comments of others, also know as “comment jacking” or “conversation jacking” (ninja)

But all the comments in the world won't amount to a hill of beans unless they get people back to your site where you can turn them into leads and customers.

So which sites actually get people back to yours? Find out in two minutes or less in this short video.

What Do You Think?

What is your commenting strategy? Formalized or not you have a method, so let's talk about it in the comments below!

See you there.