Google Analytics: What it can Tell You

A huge number of businesses use Google Analytics to monitor the activity on their Web site. If you are not one of them, you may wonder what all the fuss is about, and whether you are missing out on something useful. Well, without knowing you or your business, I can venture a guess and say ‘yes’ you are missing out on some very useful and important information if you are not using Google Analytics. You can gather some amazingly useful information with Google Analytics, which can inspire you to take important action!

Have a reference point.

Your Web site can be an extremely useful tool for your business, no matter what type of business you have. But if you don’t know who is visiting, how they got there, your number of daily visitors, or anything else, you won’t know if any of your marketing efforts are making a difference. Even if you install Google Analytics now but don’t look at it right away, you can always go back and look at the data later on. By using Google Analytics even in the most basic way, you will start to understand how many people on average visit your site and how they got there, and you can also begin to see how the things you are doing impact the visitors to your Web site. Here are just a few examples of how it can help!

Know how people find your site.

Google Analytics allows you to see which keywords or Web sites people used to find your site. When you know which traffic sources are working, you can try to increase the traffic from those sources. For example if a large number of people are finding your site by searching for the term ‘blue widgets’, you could create a whole Web page about blue widgets. You could write useful articles about blue widgets and post them for people to see on Facebook and Twitter. You could submit that same article to your blog and to a free article submission site (like www.ezinearticles.com) with a link back to your Web site. Knowing how people find you is a great start to something that can be extremely useful in enhancing your marketing efforts.

Know which pages are sticky.

You put the time and money in to building a Web site. Now, how do you know that people are finding what they are looking for? You might be thinking “people would let me know if they couldn’t find the things they need on my Web site.” This is not true. Web searchers will not tell you anything at all; they will simply go away and look someplace else. Analytics will show you how much time people spent on each of your pages, and also where they came from and where they went next. This helps you understand whether your Web site is effective! For example, if people came to your site, viewed the home page for 20 seconds and then left your site, you should probably question whether things are easy enough to find.

Discover which call to action works best.

Do you know which action you want people to take on your Web site? Every business is different, but you should always have your call to action clear for people to see. Maybe you get the best response from having people fill in a form, or a request for proposal. Well then, that is what you should have as a call to action on your Web page(s)! Using Analytics can help you track and understand the actions people are taking on your site, which can in turn help you decide which actions result in the most sales.

I doubt I have even seen anything as useful as Google Analytics for such a low price: FREE! The biggest cost you will incur is that of your time (or your webmaster). It’s basically just a matter of signing up, and getting a piece of Java script code added to all the pages you wish to track. Install it today and open up a whole new world of data to help your business focus on what works!

Free Press – Web Sites to Submit your Press Releases for Free

Do you have some exciting news to release? Make the most of your news! There are Web sites out there that allow you to submit your press releases at no charge. (Of course, most of them do also offer upgraded services for a fee.) This link offers a great list of 20+ free press release distribution Web sites.

More and more people are turning to the internet to find their news. Having your press releases submitted online is another way for you and your news to be found.

Hint: If you are able, include your company’s most popular keywords within the press release, and also include a link back to your Web site. Even better if you can make the keywords be the link back to your site! This helps the search engines and people find you and your news.

Google +1 Button

Have you seen this new icon popping up on the Web sites you visit and also in the Google search results? In case you were wondering, this is the new Google +1 button. According to Google, the +1 button is shorthand for "this is pretty cool" or "you should check this out." When you are signed in to your Google account, you will see this button appear next to organic and paid search results, and you may also see it on the Web sites you visit. By clicking on the icon, you are letting others know that you approve of the page or search result. You are also letting Google know that you have given that search result or Web site your vote of confidence, which Google in turn takes into consideration within the placement of search results. You will see the +1 icon on the Red Wing Software home page, next to our other social networking icons. If you like us, why not give a click on the +1 button? We sure appreciate it!

Google +1 icon

Using Google to Your Advantage: Two Free Ways to Get More Web Traffic

Do you have a Web site? Take advantage of it! Draw people to your site, so they can learn more about your company, and then you have a chance of earning a new customer. There are so many ways to get people to your Web site, in a huge variety of price ranges. A great place to start is by taking advantage of the free ways of drawing Web traffic. Here are two great ways to do that!

  1. Submit Articles.

    What do you know that your potential customers might find useful? Write helpful, useful articles about subjects related to your industry, and those who read them will take notice! For instance, if you are an insurance agent, you could write about real-life ways to keep premium costs down, etc. Once articles are written, submit them to popular online article submission sites like www.ezinearticles.com and www.ideamarketers.com. Put links within the articles that lead back to your Web site (within the site’s editorial guidelines) and you will create a stream of free traffic to your site. It’s typically free to submit your articles, and you also get a spot to put your own custom promotional text.

  2. Answer Questions.

    You probably have a lot of information about your industry -- useful information that people could benefit from. Go out and answer questions about your industry that people are asking on answer sites like answers.yahoo.com and answers.business.com. You can browse through the questions that might apply to the product you sell, so that you are only answering relevant questions. Then, you can add a note within your answer, to let the question-asking party know that you are available if they need any more advice or help. Some answer sites also allow you to include a link back to your own Web site, where you can direct them to find more information. This can improve your SEO efforts, which is an added benefit!

Submitting articles and answering questions is a great way to show what you know, position yourself as an expert in your industry, and draw more traffic to your Web site, all for FREE!

What is Content Marketing?

By now, most of us have heard more than enough about using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking sites for business. But have you heard the newly popular buzzword “Content Marketing”? This new marketing trend might just be your key to bringing in more Web traffic and leads for your organization, and can also enhance your public image.

Content marketing is basically the creation and distribution of useful information on the internet, in order to generate more good traffic to your Web site, and position you and your business as a thought leader. The information can be in the form of articles, white papers, videos, newsletters, webinars, blogs, podcasts, emails, and more.

These days, the majority of people research products on the internet. If they find the helpful information they are looking for in the content you have written or provided, free of charge, the customer can begin to view you as a useful source, rather than someone who just wants to push their product on you.

The idea behind content marketing is that as more and more prospects or customers view you as a useful informational source, good feelings are generated, brand awareness is enhanced, and you soon have a loyal, purchasing customer.

In order to be effective, content marketing cannot include sales-type text that is focused on the features your business offers. Instead, the information you provide should give them something of value, information that cannot be found just anywhere, but rather from you because of your expertise.

Not only do people appreciate your information, but so do Google and other search engines. Google just loves unique and original information, and will reward you for it with better rankings.

Here are some examples of how different companies could start up content marketing. (The best method will vary by business type!)

    • Heating and Air Conditioning Business:

      Create a newsletter where you provide monthly tips on how to maintain your furnace and air conditioner and tips on keeping heating and cooling bills down.

    • Retail Pet Store:

      Create a monthly e-mail marketing campaign, using the e-mails you collect from your customers, and send a monthly email about trends in pet care and ways to ensure the health of a pet.

    • Agricultural Products Distributor:

      Create a blog where you post one or two times a week about new technology available in your industry to farmers. Talk about how the new technology will (or won’t) help your customers. Let customers jump in and provide feedback on your comments.

Building a content marketing program takes time, but the rewards can be great, and you have to start somewhere! You might just be surprised how many people really want and need the information you have to offer.