Wednesday, December 14, 2016

You HAVE to Understand Your Website Analytics

How many people come to your website each month? Where are they finding your site? What other sites are they looking at?

If you don't know the answers to these questions, you need to hop on it before wedding cake booking season starts. It's the only way to accurately figure out where your traffic is coming from, which ads are paying off for you, and what kind of customer your links are attracting. If all of your traffic comes from Cheap Weddings dot com, you might want to work on your marketing strategy to attract a higher price point bride.

One example of how this can be helpful was when I wanted to cancel the ad that I had placed with The Knot. When I emailed to cancel, I got a response back telling me that they were sending X number of customers to me, and I should really reconsider. I checked my stats and found out that they had actually sent me about three customers, so I declined the offer to extend my ad.

So anyway...How do you track this kind of thing? The best way is to use google analytics, which can give you a piece of code that you put on your site and link it to their analysis. I have analytics installed on this blog, my Etsy shop, and my website, and they're all very different in terms of where my traffic comes from and how they behave on each site.

Go to www.analytics.google.com and sign in with your google ID (your gmail, youtube or google+ account name, or you can sign up for one if you don't have one). There are so many different ways to add the code to your site, I'm not even going to start, you will need to go to your website and figure that out if it's not already installed. Click here to get to the help center for Google analytics

With google analytics, you can see where your traffic is coming from, how long people stay on your site, how many new vs. old visitors you have, where they come from, which pages they go to AND IN WHICH ORDER (it's pretty crazy), and other really specific information.

If you see that all of your traffic is coming from Pinterest, pin more stuff. If you see that all of your traffic is coming from the ad that you placed with a wedding site, you might want to extend that ad. The point is, you need to know where customers are finding you. And then check to see if those customers are buying from you by using the analytics to check out their behavior on your site. Are they coming there then hopping right off after ten seconds? Or do they stay on your site and look at multiple pages? You'll be able to see that.

If you only have a Facebook page, you should use Facebook analytics to see if your traffic is local or not. Their analysis isn't nearly as thorough as Google is, but as far as I know there's no way to link the two. Facebook is cagey like that.

You can also use YouTube analytics if you have a YouTube channel...From that, I know that the average attention spans of my visitors is 2 1/2 minutes. For that reason, I don't like making super-long videos.

If you have questions, feel free to leave them for me. I may or may not be able to help, though, depending on whether I have experience with your specific site's idiosyncracies. The best way to figure this out is to read the help section of the various analytics services you're using. You definitely need to be using something, though, so go do that right now!


Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at  www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com

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