Any entrepreneur with sense does everything possible to get out the message of why you need their product or services rather than the competition. We build websites to hook in potential clients; we give them all the SEO they need; we produce informative blogs and newsletters, and make sure we’re everywhere on social media.
How do we know anyone’s receiving us, though? How do we know we’re not just shouting into the wind?
Measuring success and failure
There are plenty of tools available to measure where your website is succeeding and failing, the most popular being Google Analytics, which is both free and easy to use. You can not only get statistics about the site as a whole, including where your visitors are located, but also about where on the site visitors tend to click through and where they tend to bounce.
Google Analytics can also break down your visitors in relation to the type of device they use, which is far more crucial than even a couple of years ago. With more than 50% of browsing now being done on smartphones or tablets, and more devices being developed all the time – SmartGlass, for instance – it’s vital to know that your site‘s responsive design is equally effective on all of them.
Website visitor tracking
Tracking the behaviour of visitors on your website – their digital footprint – is a controversial subject. Done without the visitor’s consent or knowledge, it can raise the spectre of breaching civil liberties and evoke the image of Big Brother.
Tracking visitors’ digital footprints can be done responsibly, though. Most importantly, the visitor should be made aware of the tracking and asked to consent. This creates an effective marketing tool, especially in a business to business context where analysis of the customer’s onsite behaviour can be used to target marketing relevant to their requirements.
Of course, if you collect information from your visitors, you have an obligation under both UK and EU law to make sure that data is stored safely. While this is less important for statistical analytics, any data which identifies individuals is your legal responsibility. It’s vital to ensure that equipment that stores or transmits the data has a robust security system, including powerful firewalls and data encryption.
None of this data, whether statistical or specific, is any good if it’s just filed away. A website‘s design and SEO is always a work in progress. Needs and preferences are changing all the time, and your site must reflect that – or, better, anticipate it. All data collected should be analysed on a daily basis and used to continually tweak your website design, SEO and marketing strategy.
It might seem as though no-one’s listening, but if you use the right tools, the response to your website will be deafening.
*Saija Mahon is founder of Mahon Digital Marketing.