Most people, especially small businesses today have a website. Most very proud of their web presence and should be and naturally their websites bring them business. Many times in ways they never thought possible. But what do they REALLY know about their website and what could be done differently? Until you emmerse (much like baptism) your site into search analytics you will never know.
Analytics is one method to get “personal” with your website. Common questions you should ask yourself:
- Who is visiting your website?
- Where did they come from (referer)?
- How long are they staying on your site?
- What pages do they enter and exit your site?
- Are they submitting a contact form or buying a product (converting)?
How do you do this, without spending a lot of money on products that may not work?
I have tried different software packages (which I don’t want to get into here) and some do work, but right now my favorite is Google Analytics. Why? Because it is truly free and has great easy to read information. Google Analytics does take some time to learn and they say you get what you pay for, but I do believe it is worth the effort. I am now a “Google Analytics Junkie”.
Let’s get started with your website:
- First you need a chunk of code to put on “every” page of your website that you wish to track. This is your tracking code. You can get this code by signing up for an AdWords account or if you have a gmail account use that as your user name/password (you don’t have to participate in AdWords). Here is the link to Google Analytics help center http://www.google.com/analytics/indexu.html
- Now you are in your adWords account, this is really confusing. Across the top are tabs click on Analytics and that should get you started. “Create my free Google Analytics account”. Click on the continue>> button
- Follow the directions on this page, submit >> accept the terms >>
- Wallah - cut and past this code into your website right before the </body> tag on EVERY page you wish to track.
- I know your lost, try the help center link above, it is worth your time and I know you can do it.
Now the fun begins watch the information roll in, give it some time. You will want to create what is known as the dashboard, personalize your dashboard.
This can be done by clicking through the information on the left hand navigation. For each category there is a button on the top of the page to either export / email / add to dashboard . Get familiar with these buttons. I have a report sent to me weekly with my dashboard information so that I do not have to login to find out what is going on and it gives me past week comparisons.
Some of my favorite information is:
- site useage
- the map overlay (where in the world are these visitors)
- traffic sources overview (where is all you traffic coming from)
- content overview (what pages are most popular)
- all traffic sources (who is referring to you)
- Visitors overview (clicks per day, who is unique, how many page views…)
- Now my favorite, setting goals and the funnel report
In each category you can get more and more granular, the best part – our friends at Google do it all for FREE!
Before I became a Google Analytics Junkie, I was THE original Google Addict. My SEO addictions don’t appear to be going away. Does anyone know of a good 12 step program? Have fun and beware of the addictions.
Usability and the utility, not the design, determine the success or failure of a web-site.
read more about the principles of effective website design
Point #1 the golden rule – “don’t make your users think”
I just discovered this great website ColorsOnTheWeb.com . They have a tool for picking colors that was developed over eight years ago. It has definitely stood the test of time. You pick the colors, the tool will determine matching colors for your selection. I tried it and it appears to come up with a wonderful array of colors, not only for hue, but also saturation and tint and shade variations. This is can be a great time saver to determine the colors quickly in your style sheets (CSS) for heading tags, links; hover and active.
I can spend a lot of time tweaking colors in PhotoShop, it is almost amazing that photoshop does not do this for you automatically. Below is a screen shot of this FREE tool, note the make a donation box in the right hand corner? It is a good idea to donate something if you like or use the tool. Who knows the more you donate the better the tool.
Grab this swicki from eurekster.com
I just created my personal swicki on eurekster.com, this is fun click on one of the keyword above and see where it takes you (you will need your back button to come back) or type in your favorite search term. If you have a website create your own search portal around any topic. According to the website
“Rather than returning millions of results like a generic search engine, swickis learn from the search behavior of a community of enthusiasts and experts, making it easy for you to quickly find what you’re looking for within a particular topic. Another way of becoming a part of a community and it is FREE!
Of course they come in different flavors, add video, “Video swickis let you browse and watch the most popular videos within a particular topic.” Build your own or grab one that has already been made.
Try it out, http://www.eurekster.com/ , if you need help let me know!!
Share my swicki with others here http://sem-seo-ssm-swicki.eurekster.com
I can invite others to grab by swicki for posting on their websites and blogs: http://www.eurekster.com/swickibuilder/share.aspx?swicki=sem-seo-ssm