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Good Content for Tupelo Ms

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Those who've been in the SEO biz for a number of years know how much more competitive it is these days compared to a few years ago. The number of web pages indexed by search engines has doubled, tripled, and quadrupled in past years. On top of that, a good portion of site owners and webmasters know just enough SEO to be dangerous. In the golden age of SEO in Tupelo Ms, the vast majority of websites hadn't given a thought to the search engines, and when they did, it was only to place some keywords in their Meta tags. (Which, incidentally, didn't help then either.) Those were the days when anyone who knew even the slightest bit about SEO could easily rank highly in Tupelo Ms on all the major search engines, with very little effort. Even competitive areas were doable with just a little more work than their non-competitive counterparts.

The Competition Is Fierce

These days, it's almost the exact opposite. Even keyword phrases that nobody's searching for can sometimes be difficult to obtain high rankings with unless you really and truly know what you're doing. And even then, those rankings may be here one day and gone the next. The problem is magnified for new businesses and new websites. If your site isn't at least a few years old, your SEO efforts will be less likely to provide the results you want. This is one reason why your website optimization should always be seen as a long-term proposition.

It's About Targeted Traffic, Not Rankings

As we move forward in this industry, webmasters, site owners, and SEOs need to shift their focus from asking how they can get this keyword to this position in this engine to how they can get more targeted traffic and convert it into customers. Unfortunately, a large portion of those looking into SEO services in Tupelo Ms. are still seeing the small picture. For instance, on the contact form on our High Rankings site, I ask people to tell me a little bit about their "business goals." A good number who fill it out want something like "top-5 rankings in Google and Yahoo for this keyword." Huh? That's not a business goal! A business goal is more like "Bring more people to my website who are searching online for the types of products we sell." (As a side note, soon after writing this, I got an email from someone whose goal was to have their Flash site be "#1 in all the search engines for the word 'spring.'" I kid you not!)

Don't get me wrong, I very much understand why people would love to move their rankings in Tupelo up from #11 to #1 for a highly sought-after and targeted keyword phrase. I'm quite sure it would very much increase their targeted traffic and their sales (assuming they're doing everything else right). My frustration lies in the fact that there are people who believe that somehow an SEO company can magically snap their fingers or wave their magic wand and make it so.

Does this mean that SEO is dead?

Absolutely not! But SEO that focuses on rankings for the most highly sought-after keywords in any given space is most definitely dying. This doesn't mean that you have to settle for keywords that receive few searches. It just means that you have to broaden your horizons and see the big picture.

Almost every time I review one of those "put me at #1" prospects' websites, I see tons of opportunities for fixing the site in general so that it will work better for both their users and the search engines. They are almost always so focused on their "money phrases" that they completely neglect many areas of their site. Instead they put their special phrase on every page and never research the thousands of others that are being typed into search engines every day.

Content for Content's Sake

Another trend I've been seeing a lot lately is the creation of content simply for the sake of creating content. What's that all about? SEOs certainly throw the words "good content" around a lot, but why is it that nobody seems to know what that means? We now have a whole cottage industry of companies who will allegedly write "good content" for you. Worse, there are even some that will *rent* you content! For instance, if you are a supply store in Tupelo Ms. you can rent content from one of the big city entities in New York.  How does that help with seo in Tupelo Ms? Newsflash...good content has nothing to do with the history of your products. Nor is good content a bunch of madlib spam pages where you simply substitute keyword phrases from one page into the other. Good content isn't stuff you write for the search engines.

What Exactly Is Good Content?

Good content is unique. Really and truly unique. It is creative ideas that simply popped into your head which nobody else in your space has thought of yet. The key to good content is creativity. Unfortunately, creativity itself seems to be a dying art. Being creative isn't looking at what your competitor is doing and copying them. It's being a leader, not a follower. It's having your own voice and your own opinions and expressing them, regardless of what others might think. It's pouring your heart and soul into your website, not looking for the next quick fix. And it's (say it with me) making your site the best it can be for your site visitors AND the search engines. It's what brings targeted traffic to our own site for thousands of phrases, and it's what will help your site gain traffic for whatever phrases relate to it. But it's not easy, and it's not fast. And it can't be done with the flick of a switch.

Determine Your True Goals

So please...if your pet phrase isn't ranking highly enough, don't call me and don't email me. In fact, don't call or email *any* SEO company. Instead of calling, you need to reassess your goals. No SEO company in the world will be able to help you unless you are ready to forget about what you think you want, and learn more about what you really need. Read that last sentence again until you really understand it. Forget about what you think you want, and learn more about what you really need.

Beware of SEO Companies Who Will Tell You What You Want to Hear

And remember, there are plenty of SEO companies that will say they can do whatever you want them to do. You want to be #1 for "spring"? Sure, no problem. They will happily take your money, do some work, and promptly get no results. Don't blame them though – they were just telling you what you wanted to hear.

Pinterest ranks 3rd in the Social Media Arena

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pinterestPinterest is now the number three most-popular social network in the U.S., behind Facebook and Twitter, according to Experian Hitwise.

A new report from the researcher shows Pinterest got 21.5 million visits during the week ending Jan. 28, a nearly 30-fold increase over a comparable week in July. Not surprisingly, the site skews female with a 60/40 ration of women to men visitors.

Experian rep Matt Tatham says Pinterest beat its next-closest competitor, LinkedIn, in total visits in February. Tatham says the rankings by total visits for March is as follows:

    1. Facebook: 7 billion
    2. Twitter: 182 million
    3. Pinterest: 104 million
    4. LinkedIn: 86 million
    5. Tagged: 72 million
    6. Google+: 61 million

    The report, which tracks visits rather than unique visitors, is based on web traffic and doesn’t factor in visits from mobile sites. According to Experian’s reckoning, Foursquare only got 2.9 million visits in March and Instagram got 10.2 million.

    ComScore, which doesn’t measure mobile traffic either, but ranks sites by uniques rather than total visits, did not include Pinterest in its list of the top 50 web properties in February. However, LinkedIn made number 27 with 36 million visitors. ComScore listed Pinterest as its number three “top-gaining” properties, however, with 17.8 million total visitors that month. ComScore’s March figures were not available at press time.

5 Completely Avoidable Marketing Mistakes That You Can Correct Right Now

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It’s one thing to try out an idea, jump on the latest bandwagon or take a risk only to look back and think, “Wow! What a mistake!” Those are often “good mistakes” – the kind you learn from and can use as a springboard for your next endeavor. But it’s another entirely to make one of those “stupid mistakes” that are so pernicious and so avoidable that all you can do at the end of the day is slap yourself on the forehead and wonder why you did it.

These are the kind of mistakes that you can correct almost immediately, if only you realized you were making them. So here’s a not-by-a-long-shot definitive list of those mistakes so that you can begin turning them into opportunities instead of headaches.

Mistake 1: No Follow Up

How many times have you met with a prospect, talked shop, and sent off a proposal only to hear the proverbial chirping cricket in the background? This happens a lot. Heck, I know I’ve done it to more than one poor soul who has offered me their services only to find me very scarce about five minutes after their proposal hit my email inbox.

This can happen for a bunch of reasons. Maybe the budget was too high or the timeframe too long. Maybe your prospect wasn’t quite ready to do business yet. Maybe she was just price shopping or idea shopping. Maybe his brother was getting married that month and your proposal was the last thing on his mind.

Whatever the reason, if you fail to follow up you simply fail.  You’ll never know why your prospect didn’t bite, so you’ll never know how you can improve your approach with your next prospect. Even if you find out that a prospect has hired someone else, you should still follow up to find out why. This is not meant to be a challenge or a confrontation. Consider it reconnaissance. Thank your prospect for the opportunity and ask why he chose another company. Information will only help you grow.

Set a schedule for following up with prospects so it becomes second nature and you never have to wonder whether you should/shouldn’t, did/forgot. Decide that X days after a meeting, you’ll call. And X days after a proposal, you’ll email. And X days after that you’ll check in. And after X weeks or months, you’ll send another email or make another phone call just to be sure you’re not leaving any loose ends.

Make it simple and finite. You can’t chase people down forever but if you have a process for following up you know you’ll never miss an opportunity simply because you neglected to call back. Most people don’t make decisions quickly so you’ll need to be patient and persistent.

Finally, always ask a prospect – especially if he doesn’t become a customer – if you can keep in touch for the long haul. That might mean checking in every six months or so, or keeping her on your email newsletter list. You just never know when needs and circumstances will change.

Mistake 2: Not Having A Process – Or Having Too Much Process

This is a double-edged mistake. It’s all about finding the Goldilocks zone of marketing. If you don’t have a process, you’ll be doing things randomly, haphazardly and most likely ineffectively. If you have too much process, you might find yourself perpetrating unnecessary inefficiencies just for the sake of sticking to the process.

This is true whether you’re managing a social media campaign, email campaign or direct mail campaign. It’s true for everything from SEO to proposal writing. You need a basic process in place but you need to be flexible enough to change it up when it’s not working.

Let’s use email campaigns as an example. Without a process, you won’t have any idea what you’re sending emails about, who you’re sending them to or what the content should be. You could make it up as you go along but that won’t help you plan, track what you’re doing and make adjustments to improve.

No process means you’ll be sending out emails whenever, about whatever, to whomever… and what kind of marketing is that!?

A good process might include a weekly schedule for sending emails, an email template with four specific content areas to fill, and a three-month plan of message topics and calls to action.

Too much process means you’re so hung up on filling those four content areas that you neglect the actual content and cram in whatever you can just to fill the spaces. Or it may mean continuing down the weekly email path even though you noticed your unsubscribe rate jump as soon as you went above monthly.

Too much or too little process can set you up for unnecessary failure. Start with a basic plan and give yourself the freedom to change as you start to see trends and patterns and as you discover new, more effective ways to do things.

Mistake 3: Ignoring Analytics

Quick: how many unique visitors did you have to your website yesterday? What percentage of your Facebook audience is female? What’s the open rate on your last email campaign?

If you can’t answer those questions quickly then you’re probably not measuring the results of your marketing efforts. If you’re not measuring results, how do you know if what you’re doing is working? If you don’t know what’s working, how do you know what to do next and where to put your efforts and budget?

A lot of people are scared of analytics. As far as I can tell, the only people totally comfortable with numbers are accountants and engineers. But analytics don’t have to be big and scary. They can be as simple as looking at your Facebook Insights to see how many people your posts reached. Better than last week? Worse? The rise or fall of a simple line on a graph can tell you that you’re doing great or you need to adjust your efforts.

I’ll tell you this much: if you don’t have Google Analytics (or some analytics) on your website, you should be slapping yourself in the forehead right now. Bad enough to ignore your analytics, but to not have them at all? That’s just crazy. If you’re new to analytics and numbers scare you, start small. Look at how many visitors you had on any given day. See how long they spent on your site. Check out the keywords they used to get to your site. Books have been written about analytics, for good reason. You can dig deep and analyze yourself cross-eyed. But in between marathon analytics sessions, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be checking your analytics for five minutes every day to track a couple of high level details and see how your marketing plans are going.

Mistake 4: Waiting For The Phone To Ring

Marketing can be exhausting! All that planning, engaging, creating, analyzing… isn’t it awesome when you can finish up your email newsletter, shoot off that Facebook post, then sit back and wait for the prospects to start pouring in?

…what? They’re not calling? They’re not breaking down your door after that last brilliant comment you made on Twitter that was retweeted forty times? You mean… you’re not done?

I want to be that person too – the one who can charge whatever hourly rate I’m in the mood to charge just because it’s Tuesday afternoon, the one who’s in such high demand that I have to kindly pat the beggars on the head and turn them away. But for me, and I imagine most (all) of you, we have to work just to get work.

It doesn’t matter how brilliant you are, how great your last blog post was or how clever you are on Twitter with your tens of thousands of followers… you still have to work if you want work. That means you can’t simply “market” and then wait. You’ve got to constantly be reaching out to customers, new and old. You’ve got to be creating opportunities for yourself through networking, conversations and testing the waters with potential prospects.

If you have an existing customer who you haven’t spoken to in several months, shame on you. Pick up the phone right now and say hello. It doesn’t matter if you need their work or if they need your services. You need to stay connected with people and be present.

Within the past week I won two new jobs with existing clients simply because I called at the right time. If I had sat back and waited for them to absorb my amazing marketing vibes I would never have gotten those jobs.  Do they get my email newsletters? Are they following me on Facebook? Sure. But were they thinking about me for one split second? Heck no, they’re busy.

Build your authority, your brand and your credibility through marketing. But don’t assume that just because you’re marketing that people are going to come to you. Never assume that business will just come to you. Sometimes you’ve got to go and get it.

Mistake 5: Thinking Your Audience Is “Everyone”

Who is your ideal customer? If you said anyone or everyone then you’ve got about a 100% chance of failure. It’s not humanly possible to appeal to everyone. Just ask anyone with two friends or more than one kid.

You may not have defined it yet, but you have an audience. There is a specific demographic of people that wants/needs/can afford your products or services. The sooner and the better you can define that audience, the better chance of success you’ll have.

I cannot stress enough that there’s no way to market to “everyone”. People have different interests, different wants, vastly different abilities to pay for what they want. You’ve got to figure out who you’re targeting so you can build a plan around hitting that bull’s-eye.

So sit down right now and think about who your ideal customer is. I literally want you to get a picture of someone in your head – gender, age, income level, hobbies, pet peeves, family status, profession, sense of humor. That person needs to become your BIF – your Best Invisible Friend. I want you to know that person inside and out so that you know exactly how to market to him (or her), what tone to take when you write, what colors to use on your site, how creative you can get with your social marketing.

Your BIF will help you craft your marketing strategies around a particular need, fear, desire or interest. Your BIF will help you avoid running amok and trying arbitrary marketing ideas and tactics. Your BIF will slap you across the face if you ever think about adding one stupid pin to Pinterest or clap when you post a video blog.

I’m even going to let you have more than one BIF. But never forget who they are because the minute you do, and you start trying to have a universal appeal, your business is going to fall flat on its face.  Trust me, I know how hard this can be. If you had asked me 13 years ago who my ideal customer was, I would have told you, “Anyone who pays me.” That may pay the bills for a while but it will never help you succeed.

I haven’t said anything that’s especially difficult to correct. Mostly it’s just about recognizing the mistakes and then fixing them before they can cost you any more business. Mistakes happen. How you address them means the difference between growing your business or trudging along just getting by.

I’d love to hear what mistakes you work to avoid, so please share your thoughts with me and let’s help each other stay on track!

6 Ways to Integrate Print with Your Social Media Marketing

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The Internet has undoubtedly changed the world of advertising forever, and a successful advertising campaign must embrace this medium in order to be successful. One may think that a purely online approach is the answer to the changing business trends, but it’s also important to remember that physical promotional items still reach areas that online advertising can’t. Here are some ways to integrate your print and social marketing efforts to produce the best results.

Targeting – One of the most useful ways to reach your target demographic is to pay attention to what your customers want. Keeping track of what they are searching for online and what they Like on Facebook is a great way to create print targeting that will reach the intended audience. While most of their searches are limited to Internet topics, it may also be possible to tailor your print campaign to meet their online interests.

Feedback – Effective advertising brings customers to your site or business, but ultimately the final approval comes from the customer. Online outlets are a great way to receive feedback from your customers in order to fine-tune your campaign. Setting up online feedback makes it convenient for customers to share their opinions. Print ads that mention this place for feedback will help direct your clientele and ensure that they are able to point out the pros and cons of your promotional items.

Creativity – Most companies realize that a balance of online content and physical information is necessary, but many aren’t sure how to achieve the balance. Oftentimes the answer comes down to budget and how much resources are being distributed to each area of advertising. In the end, achieving balance relies heavily on trial and error and the ability to be creative both on and offline. Experimenting with both of these mediums will give your company a better understanding of which areas are effective and which ones need work.

Cross-Promotion – Part of balancing your online and print campaigns relies on making sure that both parts are useful. Use your online resources to draw people to your print items and vice versa. For example, if you send out a brochure, be sure to include information about your site and how it can help enhance their experience. If you plan on running a promotion, make sure to utilize both elements of your ad campaign. Mixing up these methods will help to ensure that customers are paying attention to your print items as well as your online resources.

QR Codes – A relatively new term that is becoming viral in the world of business, QR codes are being implemented by a variety of existing advertising campaigns. QR (quick response) codes allow users to instantly download information to their smart phones and can be included on business cards, brochures, direct mail, or other print pieces.

Social Media – The far reaches of social media are powerful enough to organize revolutions, so why not use them to advertise? Incredibly effective when used properly, social media can be one of the most powerful ways to integrate your campaign. Your print campaign can include links to your various social media sites and provide customers with the latest news and information regarding your company.

PURLs – PURLs (personal URLs) provide a way to personalize messages for your clients. Break through the impersonal nature of the web by producing these for your clients and offering them information unique to them.

Conclusion
Advertising technology moves fast, and it is necessary to adapt to all of the latest trends in order to stay ahead of the competition. The success of your on and offline advertising campaign will rely on keeping up to date with the latest online features and finding ways to integrate them into your print campaign. Plan, research, and educate yourself on each of these topics and experiment with finding the right balance of print and online techniques to reach your customers more effectively.

7 key website analytics you should be looking

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7 key website analytics you should be looking at and what they can teach you about your marketing

Before we get into the good stuff, I feel compelled to risk getting beaten with the Obvious Stick by asking: Do you have analytics for your site? Moreover, do you know how to access them? Too many people either don’t have analytics or don’t know whether they have analytics, and wouldn’t know how to access them if they did.

Even if you’re not looking at your analytics you should still have them. It’s always possible to go back to analyze data but never possible to invent data that wasn’t collected in the first place. Ok, so once you’re sitting in front of all that data, what should you be looking for?

Visitors

What this statistic means

There are two kinds of visitor statistics. Total visits and Unique visits. These numbers will be different. Each unique visitor is one individual person who visited your site. But some of these people may have visited more than once, which contributes to the total.

What it can teach you

Ideally you’d like a good percentage of visitors to be unique. Having people return is great, but growth is better. The more unique visitors you can attract, the more opportunities for sales, leads and branding. But be careful if the number swings too far in the other direction. If you have a tiny percentage of returning visitors it means you’re not building loyalty.

You should also look at trends. Compare the number of visitors to your site today with the number from yesterday and the day before and last week and last month and last year. Is it trending up, down or staying flat? This should give you a pretty good idea of whether you’re doing something right, wrong or possibly ineffective.

You want your overall numbers to be going up over time. If that’s not the case, you may need to sit down and reevaluate your marketing. Perhaps you’re not driving people to your site often enough or offering enough incentive for people to go there. Perhaps it’s time to take a look at your search listings. Remember, just because you have a website, you can’t assume people will go there. You’ve got to remind them and prompt them and give them a reason to visit. Simply printing it on a business card is not enough. A website is part of your marketing but you’ve got to market it, too.

Bounce Rate

What this statistic means

The Bounce Rate is the percentage of people who came to your site, landed on a page and then “bounced” off again without clicking to another page. For a blog this may be expected. Many people who visit to read an article of interest may then leave once they’re done with the article. For your company website it probably means you didn’t give the visitor enough reason to click anywhere else.

What it can teach you

If you have a high Bounce Rate on your blog, it might be time to improve your content, spice up your headlines or make it easy for people to find and click on something new. It’s possible that people have just come to read something specific but it wouldn’t hurt to take a look at what you can do to make it more likely that someone will stick around. You should compare this to your subscription rate, too. If people are bouncing off, but subscribing before they do, that’s not a bad thing.

If you have a high Bounce Rate on your company website then you will probably need to take a look at some additional statistics (which I will tell you about in a minute). But on your primary website a high Bounce Rate usually means something is wrong. Time to start asking some questions.

Is your site user-friendly? Is it clear what a person should do next? Do you have a call to action and a clear navigational structure to guide people? Is your copy interesting and customer-centered or do you launch immediately into how great your company is? Does your site look professional or might a new visitor be turned off or concerned about continuing?

Keep this important tip in mind: people may not enter your website on the home page. We tend to be very linear about things in our heads, assuming people will start on the Home page, progress to the About page, move on to Services, then Contact. But a website is not a book. There is no beginning and end and a person may pop in on your Contact page first or any other subpage. Think about this as you look for ways to improve and make sure that each page is clear, professional, direct and compelling. Each page may be your first and last chance to get someone’s attention.

Time On Site

What this statistic means

This one is just what it sounds like. It’s the amount of time someone spent on your site. It’s impossible to tell how much time a person should spend on a site. That will depend entirely on the goals of your site, a person’s needs and how quickly visitors can find what they need.

What it can teach you

If you look at trends over time, you can see whether people are spending more time (great for a blog), less time (not great for any site) or if it stays about the same (Hm. Maybe your marketing needs a kick). If your Time on Site seems low (A few seconds? One minute?) it means people are either not interested or not finding what they want. This is a good indication that you should be looking more closely at your copy and whether it addresses the needs of your audience.

Here’s where combinations of statistics can come in handy. Look at this statistic together with your Bounce Rate. A high Bounce Rate and low Time on Site means someone landed on your site and barely bothered to stick around. There are still more statistics that you can look at here, but just these two bits alone are enough to let you know that something isn’t right. Why would a person get to your site then leave quickly? Is it “unfriendly”? Do you have a mess of gadgets and gizmos, sidebars and ads, shouting headlines and scrolling images? Maybe your site is too busy and overwhelming. Or maybe it doesn’t say much of anything and never catches someone’s interest. Take a look to see how you can improve.

On the other hand, a high Bounce Rate and high Time on Site is not necessarily a bad thing. It means someone visited and didn’t bother clicking around, but did spend time reading whatever page he landed on. The good news is that you got his attention. Now you can go back and think about what you can do to keep it. Perhaps a strategically placed call-to-action might have prompted better results.

This happens sometimes with blogs. A person may read a single article (contributing to high Bounce Rate) but spend a long time reading it, which means your content was interesting enough to keep him there. That’s great, but there is still an opportunity to improve headlines and find better ways to funnel that person to the next article.

Search Terms

What this statistic means

This statistic will tell you what keywords people used in search engines that led them to your site. You should be aware that Google now excludes keyword data from its analytics for anyone who searches while logged in to their secure Google account. This will show up in your Google reports (assuming this is what you’re using) as “not provided”.

What it can teach you

This statistic together with Bounce Rate and Time on Site forms a bit of a holy trinity. Take a look to see what terms people are using, how long they stayed and whether or not they continued on. This can give you some good insight into how effectively you’re targeting your audience.

I’ve been looking at analytics for many years, even in pre-Google-analytics days (imagine such a thing) and I can always be surprised by the keywords people use. Sometimes they have nothing to do with my content, but I happened to use a particular turn of phrase that my site got picked up for. When that happens, I expect a high Bounce Rate and probably zero Time on Site. Not much to do about that. If it happens to you, shrug and let it go.

But if someone is finding your site for keywords you want them to be finding it for – and leaving quickly without bothering to click around – that is most certainly a red flag. It could mean you’re not providing the type of content that is to be expected when searching for your terms. It’s your job to figure out where the disconnect is. Look at your copy. Think about what you can do to make it more about the subject it should be about (and hence the keywords) so people who find your site for a certain keyword will stick around to learn more. Figure out how you can make it more interesting. Try to think like your visitor and come up with questions he or she might have when visiting your site based on a certain keyword.

If your copy is flawless it could be more about the execution. Take a look at the layout. Is it too blocky and text heavy or are you making it easy for the visitor to read by providing headings, short paragraphs and breaks in the text? Readability is just as important as quality of content.

Finally, if you’re looking at your Search Terms and wondering why all your important keywords are missing from the list, this could be a sign of poor optimization. If people are not finding your site for the keywords you want to be found for, then it’s time to reevaluate your use of those keywords in the copy, and the overall search-friendliness of your site.

Referrals

What this statistic means

This statistic tells you where your traffic came from. A referrer is any site that leads people to yours. It could be another website, your Facebook page, a Google search or LinkedIn. A “Direct” referral means that someone typed your web address directly into the browser to get to your site.

What it can teach you

This can give you a really good idea of where your marketing is winning and where it’s at its weakest. If most of your referrals come from your Facebook page, you’re probably doing a good job on your Facebook marketing. But if only a few trickle in from LinkedIn, you know that this is a place to turn some of your attention.

You can also get an idea of what other sites are linking to yours. You might be surprised to see a referral from a site you never heard of, but pleasantly so when you realize someone thought your site was good enough to link to.

I was recently surprised to see traffic coming to this site through the site of a local networking group that I joined. That told me that a one paragraph bio I thought was somewhere obscure and unnoticed was actually driving traffic. It gave me a reason to revisit that bio and punch it up because now I know people are reading it and taking an interest. Imagine how much stronger my marketing on that site could be if I tried! I bet if you look at your referrers you’ll find a few places you can improve and a few unexpected ways to capitalize.

You can also start to see patterns if you compare your marketing efforts to your Referrals. If you run a huge Facebook campaign, you should be able to see your referrals from Facebook go up. If not, you can learn something about the effectiveness (or lack of it) of the campaign. If you start to slide on your LinkedIn marketing, you’ll probably notice that not only do your total visits go down, but you’ll see LinkedIn as a referrer pushed down on the list.

Landing Pages

What this statistic means

Remember how I told you that people may or may not enter your site via your home page? This is the statistic that will tell you where they came in. Conversely, Exit Pages will tell you which page they left from. See, I just gave you two statistics in one and it wasn’t even scary.

What it can teach you

This is where you go for a little reality check. So many of us obsess over our home page and making it look pretty that we forget someone may never even see it. Once you can see this actually happening based on the numbers right in front of you, you can start thinking about ways to improve each and every one of your pages.

See what pages people are landing on most (other than your home page) and turn your attention to improving the content, making the call-to-action clear and providing a hook to get people reading more (or contacting you!)

If you’re using Google analytics, you can also see the Time on Site and Bounce Rate for each page. Remember those? Put them together and you’ve got a whole arsenal of information. You can learn which pages people are hitting the most, how long they stay and whether or not they dig deeper or shove off. It’s not about the numbers at this point. It’s about doing a little bit of sleuthing to figure out where your site’s weaknesses are and how you can improve.

Browsers

What this statistic means

This little tidbit will tell you what Browsers your visitors are using when they visit your site. I bet you’ll be surprised by this one. Most people rarely think beyond Internet Explorer and maybe Firefox and Chrome. I saved it for last because it seems small but it can pack a (knockout) punch if you’re not paying attention.

What it can teach you

First, it can teach you a little bit about your audience. People in corporate environments tend to use IE (and older versions of it, too). If you see a lot of IE users and a bunch of versions 6 and 7 pop up, you know you’re probably dealing with the corporate crowd, and quite possibly an older crowd. “Creatives” are more likely to use Safari (think of every Mac person you know) or even Firefox or Chrome. Developers and programmers lean toward Chrome. There are whole reams of data on browser demographics; just do a quick Google search.

Knowing your audience will give you a good sense of who you’re targeting. Hopefully, your target and the implied demographic will match. If not, this is a sign you may need to reconsider something about your copy, design or marketing.

But browser statistics can also help you figure out if you’re meeting the needs of your audience. If you’ve got a corporate demographic, but your site breaks in IE, you’ve got a problem. Time to look at cross-browser compatibility.

If you know your audience is using IE 6 and yet your site is built on all the latest and greatest HTML 5 and CSS 3 technology, you will have a really hard time reaching the people who matter the most. Looking at your Browser statistics can help you determine how much backwards compatibility you need.

It can also show you where you might be wasting time. Don’t get fixated on making sure that your site is compatible with every version of every browser if 1% of your audience ever uses a version below IE 8.

Pay attention to the mobile browsers, too. A huge chunk of people will only ever see your site on a mobile device. If this applies to you, it’s time to think about a mobile version of your site, or at least making sure that your site is built to be responsive on various browsers and devices.

It seems small, but it doesn’t matter how many things you do right if a person simply cannot view your site in his browser of choice.

Are you still in one piece? Have the numbers numbed your brain? I’m pretty sure you made it through and hopefully you see that analytics are not only important and valuable, but they can also be pretty interesting, too.

Now go out there and start looking at yours. They’re dying to tell you a story about how well your marketing is performing, if only you’d take a moment to listen!

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