Category Archives for "Google Analytics"

7 Easy (And Wickedly Effective) Ways to Pimp Your Website in 2014

Happy New Year!

I’m assuming you’ve got big plans for your business this year, right?

I mean, I’ve never heard an entrepreneur say “I’m happy with how things are. I think I’ll just kick back and relax.”

Heck no! You wanna grow your business. Make it bigger and better. You’re like the Once-ler from the Lorax and figure on “biggering and Biggering and BIGGERING…”!

Well, for most businesses, your website is Ground Zero for making that happen. You want it to be a well-oiled machine that attracts, engages and converts your ideal prospects into paying customers.

So with that in mind, here are 7 tools, strategies and/or tips to help your website do that much more effectively this year. (These are in no particular order, though if I had a gun to my head and was forced to pick just one of these, it’d be #7.)

1. Get Rid of Your Sliders

Yep. I’m talking about those rotating image sliders that are all the rage on websites these days. They flash a product, message, offer, etc. for a few seconds and then move on to the next.

Well, as our parents used to say, “Just because everyone else jumps off a bridge, doesn’t mean you should do it too.”

The thing is, sliders KILL conversions.

There have been a number of studies by conversion experts and, in almost all of them, websites/landing pages that use sliders have lower conversion rates than the ones that just feature ONE specific offer/message/product.

(A lot of it has to do with movement. Our eyes are naturally drawn to movement. So when you have that slider constantly scrolling at the top of your site, it draws visitors’ attention every time it rotates. And that’s distracting and prevents them from focusing on the stuff you really want them paying attention to – your offer, products, proof, call to action, etc.)

So pick the ONE message you want to deliver at the top of your site and make sure it’s the only one that people see at the top of your landing pages.

2. Install Crazy Egg

Full disclosure here – I’m a paid regular contributor to the Crazy Egg blog, The Daily Egg.

That said, I get no kickbacks for recommending Crazy Egg software. The only reason I’m recommending it here is because I believe in it.

The software creates “heatmaps” of your website that visually show you where people are clicking on your website. You can see “scrollmaps” that show how far down the pages of your site most people scroll. You also get “confetti” maps that show information about the people clicking like referral sources, operating system and browser type.

Google Analytics is very important and provides a lot of essential information. But it doesn’t give you the full story. Crazy Egg helps you figure out how people are interacting with your site and provides  invaluable insights on how to rearrange, redesign and revamp things to get them clicking on the things you want them to click on.

It provides insights that help you figure out WHY people aren’t converting on your site. Among the companies that value Crazy Egg to get these insights are Amazon, eBay and Microsoft.

And with plans starting at just $9/month, it’s so ridiculously cheap that you can’t afford not to get access to this treasure trove of information!

3. Set up Goals in Analytics

You’ve got Analytics installed on your site (right?!). Well that’s great, but it’s just the beginning. What you really want to do with Analytics is set up Goals.

What is it you want people to do when they get to your website?

  • Buy something
  • Sign up for a newsletter, free report or whitepaper
  • Start a free trial of your service

Any or all of those things can be set up as Goals in Analytics so you can track when people perform the actions you want them to take. Then you can get a clearer picture of how many people are taking those actions, what source(s) of traffic perform the best and how changes you make to your site affect the conversion rates of your Goals.

Installing Analytics and setting up Goals are completely free and provide essential information you need to improve your sales funnel. If you don’t have them set up yet, make it one of the first New Year’s Resolutions you make good on this year.

4. Better Button Copy

If you have buttons on your website that say “Submit” or “Click Here”, you’re making a big mistake.

Changing the copy on those buttons may be one of the easiest, yet most effective things you can do to increase conversions on your site.

Use copy that conveys a benefit. Here are a few examples:

  • “Start your Free Trial”
  • “Get the Secret Now”
  • “Sign up and reserve your spot today”
  • “Get Free Updates”

You want to use the button copy to convey the VALUE your prospect gets for clicking. Do that effectively and watch your conversions rise.

5. Get Rid of the I’s and We’s

People don’t come to your website to hear all about you, how great you are and/or how great your products and services are.

They come to your site to find out what you and your products and services can DO FOR THEM. How can you make their lives better? How can you eliminate a pain they’re experiencing OR fulfill a desire they have?

Read over the copy on your site and see if there are more I’s, We’s and Our’s, than You’s. Because if you’re talking about yourself more than your prospects, it’s almost a guarantee your message is missing the mark.

Put the focus squarely on them, their emotions, their problems and desires and your copy will be more effective in getting them to respond.

6. Add More Proof

Why should people believe the claims you make on your site?

Most websites fall way short when it comes to backing up those claims. As Internet marketing guru Terry Dean so beautifully put it “Claims without proof, are just hype.”

Take a look at your website. Do you have lots o’ proof to back up the claims you make on it?

Bet you could add more.

Testimonials and case studies are great. But there’s tons of other ways to generate proof…

Videos. Awards. Credentials. Relevant stories. Social media mentions/fans/followers. Media coverage. Published articles. 3rd party endorsements. Celebrity endorsements. Notable clients.

Adding these things give more credibility to the claims you make and reduce the risk in your prospects’ minds about doing business with you.

More proof = lower perceived risk = higher conversions.

7. Install Optimizely

Okay, if you only do one thing to your website in 2014, it’s this.

Optimizely is a software tool that allows you to easily make changes to a page on your website and then split test the original vs. the page with the changes to see which one generates more conversions.

Basically Optimizely makes a copy of your web page on their server and lets you easily edit the text, images, buttons, etc. on that page (through a WYSIWIG editor… NO coding is required to make changes!).

All you do is install one snippet of code on your site, decide what changes you want to make to try to boost conversions and the software does the rest.

It will show half the visitors to your site the original version and the other half the page that has the change(s). Then it does the math and tells you when one of the variations has outperformed the other and you have a statistically significant winner.

In AdWords, split testing your ads is about the best thing you can do over time to increase the performance of your campaigns. And it’s simple to do.

Optimizely makes split testing your website – the best thing you can do over time to increase the performance of your website – almost as simple as split testing your AdWords ads.

We’re using Optimizely more and more on client sites and it’s an incredibly addictive (and profitable for clients!) game to try to consistently beat the control and improve conversions on the site.

And it’s dirt cheap to get started with a 30 day free trial and a base package starting at just $17/month. Considering the revenue boost an increase in conversions can bring to your business, using Optimizely can easily be THE most profitable investment you make in the New Year.

The Road To Online Marketing Success Starts With This One Thing

Would you hire an investment advisor and not demand that you get regular statements?

Of course not!

That’d be absurd. If they’re investing your hard earned cash, you’re gonna require some accountability there. You want regular updates to keep track of how your investments are performing.

Well, your website in no different.

If you’re putting money into marketing your website, you have to keep track of how it’s performing.

Because marketing IS an investment.

Most business owners view it as an expense, but marketing is really an investment.

And, as with any investment, you need to keep track of it and see if you’re getting a return on that investment.

And, to do that, you have to measure your results.

The How and Why of Measuring Your Online Marketing Results

Do you have Google Analytics (or some other analytics program) installed on your website to track visitors?

Hopefully most of you do (and, if you don’t, please get Analytics – it’s free – installed as soon as you’re done reading this article!)

Now here’s the big follow up question…

…If you do have Analytics installed, do you have Goals set up in Analytics to track when people complete key actions on your site (ie. making a purchase, visiting a key page, filling out a form)?

And, if phone calls are important to your business, do you use a call tracking service so you can track the phone calls generated by your online and offline marketing campaigns?

Having tracking like this is place is the first thing I look for when a company brings me in as a marketing consultant to take kick their online marketing efforts to the next level.

Because if you don’t track and measure results, you can’t answer critical questions about your marketing and your business including…

  • What does it cost you to acquire a new customer?
  • Are your marketing campaigns profitable?
  • What are the conversion rates on your website?
  • Have changes you’ve made to your website design increased or decreased conversion rates?

If you don’t know the answers to questions like these, you’re just stumbling around in the dark.

By tracking and measuring your results, you…

…Establish a baseline so you can tell whether the changes you make to your website result in more leads and sales, fewer leads and sales or have no effect.

…Focus your attention on what’s working well in your marketing so you can improve upon what’s working and cut your losses on the things that aren’t.

…Get an accurate picture of the ROI your efforts are (or are not) producing.

The most successful business owners and marketers I come across know their numbers. If you aren’t tracking and measuring the results of your marketing efforts, getting that set up will be the most important step you make to getting your marketing house in order that you’ll ever take.

Can Local Business Owners Ignore Bing?

Bing logoBelieve it or not, there are other search engines besides Google!

With around 65{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} of all U.S. searches taking place on the Big G, it certainly makes sense for business owners to focus their search engine marketing efforts where most people are searching.

However, you shouldn’t completely forget about the other search engines, especially Bing.

A few years ago Bing and Yahoo! combined their search engines so that Bing now powers searches performed on both Bing AND Yahoo!. Combined, these two search engines get about 29{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} of all U.S. searches on the web.

Looking at the search traffic patterns for most of my local business clients, I see they’re getting about 20{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} of their organic search engine traffic from Bing and Yahoo!. It’s not 29{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} (and your mileage may vary), but that’s still nothing to sneeze at.

So what does this mean for you as a local business owner?

Three important takeaways…

1. Pay attention to where you rank for your top keywords on Bing and Yahoo!. Once a month, look at the Analytics data for your site and see what keywords people are typing into Bing and Yahoo! that are leading them to your site. There may be some good keywords there that you could further optimize and climb higher in the Bing/Yahoo! rankings for (and with relatively less competition on Bing/Yahoo!, it may be easier to claim the top spots for choice keywords for your local business there than on Google).

2. Get your local business listed on the Bing Business Portal. It’s Bing’s equivalent to Google Places and there’s a lot to love about the features it offers. At the very least it’s a good place to get another citation to help you in the Google local rankings but, again, with Bing accounting for 29{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} of search engine traffic, the Portal may be a good place to pick up some extra visibility for your business.

3. If you’re using Google AdWords, it’s worth testing Microsoft AdCenter (Bing is a Microsoft product). It’s not nearly as slick as AdWords and doesn’t get nearly as much traffic, but with a 30{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} market share, you could be losing out on a lot of business by not being there.

There used to be a time when I’d tell local business owners to forget about Bing. I can’t do that any more. While I’ve yet to hear stories of Bing/Yahoo! rankings making or breaking a local business (Google can and does), don’t ignore Bing.

Especially if your competition is just focusing all their efforts on Google, spending a bit of time focusing on Bing may give you a few extra leads your competitors are missing!



Why Blog? The Eyebrow Raising Discovery That’s Got a Local Attorney Back on the Blogging Bandwagon

“I can’t write.”
“I don’t have anything to say.”
“I’m too busy.”

Mention blogging and most business owners immediately come up with one or more of excuses above on why they don’t want to blog.

There are a number of reasons blogging helps your business but I want to share a story today that highlights one of the biggies.

A few weeks ago I was sitting down with one of my clients, Alex, who’s a tax attorney in St Louis.

When Alex set up the website for his firm last year, he added a blog. Between October 2010 (when his site launched) and April 2011 wrote 13 blog posts, which is about 2 a month. Then, like most business owners who start blogging, he stopped. His practice was growing and he had other priorities so blogging got pushed down the To Do List.

During our meeting, I pulled up Google Analytics for Alex’s site. (Analytics is free software from Google that lets you gather information about traffic to your website.) One of interesting tidbits of info you see in Analytics is the exact search terms that people typed into Google to find your site.

As we started looking at the terms that got people to Alex’s site, he noticed (much to his surprise!) keywords related to various tax laws and regulations that he had blogged about months ago.

The simple act of sitting down and writing a blog post about a tax law was enough to get him high enough in the search engines for people to find his site!

Seeing that data and seeing that his blog posts had a real effect on driving traffic to his site was enough for Alex to get back on the blogging bandwagon.

Adding a blog to your site is one of the best things you can do to help your site’s ranking on Google.  And blogging is not as bad or as painful as it seems.

Every day you have little conversations and interactions with clients that can easily turn into a blog post. In fact, sharing this story about Alex to a new client who was resistant to blogging led me to write this post!

And, remember, Alex got results from just 13 blog posts spread over 6 months so you don’t even have to blog that often!

The Bottom Line

Blogging is not a difficult, time-consuming endeavor. Add a blog to your site, add a few posts a month and, like Alex, you may be very surprised to see more people finding your blog and website.