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How Website Analytics Can Inspire Your Inbound Marketing

Posted by Christine B. Whittemore on Mar 18, 2015 8:30:00 AM

This is a 7 minute read.

How Website Analytics Can Inspire Your Inbound MarketingWould you take off in a car without knowing if you have enough gas, what your speed is and where you're going? So why not apply the same inspired and analytical thinking to your business website so it truly functions as a 24/7 inbound marketing and sales associate? You can with website analytics.

Install Analytics For Your Website!

Before getting started, you need to make sure you have website analytics installed. Start with Google Analytics. It's free and simply requires a gmail address.

Once you've created your Google Analytics account, follow the instructions to install the tracking code on your website. If you can't access your website, you may need to ask your IT support to help you.

If you aren't sure if you have Google Analytics installed or not, there's an easy way to check. Go to your website and right click; select 'view source' which will open up a new page where you'll notice lots of code. Click {control} F (or {command} F on a Mac) and type in "Google." If it's installed, you'll find it highlighted.

What Information Can Your Website Analytics Provide You With?

Well, you'll start to know what your speed is! Seriously, once you start tracking your website traffic, you'll have a different appreciation for the work your website does for your business.

Ultimately, you're looking for patterns.

To begin with, you'll start to develop a baseline. You'll be able to see how much traffic you have, how long it stays on your site and how many pages it explores on your site.

You'll discover whether your traffic is coming directly to your site (and knows you already), whether it's coming from search (and doesn't know much about you) and whether other sites are sending traffic your way. If you're doing Adwords (or Pay-Per-Click), you'll see how that traffic compares to your other traffic sources.

>> See How To Get Started with Paid Search to Get Found Online: 15 Tips

You'll be able to learn where geographically your traffic is coming from, and whether visitors are at a desktop, a tablet or a mobile device. That particularly matters if your website isn't responsive (i.e., it doesn't adapt to the type of device your visitors are using to explore your website). 

You'll discover which pages on your site attract the most traffic.

You'll also be able to set up goals so you learn whether the actions you want visitors to take are the ones they actually take. Some of those actions might be to sign up for a newsletter, visit more than 10 pages on your site, spend 5 minutes or more or complete an ecommerce transaction.

>> See Setting Up Goals in Google Analytics: Digital Marketing Must-Have

Ultimately, with analytics you're able to figure out what's working and what's not on your site so you can improve.

Website Analytics Can Also Inspire Your Inbound Marketing

When you embrace analytics for your website, you begin to think of all of your online marketing activities and how they should integrate with one another to truly deliver on your SMART goals. For example, if you send out a regular email, how does that affect traffic to your site? Can it increase activity in a way that benefits your business?

>> See SMART Marketing Goals And Why You Need Them

I referred earlier to your website as your 24/7 inbound marketing and sales associate. That requires that your website support your sales and marketing and that it deliver prospects to you just as your physical location with its knowledgeable associates do.

That means that your website needs to educate visitors, a must when -by the time a prospective customer reaches out to you- 75% of the decision-making process has already been completed.

>> See Why ZMOT is Relevant for B2B Marketing: 4 Data-Based Reasons

Your website needs to engage visitors to spend time and explore. It also needs to convince visitors to leave an email address - and perhaps other relevant information - so you can continue to develop the relationship.

Your website should help you gather and keep track of information about your prospects. It should help you make smart decisions about how to improve your conversion tools and your content.

>> See What is a Landing Page and How Does it Work?

>> See 13 Big Landing Page Mistakes You Need to Avoid

That's the next level of website analytics.

Think Inbound Marketing Analytics for Your Website

If this all sounds intimidating or overwhelming, I'm here to tell you that it's actually inspiring. After spending so much time in the dark, you now have the opportunity to make meaning of your online marketing. It can operate in lock-step with your overall sales and marketing, providing you with valuable insights. It can be part of the education and decision-making that prospects are doing online before they reach out to you.

Inbound marketing analytics will require additional analytics beyond Google Analytics. Consider an all-in-one marketing automation software such as HubSpot - that's what I use - which also includes a CRM so you can fully integrate your sales processes.

>> See Smarketing Takes On New Meaning With HubSpot's New Sales Tools

It helps you with personas, too!

>> See Integrate Personas into Your Inbound Marketing with HubSpot

Imagine being able to keep track on your visitor information, monitor how well your website pages are Search Engine Optimized, track your keywords, deliberately create website and blog content in support of your keyword strategy, implement emails and lead nurturing, manage and monitor your social networks while delivering on your SMART goals.

>> See SEO Tips: Having Fun with Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

>> See The Business of SEO: Get Found

>> See How Do I Avoid Bad SEO Techniques

Don't Forget To Regularly Measure and Analyze for Inbound Meaning!

The paradox of digital marketing is that is delivers data. Lots of data. The challenge is making meaning from the data so your business can benefit.

To that end, be consistently rigorous about reviewing your analytical data on a regular basis. At a minimum on a monthly basis. You'll find it valuable to use the information as a basis for actions.

Look at your new offers and blog content to determine what resonates. Determine how to test timing and types of content to share on social networks. Be sure, too, to compare your online analytical data to your business dynamics. If your website is the digital equivalent of your business/office, it needs to support your sales and marketing programs. If it isn't, you may be missing opportunities. 

What's your reaction? Are you ready to implement website analytics? Are you ready to go one step further with inbound analytics? Let me know in the comments.

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Topics: customer experience

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