Social Media 101

101The magic is in the trends.
Have you clearly defined a goal for your web presence beyond simple brand awareness? For folks with an e-commerce presence, that goal is seemingly simple: conversion of traffic into sales.
I assumed that many website owners had heard of Google Analytics, and had installed the free software within their website code. But, according to Benjamin Mangold, the overwhelming majority of website owners don’t use this free service to its full potential, if at all. Further, they seem to follow the non-recommended “set it and forget it” methodology to website performance. He asks, “Why go to the trouble of monitoring traffic data if you’re not going to make changes based on the findings?”
Mangold is the analytics director for Mangold Sengers, an consultancy in Sydney, Australia. He visited Edmonton in July to hold his Seminar for Success training workshop on Google Analytics. He suggests that many organizations install the software but then simply review the numbers without taking any specific actions based on what the data are telling them.
The analytics specialist estimates that nearly 80 percent of the near thousand people he trains each year are not even using the software prior to attending. I found that statistic very interesting. In other words, many people have little knowledge of what people are searching for related to their brand, product or service. Even more telling is his suggestion that organizations of all shapes and sizes are spending marketing dollars to promote their websites but to coordinate their online and offline efforts.
If you’re not already using Google Analytics, Mangold suggests these tips as a place to start. First, after installing the program, review the keyword reports on how people are finding your site. You may learn that the words are different from what your organization assumes are the standard searches. Then create a list of keywords that are more descriptive in nature, and build content around that list. “Pick a phrase and generate content for that phrase, then watch to see how this affects your website traffic,” he adds.
When asked where companies that use Google Analytics go wrong, Mangold explains “they tend to look at the daily numbers and overlook the trends. The trending is where the real value is in analytics.”
One of the clear challenges is overcoming “analysis paralysis”—figuring out how to interpret and take action on all the data that’s available. Even assigning the right human resources to the task can be a difficult task in itself. Mangold says that Google is working on simplifying the data into a more consumable structure but couldn’t elaborate further. I’m all for that. Anytime a company can increase the ease of use of one of its tools without losing critical functionality, I think they’re moving in the right direction.
As for Mangold, he says he’d love to return to Edmonton to hold another seminar soon. The motivation behind this first event was that he felt Edmontonians didn’t get much of an opportunity to attend seminars of this type, and I’d have to agree. I’ll be sure to meet with him the next time he’s in town. √

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Explore posts in the same categories: Edmonton Tech Community, Edmonton Technology, Social Networking, Walter Schwabe

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