Searching for an image on Flickr I found pages and pages of “boring” looking graphs – exactly what put me off web statistics in the first place I have to admit.
If the last time you looked at a graphs was in maths class at school, you might want to re-visit those carefree days when your biggest worry was what was going to be on the next test paper. As a grown up, you can use those same analytical skills to find whether anyone who ever visited your website turned into a client!
Although charts, graphs, and statistics may not be the most exciting aspect of business to focus upon, they provide some very useful data about how your web presence and whether it is working for your business.
Setting up a Google Analytics Account is easy
To sign up for an account with Google Analytics is free, simply click here to visit the website. Once you have opened an account, just add your website URL (web address) and within 24 hours Analytics will be doing all the work for you.
Your website traffic will be analyzed for you and you can find out an amazing amount of information including:
- Which pages your site visitors land on
- How long (on average) they stay on your site
- Where your site visitors are located in the world by country
- Percentage of new visits (versus returning visitors)
- Search engines visitors used (not all Google)
- Keywords they used to find your site
….and the list goes on.
So you didn’t think SEO (search engine optimisation) was so important?
Seriously, think again. If you have NOT done your research and found out the key terms people are putting into Google when looking for your kind of business, you are missing a trick.
Search Engine Optimisation is the art (or science) of increasing your “findability” (yeah, I know that’s not a real word!) on the web. Nowadays, most people go straight to Google when they want to find something online. They will type in whatever search terms they think appropriate to find a product or service they need.
These are NOT always what you might expect by the way. I was doing some research for a virtual assistant or VA business recently and when searching for the term “VA” only came up with listings for:
“US Department of Veterans Affairs” and
“the state of Virginia in the USA, which is abbreviated to VA”
Not what I expected when “VA” is industry standard terminology – but clearly not a term understood by the general public.
Where do you start in your search for Keywords?
You can of course do you own keyword research – Google (surprise) have a useful tool that is, again, free, click here to sign up. It will take time and patience, and a testing to find out which keywords are the best. The trick is to find keywords that are searched for often but don’t have a lot of competition from other websites.
Feeling confused about SEO – where can you turn for help?
Since the whole process can become quite mind-boggling there is a lot of help available. However beware of companies that claim to get you to “no. 1 on Google” in a week with organic search methods. (This is what I’ve been talking about so far, as opposed to “Pay Per Click Campaigns” where Google list your website at the top of their site and you pay whenever anyone “clicks” on your ad).
Organic search takes time, you can linger further down Google for weeks or months before you even get on to page 1. So anyone who claims to do it quicker is being far from honest!
To make the most out of SEO you also need to know where on earth to put the brilliant keywords you have found. Do you have to dabble around the “back end” of your website or just sprinkle them throughout your website copy. The answer is both. Writing copy that is optimised for the search engines needs to be thought through carefully. You want your website to appeal to visitors AND Google – and overuse of keywords in your copy is the fastest way to lose site visitors in a nano second!
If this all makes perfect sense, great! If not (and you are looking for a brand new website) my Bespoke Website Package always comes with organic SEO for each site.
Photo credit: Vicky Brock