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Keyword Research, Website Analytics Help During Tough Times

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Website analytics can be used to face the significant challenges confronting website owners in these relatively difficult economic times, what many are calling a crisis.

Executive Summary

Why does the process of website analytics continue to grow in importance?

It's a rising tide; the popularity of many online industries has grown recently. Another issue is intuitively obvious: people need to measure the success of their digital online investments.

People and companies are spending millions of dollars and now is the time to get organized and centralized; one must ask, 'How can we verify these online investments are worthwhile?'

The Importance of Keyword Research

Keywords represent the very beginning of online behavior: keywords tell you how a customer found you, keywords tell you what they are interested in, keywords indicate their intent, and keywords tell you what they care about. It's the starting point!

If I am selling cars and people are coming to my site using the keywords 'gas mileage' that is a dead giveaway for what I should be promoting, what I should be focused on, and the kinds of research and development I do. Keywords are absolutely central to this.

When some folks look at Google Analytics and I see all the graphs, maps, and pie charts, it can be daunting for the non-mathematically minded. Some brains just do not work in scenarios where there are lots of numbers.

It's not just that some brains do not work in that way; some actively rebel it. Many do not care for the scary term 'web analytics'. Yuck! That's why some promoters and gurus are starting to call it eMetrics marketing optimization, because it's about improving marketing and tracking success.

In 1995 when Web Trends got started, if they had said 'We aren't a web analytics company, we're a web marketing success company,' then it might have been a different story.

Even if you are one who can get a head around the statistics and math, the real issue is the lack of knowledge about making actionable decisions based on the analytic reports.

The key term here is 'actionable'. The issue is not only not knowing what action to take, but also not knowing how to read analytic reports in the first place. What do I do with this data? What business decisions should be made, and what changes do I make to my website?

Actually, going about making web site changes is somewhat complex. We've been manufacturing things for hundreds of years, but we haven't been building websites for all that long. We don't have much empirical data about what the best processes are yet.

Common mistakes when trying to decipher web analytics

The first one is always the same: people get overwhelmed by the reports; after all, there are a seemingly infinite number of totally useless reports. I have web analytics - look at all these reports. So what - what do they mean and what are they for? People think that just because they have these reports as a package it will answer all their problems, when in fact it's only the very tip of the iceberg. Web analytics are tools that will provide answers -- but only if you ask the right questions.

How will knowing how many visitors come to your website help you? What business decisions should you make based on those results? And this is the main problem I come across: lots of Nashville SEO companies are not analysts at all – they're only reporters. There is a huge difference between being a reporter and analyst.

Making offline business decisions based on online results

When you know that because a certain number of people show up through a given link, from a particular geographical location, during a particular period of time, you can surmise that this kind of advertising will be better if it's tested.

When you can see that, of two buttons on the homepage where one is for features and the other for benefits, more people click on features, then you can then decide to promote the features in all of your marketing, not just online. In such a case you're optimizing all of your advertising based on the behavior that people exhibit on your website.

Some savvy companies trust the online data so much that they actually change their business models to reflect the behavior they witness on their website.

Will web analytics based research replace traditional market research?

Web analytics-based research will certainly replace traditional market research, albeit rather slowly and gradually. But it will happen. Some companies are already making related changes; for some, it is a speedy evolution.

It's all about making valid business decisions. When times are tough, we see less of 'Let's try it and see,' and we see much more 'of an inclination to 'measure it and know.' In these tough times, it becomes crucial to know what works - and waste less on pure experimentation.

As we confidently tell our clients, content is still king; content is still what works when you want to see better statistics on all those web metrics reports. Please email Stephen of BestWeb Nashville website services (or call at 615.668.1580) about helping you to write and publish additional relevant content for your website.