These days when I hear fellow jewelry people talk about their websites, there is so much talk about Social Media and potential web traffic it can drive. Oftentimes the focus is so acute that they forget (or worse ignore) fundamental steps on their own site. Interacting in Social Spaces on the web is important, but it is not the only opportunityon which an organization should focus.
We’ve made several changes to our website over the past year… changes that have made it easier to navigate, changes that allow us to update content on a whim and changes that embrace several of the shifts that are happening on the web. Of all of the changes we’ve made, none have had a greater impact on our thinking than data from Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is a free program (bless Google’s heart) that allows you to see how much traffic your website receives each day, where this traffic is coming from and where it is going on your site. The data this service provides will help you make far more educated decisions when tweaking your site. If monitored frequently, it can also help you identify people who may be talking about you.
A major jump in your web traffic is often not the results of all of your online actions; it is usually the result of one. One blog post, a redesign or best yet a link is all it takes. This week we saw a major spike in our web traffic and without Analytics, we never would have known why.
I checked out my Google Alerts (read this post to Grow Bigger Ears by Chris Brogan to take advantage of those) and couldn’t find anything that would indicate the increase. Next I jumped on our Analytics account and within a minute I was able to identify the exact URL that was driving all this traffic (yep, one little link).
That link lead to a community who were more than willing to interact with our brand. Had we not taken the time to install this one little piece of code or bothered to examine the spike, we simply would have smiled, enjoyed the traffic and missed out on an amazing opportunity to grow our network.
Social Media is important, but making sure you can measure and capitalize on the data from your website is an essential step toward leveraging every opportunity for engagement that the web has to offer.