Business Development & Marketing General Interim Management & Executive Support Rescue, Restructuring & Recovery Turnaround

Business websites and Google analytics – time for a trusted expert?

Google analytics overviewBusiness owners need accurate and detailed information about their website’s performance and one of the most comprehensive tools for finding out is Google Analytics.
Businesses are now operating in a world where potential customers not only expect even the smallest of them to have a website but also have high expectations about what it delivers.
In its most recent annual survey US-based marketing analyst BrightLocal found that 40% of those aged 18-34 and 40% of those aged 35-54 would be more likely to contact a local business if it had a website and overall that 87% of customers would not consider using a business whose website had low ratings.
They increasingly expect a website to be attractive as well as informative and to be responsive, which means that it should work as well on a mobile phone or tablet as it does on a computer screen. The majority of those surveyed expected to see customer reviews and used them to assess the quality of a local business.
This demonstrates how important a business website is both for professional credibility and to attract and communicate with potential clients and customers.
It means that even the owners of the smallest local businesses need to be willing to invest as much as they can manage in a professionally built website and should beware of D.I.Y. options.
They will also need to know how well the website is performing and this means they will need at least some understanding of what the statistics in Google Analytics are telling them.
The information available on Google Analytics is in fact extremely detailed and comprehensive, but for an overview a good indicator is to look at the “audience” section of the menu.  This breaks down information on who’s been visiting a site into a wealth of details, including age, interests, location, language, how long they stay on the site, the pages they visit.  The list is endless and the amount of data is daunting.

Time to call in the experts

No business owner can expect to be able lead a business, maintain an oversight of all that entails and then also to have the time or the expertise to frequently check on all the analytical information available about the business website.
Knowing what information is important to a specific business, being able to draw conclusions from the data and then using it to plan, develop and carry out a marketing strategy is becoming more and more specialised.
However, the business owner/manager needs to have enough information to be able to first select the right marketing support and to then be able to ask the right questions of those responsible and to work with them to set the right marketing goals.
It is up to the marketing team to devise the activity needed and to carry them out but the business owner needs to have the confidence that they can do the job well.

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Gut feelings and fair weather advisers

A piece of research among business leaders carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit recently found that nine out of 10 would be likely to rely on their gut feeling if presented with data that contradicted their intuition.
In a world that teems with business consultants offering guidance on best practice and must do’s of every shape and colour it can be difficult for the small business owner to know whose advice to trust, when to trust it and when to trust their own instincts.
It makes sense for start-ups and SME owners to take advantage of the wealth of support on offer particularly when they can’t afford to employ experienced executives or if they are looking for investment or finance.  However, it can be more tricky when the situation changes from optimism and doing well to one when plans are not working, or one when the business is running out of cash.
When optimism becomes a harsh reality, one reality is finding out about your advisers, most become unavailable, the more so when they are not being paid and the money is running out.
When as a business owner you are overcome with concern, have sleepless nights and are experiencing anxiety, you need advisers who can deal with reality. When running out of cash you need a business doctor to take a cold, hard look at the situation and at the opportunity so they can discuss your options for survival, for growth, or if necessary for closing down with dignity. The right advisers will have contacts for providing finance as well as having experience to help you deal with the issues that are causing you concern.
Most business owners know when they are being spun a line, when they are hearing what they want to hear but the courageous ones listen to their gut instinct while also employing advisers who will challenge them.