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.

Business Development & Marketing General Rescue, Restructuring & Recovery Turnaround

Are businessmen missing out by not engaging with Facebook?

facebook demographic insightsThere is no doubt that digital marketing, marketing online, social media marketing, whatever name you give it, is now firmly established as an essential ingredient in a business’ marketing mix.
Among the well-known social media platforms Facebook continues to dominate both globally and nationally with over 1.6 billion active monthly users.
The relative stats report Twitter having 320 million active users and LinkedIn having 420 million users.
But while regular surveys, from Pew Research, and even the UK’s Ofcom have over the years consistently shown that more women than men use and interact with Facebook regularly, the platform has successfully moved itself from being primarily about social interaction to being increasingly a place that businesses ignore at their peril.
The age group most active on Facebook is 25-34 year olds (26% of users) yet, again, women by far outnumber men when it comes to interactions, not only with friends and family but also on business pages.
In its most recent analysis of reasons for interacting with companies on Facebook cites the two top reasons from a chart compiled by Statistica as “to receive offers/competitions” (69%)and “to keep up to date with the latest news about them” (68%).

So why do so few men in the most active demographic interact?

While there is no hard evidence, there could be a number of explanations.  They could range from “no time” to a misperception that Facebook is primarily for social use.
Yet for the CEO or senior management of a SME, especially one whose primary sphere of operation is local or regional, Facebook can be a rich source of information about potential customers and clients.
Among the standard features on a business page are the opportunities for customers to post reviews as well as comments, both providing valuable sources of information for the business as well as helping to promote the brand.
Page Insights enable a business to find information about their customers’ profiles such as when they are most active, what posts they have been most attracted to engage with either by liking or commenting.
This information will enable a business’ marketing team with the knowledge to interpret the statistics to refine its digital marketing to better target its ideal customers.
But if a business is not primarily aimed at women in preference to men, all the statistical information available is likely to be somewhat skewed if there is a gender imbalance in viewers’ interaction.
Of course, that might imply that marketing should be adjusted to include information that will appeal to both genders, but it also suggests that perhaps men visiting a page should be more prepared to get involved and give feedback.

Business Development & Marketing General Turnaround

Keeping on top of Facebook analytics

facebook insight imageWhile all social media analytics offer helpful insights into the behaviour of customers and the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, they need to be approached with caution.
There are several reasons for this.
Firstly, all platforms are also businesses and therefore want to encourage businesses to use their paid-for promotional products.  This is particularly true of Facebook.
Secondly, they are constantly seeking ways to improve the experience of users.  Recent examples in Facebook have been offering people ways to refine and personalise what they see in their news feeds and changing the “like” button at the bottom of posts to a series of six images that allow people to more accurately reflect their feelings about the content.
Facebook uses all the activity on the platform to monitor and refine the performance of posts. Anyone who frequently checks in to monitor post performance will see that the weekly statistics for post reach and people engaged shown at the top right of pages regularly go up and down throughout the course of a day or a week.
facebook analytics image 2It can also happen that a business page that has been doing well for several weeks will show an unexpected dip in performance.  This may be the result of external circumstances, such as an imminent holiday, when people perhaps are doing other things but it can be difficult to precisely pin down the cause.
While it is important for business owners to look regularly at their business page performance it can be difficult to draw conclusions when the information is so fluid. Nevertheless business owners or managers do at least need to be aware of what the analytics are showing in order to have meaningful discussion with marketers.

Consult your marketers

Monitoring the data and what is driving it constantly changes. This requires the marketers’ expertise to keep an eye on trends and interpret the performance of a particular marketing campaign.
They will be able to advise on whether a campaign is subject to momentary fluctuations that require no intervention or whether the analytics are revealing that a campaign is not performing to produce the goal it was set up to achieve.
They will also be able to suggest ways of adjusting a campaign’s social media activity to better achieve those goals.

Business Development & Marketing Cash Flow & Forecasting General Turnaround

Effective social media strategies need analysis

The use of various social media platforms is becoming established as a part of a business marketing strategy in the 21stCentury.
But how many businesses use data to monitor the results of their efforts, to check it is working and then to use the feedback to modify their activity?
We recently asked delegates at a business conference how many of them had ever seen Twitter or Google Analytics and were staggered when from an audience of around 120 senior executives only one put up their hand.  Yet in a global marketplace the digital world is crucial to successful business.
Over the next few weeks we will be looking at the data you can collect from Twitter, Google and Facebook and how you might use it.

First, finding Twitter analytics

an image showing Twitter analyticsIf your business has a Twitter account you can use it to login to to find the data collected on your activity, known as Analytics.
You can also access analytics direct from Twitter by clicking on logo picture top right then select Analytics from the drop down menu.
You will find:
Home – a month by month summary and a last 28 day summary.
Tweets – a tweet by tweet summary of engagements, which is how many people have acted (commented/liked or shared your tweets) and reach, which is how many people your tweets have been sent to.  Top tweets help you identify what works and what doesn’t.
Audience – you can review your audiences’ interests and compare to other audiences. Top mentions help you find out who your fans are, who is promoting your business, who to thank.
You can change the date range if you want to look at how a particular set of tweets has worked.
If your business runs its own campaigns in-house rather than using a social media marketing expert this information is essential to assessing how effectively you are communicating.
Once you have collected the information the next step is analysing whether or not what you have been doing has achieved the results you had hoped for and if not deciding how to alter your activity so that it performs better.  That’s the subject for another blog.
For the moment it is worth just looking at the rich data available and considering how it might benefit you and your business. Should any of it become one of your KPIs?