Resolution #1: Stop Ignoring Your Analytics

gerbil on exercise wheel

Step off the gerbil wheel (photo credit: Flickr)

Yep, it’s January — resolution time. Whether you are a resolutions believer or can’t be bothered, the start of a new year provides a fitting opportunity to assess your past activities and commit to greater effectiveness going forward.

Reflecting on the past year of long hours without much downtime, many business owners resolve to seek more balance in the new year. Making that goal a reality requires a behavior shift.

When feeling overwhelmed, it’s human nature to engage in familiar, routine tasks that provide a sense of accomplishment. But like a gerbil on an exercise wheel, blindly running in circles doesn’t move us forward.

It’s time to take a hard look at how you’re spending your time and assess whether those routine activities are actually benefitting your business. Step off the gerbil wheel and work smarter, not harder.

Think of your marketing data as a financial advisor

While a substantial number of hours may be needed to run your business, determining where you invest those hours is an important strategic decision. Your website analytics provide valuable insights that should inform your decision making. For example, your content data helps you to understand what types of services your visitors are interested in. When used effectively, your marketing data helps you to work smarter, not harder.

Location, location, location

The more you know about your potential customers, the more effective you can be in your marketing outreach. Demographic data can help you to create products and offers that resonate with current and prospective clients.

Even if your business operates exclusively online, knowing where prospective customers live and work provides countless ways to connect more personally with them. For example, you might …

  • Schedule workshops or training in locations convenient to prospective clients
  • Join and participate in networking events in those areas
  • Interact with online local community groups
  • Cultivate co-marketing collaborations with others serving a similar demographic
  • Develop marketing initiatives and offers targeted to residents of a particular area
  • Offer products or services personalized for a certain town or region

Located within the Audience menu of Google Analytics, geographical data in your website analytics provides the location of your website visitors, down to a city level — for whatever period of time you designate.

Test and measure

Perhaps you share a special offer in an industry forum, advertise in a print publication or promote an event via a Facebook group. Even if your marketing initiatives don’t specifically direct people to your website, you may still drive traffic there. Today, most people do research online and the first stop in that process is likely to be your website.

Review your website analytics for a few weeks following the marketing initiative. Do your analytics show more website visits from certain towns? Consider how you can use that data to make your offers more personalized to your audience. After you tweak your offer, check the geographical data again to assess the effects.

The location data in your website analytics will reveal some other actionable insights. Perhaps there is interest from a different geography that you could capitalize on. Review your analytics on a regular basis and compare with the prior period (with a couple of quick clicks in Google Analytics) to see where visitors are coming from. Note shifts in the geography so you can better respond to visitor needs.

Recognize the value of data, but don’t see yourself following through? We can provide a personalized analytics report on a monthly or quarterly basis. Contact us if you’re ready to step off the gerbil wheel and start working smarter right away.

 

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