Analytics and Optimization in Action
I’ve been so wrapped up in client projects that I have a back log of ideas that I want to get out of my head so that they may be able to help others improve. Here is a real world example of putting analytics and optimization to work.
About 3 years ago I built a site and business called Homebrew School (HBS). It is a partnership with my brother (homebrewer) and myself (marketer). I’ve used it as a way to test and experiment with online business, internet marketing and web development techniques. However, it’s been a very part-time gig so many things go overlooked.
About 2 weeks ago, I jotted down some notes on action items I wanted to take regarding analytics and optimization. Here is a collection of the actions I’ve taken since setting this plan in motion. I’m going to do it as a screencast. Enjoy!
Analytics and Optimization Supporting Elements
Action Step 1 Notes:
Google Website Optimizer is a great tool for split testing: www.google.com/websiteoptimizer
Action Step 2 Notes:
For my AR link updates, I did 301 Redirects in my .htaccess file after generating the links using Google’s URL Builder. I use ListMail Pro for my email marketing – it’s a single payment software license that I then installed on my server (php/mysql based software). Does a great job for my purposes with HBS.
Action Step 3 Notes:
Goal setting in Google Analytics is essential but make sure you are keeping a watchful eye, especially right after you create one to make sure it is tracking properly.
Action Step 4 Notes:
I use the Get Social WordPress Plugin for my social sharing links that float on the left hand side of the page. There is also an analytics plugin that integrates with this as well.
Action Step 5 Notes:
I use Facebook Pages Insight section to determine my change in fans and I use TwitterCounter.com to analyze changes in Twitter performance.
For rank checking, I had to use 2 tools to update b/c my main tool was not pulling correct data from Bing. I generally use SEOBook’s Rank Checker plugin for Firefox – you can load and check many keywords at a time and the report is downloadable. However, since Bing ranking was not accurate, my backup, quick and dirty tool is Mike Wong’s Rank Checker. I can only do one keyword at a time there, thus my limiting my report to just a dozen keywords.
In Google Analytics, I use a fair bit of search and filters to drill down to the data I am looking for.
Here is a direct look at my dashboard:
I actually completed this is Apple Numbers but transferred it over to Google Docs so you could take a look.
Future Action Steps:
Here are some further action steps I’d like to take in the next month.
- analyze demographic info from Facebook to craft more targeted messages
- increase my optin conversion rate to 20%
- add an entry level product to my product mix
- increase social media participation by 25% (measured against # of posts and tweets from past)
- Restart my adwords campaign
That’s a hefty list considering everything else I need to focus on, but it’s a good example of continuous improvement using analytics and optimization to make decisions and take action.