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Blue Corona recently started offering video marketing services, and I joked that we should make a spoof of Akon’s music video “Smack That” and call it “Track That.” Here at BC, one of founding principles of our proven process is “Track Everything.” Sending out a mailer? Track that. Purchasing some billboard space? Track that. Trying out a promoted Facebook campaign? You know what to do.
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to track your website’s performance is through Google Analytics. Most people know this by now. In fact, a majority of the business owners who contact Blue Corona already have the software installed on their site.
The question then becomes if they are using it correctly. Over the years, we’ve identified the three worst mistakes business owners make when using Google analytics that skews their perception of how well their website is performing.
1. You Haven’t Properly Filtered Your Google Analytics Profile.
In an ideal world, when your company’s website traffic increases, the number of people who inquire about your products or services should increase. However, without properly filtering your Analytics data, your perception of how many visits your website receives could be skewed.
Have you filtered out internal traffic?
Visits to your website from your own employees (as well as yourself) needs to be filtered out of your Analytics profile to avoid skewing your Analytics data. If you have a regular IP address, click the “Admin” option in your Analytics profile and the “Filters” option under “View.”
From here, name your filter, choose “exclude”, “traffic from IP addresses”, “that are equal to”, and type in your IP address. To find out your IP address, click here.
This is the easiest way to filter out internal traffic if you have a regular IP address. If you have a dynamic IP address, you’ll need to filter using regular expressions (this is more advanced and a better topic for another blog).
Are you looking at traffic in your service area?
Most local business owners make the mistake of looking at their website traffic as a whole instead of filtering down to just the traffic in their service area. This is a mistake. Let me give you an example to illustrate why.
Say you own a local handyman service in Hollywood, Maryland and you got 700 website visits last month. Unfortunately, only two of them filled out your contact form!
We take a closer look at your Analytics profile. It turns out that most of your website visits are from Hollywood, California instead of Hollywood, Maryland—making them extremely unlikely to convert into customers.
It’s easy to filter your Analytics to just see traffic in your service area. This blog post will tell you how.
Are you filtering out bot traffic?
At Blue Corona, many of our clients saw a higher than usual uptick in organic traffic earlier this year. Upon further investigation, we found spammy organic traffic in the organic landing page reports. Check this out:
Bot traffic is more advanced than it used to be—more and more seems to be slipping through and clouding Analytics data. We’ve listed out some good tactics for filtering out bot traffic here.
2. You Don’t Have Goals Set Up in Google Analytics.
Setting up goals in Analytics allows you to measure how often users complete desired actions on your site, such as filling out a contact form. According to Google,
“Having properly configured Goals allows Google Analytics to provide you with critical information, such as the number of conversions and the conversion rate for your site or app. Without this information, it’s almost impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of your online business and marketing campaigns.”
Most business owners we talk to don’t have goals in Analytics set up prior to working with us, and even if they do, they are treating all goal completions equally.
For example, if you own an HVAC company, you wouldn’t value someone who signs up for your email newsletter as the same type of conversion as someone who fills out a request for a free estimate on a new heat pump.
3. You’re Looking at the Wrong Metrics in Google Analytics.
When a new client starts with Blue Corona, we’re adamant about learning the numbers in their sales funnel—which includes their website’s visit-to-lead conversion rate and lead-to-sale conversion rate among other important metrics.
However, almost none of the business owners we talk to can tell us (with any accuracy) what their website’s visit-to-lead conversion rate is! They’re much too busy fixating on metrics like bounce rate (learn why site wide bounce rate is a useless metric).
You can estimate your website’s visit-to-lead conversion rate by looking at your goal completions (if you have them set up in Analytics) divided by your website visits. If you’re a local business, a more accurate website visit-to-lead conversion rate would be your goal completions divided by website visits in your service area.
Better Data = Better Results
Today’s savvy business owners and marketing executives demand better information. They know that gut intuition plus marketing analytics data (better information) beats gut intuition alone, every single time.
Blue Corona provides tools, services and solutions that help results-driven business owners and marketing executives more accurately measure, track and quantify each and every single advertising strategy.
Get started with a free analytics analysis below.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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