Do You Know Your Website Analytics Lingo?

Written by Erin Trowbridge, Marketing Director

I recently did a website statistics analysis for a client of ours and as I was writing the summary, I found myself using lingo, jargon, geek-speak…whatever you want to call it. I realized that I might have some explaining to do. So, I put together a quick “Lingo List” for your website analytics, to help more of our clients sort through and understand the information they see in Google Analytics.

Visit = one sitting at a computer/device, viewing your site (you may see this also referred to as a Session)

Unique Visitor = one person who may have multiple visits to your site

Bounce = When a visitor gets to your site, doesn’t click on anything else, then leaves. (more…)

Moving Toward Mobile – JB Systems Presents at EC Chamber Social Media & Marketing Conference

Written by: Erin Trowbridge, Marketing Director

Tomorrow, I’ll be presenting at the Eau Claire Chamber’s Social Media & Marketing Conference at Florian Gardens, which JB Systems is also sponsoring, so I wanted to give our blog readers a sneak peek at what’s in store!

We have a lot of clients lately asking about how they can keep up with the mobile world, in relation to their websites. There are a few different routes to go that we discuss with our clients, including:

  • A mobile app – This is a native software application that you download to your phone that performs functions or offers content to users. Many times, mobile apps have very specific functions (browse homes for sale, refill a prescription, check nearby gas prices, etc.). This type of mobile interaction is usually much different than the customer’s main website, so it requires a different set of information and requirements from the client. It also goes through a process to be approved and sold on an app store like iTunes, for example.
  • A mobile website – This is a website that is independent of your main website. Mobile websites are usually hosted under a subdomain or different domain altogether (i.e. m.facebook.com or jbsystemsllc.mobi). Mobile websites are a great alternative if you want the flexibility of the web but want to offer users different content than what they would see on your full site. Many times, you’ll see something like ‘View our Full Site’ on a mobile site. The goal is to offer users quick, relevant information for mobile users, instead of inundating them with the full breadth of your full site content.
  • A responsive website – This is the same as your website – only different. (What?!) Responsive design is a newer trend in web design that rearranges the elements of your layout to fit a wide variety of screen sizes, instead of just shrinking them, thus eliminating the need to pinch-and-zoom all the time. The result of responsive design is easier access to all/most of the content on your site, one set of web files to manage and maintain, better SEO, and lower cost in most cases.

I’ll be discussing these topics and other mobile trends, tools, and tactics in my presentation, as well as pros and cons of implementing these strategies. Look for a follow up blog post with more info from the presentation!

The Power of the Promo Code

Still trying to figure out how to tell if the ads you’re placing in the newspaper or magazines are actually working? Enter: The Promo Code.

promo codes, online coupons, ecommerce

A Promo Code, as used by Walgreens

You’ve all probably seen them – codes that may look something like “JUNE2011″ or “SPG56″ or “COUPON11″. These are lovingly referred to in the e-commerce world as “Promo Codes” and they can be extremely powerful, if utilized to their full potential. Some of our clients use promo codes in their online stores promoting sales, offering exclusive discounts to their Facebook followers, or as a customer service ‘thank you’. Promo codes also work great for tracking offline marketing efforts like direct mail or trade show leads.

Promo codes are really not a new concept in the marketing world – traditional marketers have used these for eons, except they have been in the form of coupons. Now with the explosion of e-commerce, the promo code is making redeeming those coupons even easier – and simple is definitely a key element in the online world.

If you’re a retailer who is already using coupons, and you’re thinking about e-commerce, you’ll probably love using online promo codes in your store. Through our e-commerce system, you can easily create your own codes, name them whatever you’d like, and attribute them to either a dollar amount or percentage off. (We’ve even gone so far as to do some crazy buy 1, get 1 kind of stuff – but that’s a little more involved.) Then, all you have to do is promote the heck out of your promo codes – email them to your customers, post them on Facebook, add them to the back of your business cards – make them all different and track which ones bring in the most sales. What?! Tracking your marketing?! That’s why we love the web!

Give us a call if you want to chat e-commerce or promo codes – or even if you just want to come up with some new ways to use your website as a marketing machine.

Social Media and Your Website

Inspired by Seth Godin’s Meatball Sundae (check it out here – the YouTube video is entertaining)

Because consumers (or buyers for business services) have so many choices, and can decide more freely how to receive marketing messages these days, they don’t have to settle for what marketers are telling them anymore. They can now listen to their friends, and their friends’ friends, or seek out other independent third-party credible sources about where to shop, eat, get their car fixed, etc.

That said, your social media strategy is only as good as the website you’re directing your friends, fans, and followers to. If the two aren’t consistent, and aren’t geared at turning those friends, fans, and followers into customers and raving fans, then how can we expect social media to work?

So, take a look at your own website. Is it ready for the social media world? Ask yourself these questions. What changes can you make?

* Is your website social? Does it allow people to share information with you and about you easily?
* Does it focus on things that people are really interested in or does it just focus on you?
* Does it let them interact with you, and with others?
* Are you listening and responding to them?
* Does it allow them to share their own content that’s relevant to your products/services?

I’ll be talking about this and more at a social media conference coming up next Wednesday, September 29th for the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce. To register, go to their website. For website questions, contact me at JB Systems and I’d be happy to help!

You’ve got a great website. Now what?

Written by: Erin Trowbridge, Director of Marketing at JB Systems, LLC

Recently, the Chippewa Valley Business Report wrote about something near and dear to our hearts: the online marketing world. I wanted to take just a minute to focus on a couple of ideas they mentioned, and explain why they’re important. And of course, we can help you out with any of this on your site.

Landing Pages and Microsites

Landing pages allow you to easily track where your website traffic is coming from so that you know what marketing efforts are working…and which are not. Think of your marketing activities – whether it’s advertising, trade shows, direct mail, or another offline channel. How do you know if they were effective? Landing pages are specifically targeted to exactly what the ad or direct mail piece is talking about so that the customer isn’t at all confused. This makes it more likely that they will keep clicking through and eventually buy or contact you.

Microsites are exactly what they sound like – small sites within or added to your site that are specifically targeted to one product, program, service, etc. This is what Net Health Shops does for their various product lines. They allow you to provide a few pages of ultra-specific content to your customers who you don’t want distracted by other things on your website.

“No unsupervised thinking” - MarketingExperiments.com

Both landing pages and microsites are extremely effective for getting the customers to do what you want them to do on your website. Studies have shown that by being blatantly obvious about what you want customers to do and how to do it will increase your conversion rates in a huge way. And isn’t that what we all want – for our website visitors to convert into qualified leads, subscribers, customers, or donors?

Search Engine Optimization, Organic Search, and Paid Search

Although this may just sound like a collection of buzz words and trendy online jibberish, these are things that your company really should be considering in your marketing plans for 2010. If built and marketed the right way, your website can actually generate revenue or leads that turn into revenue, instead of just being another expense.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process by which you make small, but significant changes to the content of your website (seen and unseen by visitors) in order to be listed higher on the search results page of Google, Yahoo, Bing, or other search engines. Why, you might ask, do I need to be ranked high in search engines?

Reason #1: Location, Location, Location. If no one could find your business, how long do you think you’d last? Same goes for your website.

Reason #2: We are spoiled. Well, maybe not spoiled, but busy – and because of that, we expect that everything should be right there, right now. We expect that the best results will be at the top. Would you go to page two or three when you can get the best on page one?

Reason #3: We don’t listen. It’s not that we don’t listen to things that we care about, but your advertising is not one of those things. We’ve been bombarded by advertising most of our lives and it has gotten to a point where most people just tune it out. Although using a variety of advertising channels is a good move for most companies, they won’t always remember your web address in that ad. If the ad was effective, they will, however, remember the ad’s message and maybe your company name or what kind of product/service was being advertised. That’s what they’ll put into the search engine. If you’re near the top and they heard/saw your ad, it’s pretty likely that they’ll click through to your site.

We have implemented our SEO+ program for several of our clients and they’ve seen some great results. Google uses about 100 different variables to determine your placement, so it’s not something that happens overnight and it’s not something that most small business owners have time for. SEO is an ongoing process; our program is 12 months and we meet with you every other month to talk about your rankings. We also review your analytics with you so that you really understand what’s happening on your site.

“Ok…I get the organic search stuff, but what about paid search?”

Paid search (also called CPC, PPC or pay-per-click advertising) means that you’re actually buying advertising on the search results page. Those ads are triggered by whatever keyword is typed in. You bid on keywords that are relevant to whatever you’re advertising, and the best placement goes to the highest bidder. When someone clicks on your ad, you get charged whatever your bid was to be to win that placement. The more relevant the target page is to the keyword typed in, the better placement your ad will have. I will caution you though: paid search is not for the faint of heart. It requires a lot of monitoring, bid modifications, and budget control. This is easily done by using the ‘daily budget’ function, but if that’s not used, you can rack up a hefty bill in no time.

There’s a lot more in-depth I could go, but for the sake of your precious time…here’s a link to tell you a little more about how our Search Engine Marketing program works.

Let us know if you have comments or questions about this kind of stuff. We’ve made these kinds of things work really well for several of our clients already and we’d love to share those successes with you. Comment on this post or send me an email!

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