You may (or may not) be spending money each month promoting your website online, whether it’s an SEO expert or Google Adwords, and it makes sense that you’d want to know where people are running into your website and finding out about your business. How else will you be able to ascertain what website marketing efforts are working and where you should spend your money?!
The first step in the process is to have some tracking setup on your website. Lucky for you, one of the best systems out there is also free – Google Analytics. Linkup uses this on every website client so they will always have 100% clarity about the performance of their website. A little bit of code is placed on the website that tracks all sorts of information, including where people came before your website.
There are a few key types of ‘Sources’ you want to explore:
- Direct – this is when someone types in your website domain, i.e. www.salonname.com, and comes to your site. This usually indicates that they already know your company or discovered your salon via a print advertisement, business card or referral. Your offline efforts are working!
- Organic – this is a viewer that found you from a search engine, using what’s called organic, or natural, search results. This means your search engine optimization efforts are working and your website is ranking well with the search engines. These sources are usually combined with the search engine that they originated on, like Google (Organic).
- Paid – this is a paid program through a search engine that resulted in the visit. These are usually a pay-per-click model, although there are other ways to pay for the activity. You would have an account with the search engine and then setup advertising campaigns targeting activity and search terms to try and get in front of potential clients that are searching for your services.
- Referral – this is one to keep an eye on if you are advertising online or doing any sponsorships with other websites as this tracks other online sites that have sent visitor to your website via a link. If you spend money placing a banner on a local business site then you certainly want to track whether they are sending traffic your way.
- Social – a new category on Analytics, this shows how Google is placing more emphasis on social efforts and also how marketers are looking to understand their impact with social media marketing. This category shows you how many users are coming to your website from a social media channel, which helps you understand how persuasive your content is on your social pages. Are your fans/followers interested in your services or just your pretty pictures?
- Email – this also didn’t use to be separated in it’s own category, but it’s recently been glorified with it’s own section so you can analyze how many of your email subscribers are clicking on links in your email and going to your site. This is an important metric for the health of your email campaigns as it tells you how effectivce the emails are at capturing true interest in your emails.
Monitoring these key categories of web traffic helps you dissect which marketing efforts are working and you can, of course, drill down further into subcategories. You can also follow that traffic to see where they went on your site and if they resulted in an online booking, email signup or perhaps an RSVP to an event. Hopefully they didn’t just leave your site without spending money, but you can also see those culprits as well so you know how much traffic you lose.