Best Practice When Moving from HTTP to HTTPS

Changing a site from HTTP to HTTPS is considered (by the search engines) to be a site move. Changing the structure of a site at the same time as implementing https is a sure way of losing organic traffic. To implement https, first ensure your HTTP and HTTPS sites are identical.

Implementing HTTPS can be a great business move, but if you try to do too much the search engines will react and you are almost certain to take a major hit.

A site migration will almost always result in a temporary loss of traffic — search engines need time to process the change and update accordingly. A well-implemented migration can minimise traffic fluctuations and in time Google will treat the new site as if it were the original.

Migrating to https offers user security (when filling in forms etc) and there should be a slight SEO gain, but there will be a period of transition.

Never do a site migration without first testing everything on a test server. Verify that the redirects work properly and do all of the checks before going live.

A well-planned and monitored migration shouldn’t permanently affect your traffic, but you should plan for a temporary dip. A move is best performed during a slow time of the year (think bars/restaurants in January!)

Benchmark exactly what you have before the move

Make a copy of your Google Analytics data. You will need this information so that you can quickly identify if any traffic is lost after the migration. Also, information from Search Console for your http property should be downloaded for analysis after the move.

If any traffic is lost, export the Analytics data from your new site and run a side-by-side comparison with the data from your old site, so that you can identify precisely which pages lost the traffic. In many cases, a loss of traffic will be isolated to individual pages, rather than taking place across the entire site.

As mentioned, resist the urge to make any other changes when implementing https. The URL architecture should be identical to the old one. A site migration may seem like the ideal time to make structural changes, but you should be aware that doing so may cause Google to see it as an entirely different site. Also, if you do both at the same time, you will not be able to determine whether any losses in traffic is a result of changing the architecture or https.

Update all internal links

The HTML links on your new site should point to the new https site, not the old one.

This might sound obvious, but as you go through the process, you will quickly realize how tempting it might be to leave the links unchanged, since they will redirect to the new URL anyway. Do not succumb to this temptation. Apart from the server load, which slows down site performance, the redirects may dampen your PageRank.

The ideal way to rewrite the links is by performing a search and replace operation on your database – wordpress has a plug in to make this easy.

Canonicalisation

Canonicalisation tells search engines which web page is the original and should be indexed in the case of having duplicate pages. If you have identical http and https pages (that you will have), make sure the canonical is set to the new version (https) on every page.

In combination with the redirects, this tells Google that the new site is, in fact, the new location of the old site. URL parameters create duplicate content that should always canonicalize to the parameter-free URL.

Duplicate content

If both multiple versions of a URL are published, it results in duplicate content. Canonicalization should take care of the issue, but also set up redirect rules in .htaccess so that only one version of the page is accessible.

Make sure that links are consistent to avoid redirects from internal links.

Verify that only HTTPS or HTTP is used and that only the www or non-www version of the site is accessible. The others should redirect to the proper site.

If your site has a search function, the search result pages should be noindexed.

Update and submit sitemaps

https will need a new property setting up in search console. Do this, update your sitemaps for https and submit for indexing.

Redirection

Use a regex expression in the .htaccess file of your old site to redirect HTTP to https. The regex expression should simply swap out HTTP for HTTPS.

Test your redirects on a test server and verify that this works as expected.

Keep in mind that once the redirects go live, your site has effectively been migrated. The new site should be in pristine condition before setting up the redirects.

Monitor traffic, performance and rankings

Keep a close eye on your search and referral traffic, checking it daily for at least a week after the migration. If there are any shifts in traffic, dive down to the page level and compare traffic on the old site to traffic on the new site to identify which pages have lost traffic. Those pages, in particular, should be inspected for redirect errors. You may want to pursue getting any external links pointing at the old version of the page changed to the new one, if possible.

It is equally important to keep a close eye on your most linked pages, both by authority and by external link count. These pages play the biggest role in your site’s overall ability to rank, so changes in performance here are indicative of your site’s overall performance.

Mark dates in Google Analytics

Use Google Analytics annotations to mark critical dates during the migration. This will help you to identify the cause of any issues you may come across during the process.

Update PPC and all other platforms

Update all of your PPC accounts, social media profiles, bios, other websites you own, forum signatures, and any other platforms you take advantage of, so that the links point to the new site and not the old.

Monitor your indexed page count

Google will not index all of the pages on your new site immediately, but if the indexed page count is not up to the same value as the old site after a month has passed, something has definitely gone wrong.

Conclusion

Keep all of the above in mind if you are planning to migrate your site to https, and it should go off without a (permanent) hitch.

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Low-Cost Growth Hacking for Small Business

Manchester based digital marketing consultant, Rob Wilkinson, explains the benefits of Low-Cost Growth Hacking for SME’s and Startups.

Growth hacking is fast paced experimental marketing that results in finding the most effective way to generate business growth. The channels used tend to be modern digital, rather than traditional media.

Especially useful for startups, growth hacking is not just about generating leads, it is also crucial to conversion and retention. Important metrics include cost-per-acquisition (CPA) and lifetime value (LTV), not just click-through-rate and cost-per-click.

Growth Hacking is all about Business Growth.

Growth hackers use different types of marketing and product iterations — rapidly testing copy, email marketing, SEO and viral strategies. The aim is rapid business growth. But business growth becomes much harder if the customer attrition is high, so retention is also equally important.

Growth hacking is fundamental to the online marketing matrix which includes Search Engine Optimisation, PPC, Analytics, Content (distribution) Marketing, VideoInfluencer and Social outreach.

However, growth hacking is also crucial to engagement (On-line community management, user-generated content, onboarding, conversion and the customer journey.

Low-Cost Growth Hacking for Startups

Many new, and some established, businesses struggle with not having much marketing budget, not having any marketing experience or both.

Growth hacking is about innovating new low-cost marketing and not wasting budget on experiments that aren’t working. Quickly testing a variety of channels and focusing on the one that makes the best return on investment – or at least shows the most promise.

Business growth is the top level metric, with conversion and retention contributing.

Some Low-cost growth hacking ideas:

  • Growth Through Referral Campaigns.
  • New Product Release or Launch Campaign.
  • Ongoing Social Signup Prompts.
  • Incentivise Reviews And Feedback.
  • The Content Unlock – (for example) sign-up for pages 6,7 and 8.
  • Free Discount codes.
  • Offer Free Samples or subscriptions (Optionally via partners or existing members).
  • Create Webinars.
  • Cart Abandonment Engagement.
  • Voting Contests.
  • Instant Coupon Codes for sign-ups.

The New Business Loop

The “Customer Onboarding Process” is a low-cost way to drive viral growth. Offer new customers an incentive to spread the word across their network and do the customer recruitment for you! Share on Facebook, offer an upgrade, email a link.

By having new customers share your service with their connections, this, in turn, creates a new business loop of awareness, use, and sharing that can result in exponential growth for the company.

Growth Hacking For Conversion

Marketing automation is now a well established, low cost, function. CRM software is now able to automate the capturing of web forms, placing the information into a Sales funnel, and driving conversion. Regular emails, offers and newsletters can be automated to people that have shown and interest but not yet signed up.

Growth Hacking for Retention

Depending on the business model, retention can mean having regular users (because you are selling advertising) or making sure people renew their subscription.

It is an old adage that says it costs more money to recruit a new customer than retaining one. Keep your service fresh, relevant and interesting. Talk to your customers, engage with them. Ask them to contribute to your social media, give them freebies. It’s not just about attracting new customers, keep the ones you have happy!

Growth Hacking Strategy

The first step in growth hacking (and remember, this is meant to be a fast process) is defining goals. Growing the business may be the top level objective. But underneath this, you need to establish sub-goals.

Increase Customers by x =
— Grow visitors by y
— Improve conversion by z

Then, break down the goals into strategies. How are we going to increase visitors? This forms the growth hack experiments.

Low-Cost Growth Hacking Experiments.

Before you run your test (or experiment) establish a baseline about what you think might happen. For example, testing a PPC campaign, establish what you think the click through rate will be

This stage is about forming expectations. If the experiment performs better than expected, then don’t just accept it. Try to work out why and scale the test and run it again.

If worse than expected, then experiments are fluid. They are not things you do one time and then move on. Tweak experiments, re-run and measure again. Only give up on experiments when it’s appropriate to do so.

If an objective is to increase conversion, experiments might include:

  • Highlight the membership benefits on the home page.
  • Include case studies on the member’s page.
  • Offer a free trial on the sign-up page.
  • Improve the navigation on the menu by highlighting the sign-up page.
low-cost growth hacking for business
growth hacking analysis

Measuring Growth Hacking

Essential to anything digital marketing is measurement. Here, Analytics or the tag manager are your friends.

  • Track metrics (views, bounce rate, engagement).
  • Track metrics by cohorts.
  • Device measurement/engagement.
  • Referring source.
  • And on and on.

A/B tests are an essential part of growth hacking. You may think you know what the results of your experiments will be, but an A/B test will tell you the truth.

In Summary

It is a very common situation these days with so many startups competing for customers. Move fast, test everything and don’t waste a penny. If it costs £200 to find out that a marketing channel doesn’t work, it has probably saved you thousand in traditional agency spend.

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Identifying Fake, or Zombie Website Traffic

What is Zombie Website Traffic?

Zombie website traffic is generated by automation software that strives to imitate real website visitors. The aim is to inflate or deflate factors purported to influence SERPs.

Zombie website traffic finds your site via a search engine or social media search, ‘clicks’ on the link to your site, then navigates through your site to improve or reduce bounce and CTR rates.

Zombie Traffic Background

I recently took over running the digital marketing strategy for a client with seemingly high organic and referral traffic (Facebook). Averaging between 10k-20k visits per month, the client is one of the top performing sites in the sector.

Related

Once I gained access to the Analytics, things got very strange. Yes, the numbers were consistent (about 900 visits per day) but all were new, none were repeat visitors. The bounce rate was higher that we would normally expect, and the time spend per session was really low (2 seconds) which is obviously not good.

zombie traffic analysis
analytics showing zombie traffic

Also strange was the amount of traffic coming from Facebook. And it wasn’t the type of traffic you would expect. The traffic was coming from all over the world, for no obvious reason.

website traffic zombies
zombie traffic analysis

It took me a little time to work out what was going on. There was no reason for it, we weren’t running paid ads on either Facebook or Google. It wasn’t your normal Analytics spam. Because we had not employed any potential blackhat suppliers, it seemed to be genuine users, finding the web address on Facebook, clicking through to the site, sometimes bouncing to another page and then leaving.

zombie website traffic
analytics showing zombie traffic

In an attempt to work out what was happening, and why we were getting all these visitors, I left the Real-Time report open and watched it for a bit.

high website visitors
Zombie Traffic

 

My client’s site is UK based and focused. There would be a little appeal for visitors from other countries visiting it, with the possible unusual exception. Note how the traffic is coming from a range of interesting places!

After a bit of time, I noticed that the town of ‘Boardman’ on the West coast of the USA kept appearing. A Google search identified a thread describing ‘Zombie Website Traffic’. Boardman, it turns out, contains an Amazon hosting centre.

What is the Reason for Zombie Website Traffic?

I can think of potentially 4 reasons for zombie traffic existing (there may be more, please let me know below if you know of any!).

1. Zombie Traffic to Inflate the SERPS Results.

In traditional SEO theory, high click through rate and low bounce rate evidence a good quality site. So this strategy can be used by website owners to rank better for search terms they enter into the, let’s call it, ‘Zombie SERP Inflater Platform’.

2. Using Zombie Website Traffic to Deflate SERPS performance.

Conversely, a high bounce rate and low click through rate could lower competitors sites in the SERPS. Bad people are trying to lower your search results!!

3. Using bots to Reduce Competitor Advertising Budgets.

With zombie traffic, or just automation spiders/bots, clicking on competitor adverts will obviously cost them money and reduce their budget. This is not a very nice thing to do and is certainly against Google’s rules. Google spend a huge amount of time weeding out ‘invalid clicks’ (there is a report for that on Adwords).

In our case, however, these clicks are certainly not using up any advertising budget.

4. Artificially raising money from clicking on adverts.

I’m no legal expert, but this must be some kind of fraud and breaching all kinds of terms and conditions. This would work on display network ads whose owners were benefiting from pay per click revenue.

Again, there is a lot of effort going into identifying fake clicks, so the systems in place to simulate real visitors would need to be very sophisticated – not really like our scenario which jumps out as being obvious.

In Conclusion

Whatever the reason for our large amount of traffic, zombie or just fake, for the moment it isn’t doing too much harm. The site ranks very well for some competitive keywords, so, even if Option 2 was in play, it isn’t working.

We are looking at options to block this traffic or redirect non-UK traffic to a specific standalone landing page. Other than that, there seems to be little we can do to prevent it. If you have any ideas, please let me know below.

Finally, here is a screen shot of the real time stats just 12 minutes after the first shot.

Zombie web traffic has moved on
Vanishing zombie web traffic

All the visitors have moved on. This is the pattern throughout a normal day. Large peaks of unusual activity, followed by the normal 0-5 concurrent visitors.

Although our traffic doesn’t wander around the website, aimlessly increasing our engagement rate, it is inflating the web statistics and potentially affecting our click-through and bounce rate.

The good news is, although there is a high level of fake traffic to the site, there is still a very high number of real visitors. The site enjoys some great search performance for competitive keywords, and lots of engagement. A great platform to push on and grow the business. No baseball bat required.

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Which Digital Marketing Channel Works Best?

Identifying which digital marketing channel works for you takes time and testing, but it will pay dividends in the long run.

Not every digital channel will automatically make you a return on your investment. Even if they do, some will make more than others, so it is essential that you identify which digital marketing channel works best.

Related:

Finding Out Which Digital Marketing Channel Works Best Takes: Time.

No online advertising channel is “set and forget.” All of them require constant monitoring and optimisation. Smaller businesses doing their own marketing, advertising simply don’t have the time to manage and optimise several channels concurrently. So, concentrate on one at a time, set up the campaign and conversion tracking and look for potential to scale. Depending on your sector it’s worth considering AdWords, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Website performance report

Customer Intent

Quite often, visitors are looking for your site, not because they want to buy your products or services, but because they are doing research, looking for work or trying to sell you something. Read these articles for how to avoid targeting the wrong searches:

Related:

Which Digital Marketing Works Best: Google AdWords and PPC.

If you have put together a great ad which is relevant, interesting and has a strong call to action, you might receive a click-through. If this is combined with a fantastic landing page with an irresistible offer, you will get a conversion.

Google AdWords allows you to place your company in front of users that want your service or product. Proper keyword research and selection combined with adverts that offer solutions and landing pages that funnel customers into sales.

Facebook

Facebook ads can produce a great return for some brands, but for most, it is about brand awareness. People aren’t looking at their Facebook feed to find a new product or service, they are not actively looking to buy (despite the excellent targeting options).

If you have a local catering company, for example, then Facebook ads are a great way to put your services in front of a local audience that is likely interested in your food. While they aren’t actively seeking it, you can trigger impulse purchases or most certainly raise awareness.

Other PPC

Some digital channels are just irrelevant, for example, if you produce SaaS CRM software for the B2B market, then LinkedIn is going to be the first stop. But advertising your local catering business would be a complete waste of your budget.

If your potential customers are actively searching for a product or service, they are more likely to open Google and type in their keyword query, hoping to find exactly what they are looking for. For many, PPC ads provide the highest measurable ROI.

Influencer Marketing

The latest trend in digital strategy is influencer marketing. But what is it, how does it work, or will it even work at all? Just because one company experiences a massive ROI doesn’t mean that another company is going to experience a similar return.

One classic example of influencer marketing is how Disney recruited EvanTube to promote everything from toys to holidays. If you have kids, you will know about EvanTube. Evan is a US based kid of about 12 whose videoed during everyday life. For some reason completely lost on me, this is a hoot for my UK based kids to watch.

As seems to be the trend now, my children rarely bother with TV (unless it is on demand) and EvanTube represents a way for brands to engage with their target audience. Disney sponsoring Evan to review toys and theme parks which is a natural, perfect fit.

However, you are unlikely to be running a business on the scale of Disney, but influencer marketing is now taking place on a much smaller scale. Social ‘personalities’ are being recruited to review local products and services and spreading the word via their social media channel of choice.

Influencer marketing is just one channel, depending on your business it could be the right one, but, as with all the channels, it is about testing on a small scale and measuring the results.

Measure Your Cost-per-acquisition (CPA) By Channel

For many, which digital marketing channel works best is measured by CPA. CPA is the amount of money spent on a marketing channel, divided by the number of sales generated from that channel.

So, for example, if in one month you spent £200 on Google Adwords. Because you have goals and conversion tracking set up, you know that this has generated 20 sales (CPA=£10). Now, if you then spent £200 on a Facebook advertising campaign, and this only returned 10 sales, this would represent a CPA of £20. The obvious next step would be to concentrate your efforts on Google Adwords rather than Facebook. In this example, the answer to “which digital marketing channel works best?” would be Google.

In Conclusion

There are numerous ways to market your business online, including

  • Email Marketing.
  • Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Display Advertising.
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM)
  • Content Marketing.
  • Affiliate Marketing.
  • Online Public Relations.

The key to identifying which digital marketing channel works best is to experiment and test the waters. Not everything will deliver a CPA that makes financial sense. Pay close attention to your data and know when it’s time to abandon one channel and focus on more promising marketing opportunities.

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Digital Marketing on a Budget

How Much Does Digital Marketing Cost?

When starting digital marketing on a budget, you can spend as much or as little as you like. The key, obviously, is not wasting money on an activity that doesn’t work. So, you need to test each channel on a small(ish) scale and then focus on the ones that make a return.

With a limited budget, we recommend running a 2-week test on a combination of Google, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter (depending on your audience and offer). This should yield enough visits per channel to measure conversion rates. This will guide the efforts over the next few months and onwards.

Related:
Video marketing on a budget
Innovative marketing ideas

Keyword Research

Google have a keyword planner tool that indicates the cost-per-click for relevant keywords (based on your site or product description). You also get an indication of the number of searches and competition.

Digital marketing on a budget

Digital marketing on a budget: Conversion Testing

Before advertising, you need to make sure that your website is working as expected and it can convert visitors into sales. So don’t spend anything in the first few weeks of going live with an updated site. Drive traffic with updates, emails, and a press release and closely monitor results by channel.

Drive traffic with updates, emails, and a press release and closely monitor results by channel.

Hopefully, everything will be working well by the end of the first month you will have a number of new sign-ups and the confidence to spend on advertising.

Set Targets and Understand the Objectives

Really understand your pitch, pricing and CPA targets. What are you offering? Who are you offering it to and why would they want it?

Set up Google analytics, conversion and campaign reporting. Also, closely monitor your website performance via search console.

Here is a list of things you should be focused on when starting digital marketing on a budget:

  • Source and manage great content.
  • Conversion and campaign reporting.
  • Set-up regular analytics reports and monitor performance (SEO).
  • Distribute content effectively.
  • Fix any search console errors.
  • Test all the digital marketing channels

In Conclusion

When starting off digital marketing on a budget, remember that conversion depends totally on aligning your proposition with the marketing and having an effective website/landing page that guides visitors to completion.

It could be that the CPC and conversion rates don’t allow for a return on investment. In which case you need to prioritise social and content marketing with longer term SEO.

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Independent Website Due Diligence – Investor Research

A Website report is an essential part of Due Diligence to establish company value.

 

If you are buying or investing in a company you need to understand exactly what its website contributes to the value. Company valuations depend on many factors and often have a subjective element. Similarly, how much a website contributes is not just about sales.

Some factors to consider are:

  • How many visitors does the website get?
  • How many convert to customers?
  • What is the customer profile?
  • How well does the website perform compared to sector competitors?
  • How much room is there to improve?

Making the decision to purchase or invest in a company is often made with insufficient consideration of its website.

What should be included in a Website report as part of the Due Diligence?

History and Overview

This should include a general summary of the website’s role, objectives and history. When was it established, what technology does it use (is this good or bad?), is it mobile friendly? The website background can often be very different to the company background.

Current Online Marketing Activity

What is the current digital strategy and how is it being implemented. Is it being carried out in-house or by a third party? How is it being measured, how much does it cost and what is the return?

How many followers, friends or likes does the website have? Is it active on social media or pay per click?

Search Engine and Website Performance

Which ‘keywords’ does the site ‘rank for’ at the moment? Are these relevant to the company objectives and is the SEO strategy performing efficiently? How is the website performance monitored, are all the basics in place or is there room for improvement?

Website performance

Analytics

Visitor numbers and conversion (sales or enquiries)

How many people visit the website and from which source. How many of these convert to paying customers.

Local SEO
local seo growth over time
Traffic Trends

What types of customers are buying from the website. For example, do they only purchase once, or regularly. What is the split between returning and new customers? Which marketing activity is driving the most number of visits?

Online Reputation

Does the company (via the website) have a good reputation? How many positive reviews are found on either social media or the site itself? How many negative? What is the general online perception of the website / company? Online reviews need to be managed and responded to, how is this completed?

Competitor Research

Who are the main competitors and how does their website perform in comparison? Include an overview and commentary about the positives and negatives of their sites.

Cost

What is the overall operating cost of the website and supporting function? From hosting costs, to security, payment processing and customer service.

Opportunites / Threats

Include a list of the opportunities and potential threats to the website performance.

Website Oversight

Based in the North West, an estate agent contacted us in order to review their website. Our contact had purchased a business and reached out to discover how he could improve its website performance.

In summary, our client’s new website just loaded 3rd party content. Consequently, in Google terms, their website didn’t exist!

On the positive side, our client had bought a company that had a website with a great deal of opportunity!

Another client had looked to make an investment in a mail order company. Their website was clunky but was taking orders. Understand the customer data behind the orders. Highlight opportunity that the website could realise. Outline the effect this would have on the bottom line.

Before Making an Investment, Carry out Website Due Diligence

It almost doesn’t matter which industry or sector you are looking to invest in. Even (especially) for companies that have no online presence, getting a view of the online landscape will offer insight and opportunity.

Contact us for more information about our website due diligence service.

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Measuring Website Performance

Google Analytics and Measuring Website Performance. Online Marketing Reports.

Owners and managers of SMEs are often far too busy to dedicate hours to measuring website performance. Find out below what you should be measuring, how you should be doing it, and how often.

If you would like some help understanding your website performance, and how to improve it, please contact us to find out more.

Google Analytics, whilst being easy to set-up and get started, can quickly become overwhelming. It needs time to learn and use the various detailed reports that Analytics generates. Small businesses often just set it up and schedule top-line reports to check the website is getting some visits.

Small businesses understand how to analyse the data, but very often it’s not how to get the answers, it is which questions to ask! How do SME’s measure website performance?

E-commerce websites are fairly straight-forward. Your website can send details of a completed basket to Analytics to include in the event and goal completion reports. Visits and conversions from specific marketing campaigns can be tagged and reported on in detail.

For non-e-commerce sites, “page views” and other similar data points mean little when the really all that matters are enquiries.

Meaningful key performance indicators need to be established to measure how effective an online marketing project is. An online marketing strategy – SEO, PPC, Social or direct (email etc) – also needs to integrate with offline strategies (for example print, ad campaign or a trade show), to show how these tactics result in increased visits and enquiries over time.

What will the KPIs be?

An SEO program can increasing awareness and educate buyers. Both will help drive visits and enquiries.

Contact Form Completion

This is one of the easiest indicators to measure. An event can be set up in Analytics and data sent for analysis. This event can be a button click or page view (i.e. thanks.html).

Online website performance reporting
Website performance report

 

With this set-up, you can also track the source of the web visit – tag to a campaign or see other metrics such as page views, return or new visit etc.

Lead Source

Enquiry calls and emails. Online this is easy, we know how people find the website. Offline – for example, telephone calls or direct emails, we need to ask the customer how they found you. Keep records of this so enquiries can match back to marketing activity.

For smaller SMEs, simply asking, “How did you hear about us?” and then recording this closes the ‘sales loop’.

Traffic Data

Traffic is important in determining if an online marketing program is working, However, it is important that clients understand what’s behind this data. It is very easy to get high traffic, but harder to generate the right kind of traffic.

Conversions by Channel

Which channels, search, direct, referrals, email drive conversions. Track volumes, conversion and trends. If a channel is working, you will want to do more of it!

Baseline and targets

Targets are goals you want to achieve (for example a 30% increase in website sessions, 10% increase in enquiries etc). The baseline is the starting point for what you’ll be measuring.

Use data from the previous six or 12 months (depending on how much data you have) to set the baseline. If the data doesn’t exist, simply start from scratch. Determine the KPI’s and set up Goals in Google Analytics. Let things operate for three months and then used the data as the baseline for the next 3 month targets.

How to Measure and When

Measuring the return on investment of an online marketing program involves Search Console and Analytics. Don’t fall into the trap of measuring analytics every day. It’s easy to overreact to blips and anomalies that don’t fully represent a websites performance.

Pick a distinct period of time to analyse – we recommend every Month, quarter and  half year. Measure and analyse your results over these time periods to identify trends. If there are certain marketing events, then you will be able to highlight these on your reports to monitor if they had much of an effect. For example an email shot or leaflet campaign.

In Conclusion

Before starting any online marketing initiative, SME’s first decide which and when KPIs will be measured.

By having KPIs in place, you give your website performance focus — and you give yourself the ability to make decisions based on data.

Contact us to find out more about measuring and improving your website performance.

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Measuring your Conversion With Google Analytics

The first step in improving your website, is to measure what is currently happening. Google Analytics is a free service that shows you: how many visits does your website get; which pages do visitors look at; how do they navigate round your site, and much more.

Online Customer Solutions provide Analytics as standard. With a Monthly Plan you receive a weekly report detailing number of visitors, how they found your site and goals completed.

A ‘Goal’ is defined as the sites objective. This could be a sale, enquiry, sign-up etc. Every site can have a number of different objectives or Events. You can drill down into how the visitor reaches your site and how they navigate to complete the goal..

Reporting is essential to discover which advertising is working. You could be spending 15p a click on a display advert and be delivering 100 visits per day, but if non of them are converting into a goal, something needs to change.

Alternatively, you could be spending £4 a click on a very specific campaign, not delivering many visitors, but if those visitors are converting into Goals, then this is working.

What the Goals are, and what they are worth to you can be configured to provide additional insight. It could be that you are running an e-commerce site. The value of the Goal is the value of the shopping basket. Google also has an e-commerce plug in, that enables you to send product information as well as price on conversion. So you have complete visibility of your return on marketing spend.

Find out more

Online marketing company in Cheadle : Online Customer Solutions, provide websites, SEO and online services to help businesses grow. We work worldwide with businesses small and largeContact us today.

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Increase Website Conversion

To find out how to increase website conversion you need to measure a number of variables.

Obviously, you need a strong website with a good sales funnel and a strong call to action. It’s essential that you are capturing visitors attention within the first 15 seconds and guiding them to what they are looking for. Assuming your site does all of this, then you need to look at the next step. (If you suspect it doesn’t then Online Customer Solutions can help you increase your website conversion!).

You might be seeing hundreds of visitors a day but delivering few sales. This might be nothing at all to do with your site, but what people might be looking for. So you need to know what that is!

This is where Analytics comes into its own, how are people reaching your site, are you advertising on or offline? What search terms, or which sites, are people coming from. You could be wasting your marketing budget attracting the wrong people. If you refined your online marketing, you’d end up with fewer visitors, but more sales – increasing your website conversion and maximising sales.

There is obviously more to it than that, but it’s a start.

Find out more

Located in SK8, just south of Manchester in the UK, Online Customer Solutions provide solutions to a range of business but specialise in helping small businesses grow.

Contact us today, we can advise and provide a range of services, from setting up a website to improving online marketing and conversions.

about online customer solutions
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Find New Customers

Every small and medium size business needs to find new customers. Online Customer Solutions (OCS) aims to help businesses grow.

People like websites because they solve a problem. Provide a service or product they are looking for. Customers buy from websites because they are  authoritative, trustworthy and expert and provide a positive user experience.

Finding new customers starts with a review of your own website and ensuring that any marketing you do isn’t wasted. Once you are certain that you have a value proposition, you can work on getting new customers to your site.

OCS can help setting up an online marketing strategy or refining keywords and negative keywords to make sure the campaigns are targeting the right people at the right time.

Measuring the marketing is essential to keeping costs down and return in investment up. If you haven’t already setup Analytics, especially to monitor Events and Goals, Online Customer Solutions can set this up. Reports can be scheduled and emails so you can keep an eye on the key performance indicators. You can only improve something if you measure it!

Find New Customers

Located just south of Manchester in the UK, OCS provide solutions to a range of business, but specialise in helping small businesses grow.

Online Customer Solutions helps with your online marketing to increase visits and sales. We can also setup your new website or update your existing one.

Find out more

Located just south of Manchester in the UK, Online Customer Solutions provide solutions to a range of business, but specialise in helping small businesses grow.

Contact us today, we can advise and provide a range of services, from setting up a website, to improving online marketing and conversions.

about online customer solutions