The Most Important Metrics To Track In Your Web Analytics

  Nik Oliva   1

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If you’re new to the world of web analytics, the term may sound a bit intimidating at first and you may be asking yourself, “What is Web analytics? What is it good for?”. Well, as stated in our previous post, The Web Analytics Association defines web analytics as: “Web Analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purposes of understanding and optimizing Web usage”.

Success in the online world comes down to delivering satisfying experiences that create value for users. And Having a Website without having any analytics software programmed to it is almost useless. Web analytics is a key factor when determining whether your website content is successfully bringing in traffic and leads. It’s therefore important to constantly analyze and document how user behavior changes that can be very useful in planning your marketing strategy, search engine optimization campaigns and even Website design.

Web analytics strategy requires selecting the right people, process, metrics and tools to get the most from it. Choosing a web analytics tool can also be seen as committing to a long-term project. Also, the  right tool falls into the category of vital decisions that an organization has to make. Moreover, it’s essential that you select the right web analytics tool from the right vendor, particularly to future goals and needs of your organization as web analytics and online marketing continue to grow in importance.

As you examine your online analytics and marketing objectives, it’s important to keep in mind several key metrics and figures when selecting a web analytics tool for your organization. This will help you understand which ones are most useful tool for analyzing and improving your website and marketing activities.

Every time your Cascading Style Sheets loads, every time each image on your website loads, each time your Php or html files load, all these count as a Hit. Meaning, a Hit measures the total number of requests for text, images and files your Web server receives for a given page. Before, pages with many images and received many more ‘hits’ than plain text sites. But many web analytics tools don’t even report hits as a metric because what they want to know the number of people are coming to their website.

A Page View tells you the amount of views your website pages are getting. Most web analytics tools allow the client to specify what types of files or requests qualify as a “page”. A page view constitute a Visit, which is the  equivalent of when someone arrives at your website and starts looking at pages. A user that Visit your site is a Visitor, any future sessions from the same user during the selected time period are counted as additional visits, but not as additional visitor. Calculation is typically the timestamp of the last activity in the session minus the timestamp of the first activity of the session. The time a visitor spends on your site is a good indicator of the quality of your website. The longer the visitor stays, usually, the better. A unique visitor can have many visits, each containing many page views. The way a first-time visitor interacts with your site is very different from how a returning visitor interacts, so each individual is counted only once in the reporting period. You can discover a lot about your visitors through analytics tools, including how many are new to the site, the country or region where they’re located, and the Web browser they’re using. Knowing where your customers are coming from, what browsers and operating systems your customers are using is essential to create a site that meets their needs.

Web analytics has always been an important aspect of digital marketing, but only recently has it been considered critical to success as many organizations identify opportunities to improve their businesses and marketing strategies.  Web analytics can provide marketers with relevant web metrics to evaluate the success of their website and content. However, most marketers are confused with business implications of analytics reports, so with the help of web analytics tool it ends up being simpler to understand what users are doing and how they interact with our website.

The world of analytics is complicated by the fact that not every software tool handles metrics in the same way. Before any measurement tool is purchased a very important decision needs to be made. Significantly, If you aren’t using a web analytics tool there’s really no way of knowing whether you’re moving closer to your goal or further away from it. A Web analytics tool will show you how many leads you’re generating from your website, the number of new visitors, who is returning to your website, and much more.

For many marketers, any marketing efforts without analyzing the results is like shooting an arrow in the dark. You will never know if you’re hitting the right target market. Web analytics offer insightful information about the performance of your marketing activities and whether it is yielding the kind of results expected by you.

While web analytics can provide marketers with informative and useful insights and data into the technical performance of website, however, marketers today really need much richer and specific data to understand the performance of their marketing activities, something that web analytics alone can’t provide.

Information that you collect from Web analytics tool can quickly become overwhelming. However, some Web analytics tools have been designed to help you organize website data for quick and easy viewing. Once you have that knowledge at your fingertips, you can take steps to strengthen your marketing strategies, your website content, and ultimately your business.

Keep in mind that your website and marketing ability to retain and covert your target market into loyal customers or users depends on how well you use and optimize for the right metrics. Your Web Analytics tool should provide active metrics that pays attention to each visitor’s interaction within the site and emphasizing events that are more relevant to current browsing patterns. With this in mind, there are several different factors which need to be considered before choosing a Web Analytics solution and this will be explored in detail on our next post.

With so many different web analytics applications now available, evaluating all of your options may seem like a daunting task. But which web analytics tool should you use? What can analytics do for your site performance and business goals?

 

What Are The Two Faces Of Digital Marketing?

  Nik Oliva   None

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The world of marketing is constantly evolving and has now completely entered the digital world. Traditional marketing channels such as print, radio, TV and billboards have been mighty successful over a long period of time however, they aren’t as effective in today’s digital age. With the rapid growth of the web, and more people getting connected every day, digital marketing has become a necessity for many businesses.

What’s Digital Marketing?

The world now runs on connected mobile devices and computers supported by search engines. And the rapid evolution of digital media has created new opportunities and avenues for advertising and marketing. Digital marketing is the “The promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media. For example, advertising mediums that might be used as part of the digital marketing strategy of a business could include promotional efforts made via the Internet, social media, mobile phones and electronic billboards, as well as via digital and television and radio channels. “- Business Dictionary

By applying the principles of marketing, and utilizing the power of new, digital media, businesses can now develop an impactful and encouraging customer engagement to promote brands through various forms of digital media which is fully measurable.

Digital media are now everywhere. While traditional marketing was king just a decade ago, advancements in digital marketing means practices in marketing with new understanding of customer behavior that extends beyond internet marketing to include channels such as mobile phones, online display, search engine and social media advertisements, and any form of new digital media. The impact of digital age has reached beyond product marketing to the very product themselves or services that add value to the product.

Digital marketing can be implemented in two popular way. Engaging consumers through a connected digital marketing campaign which includes both push and pull digital marketing has its own sets of advantages and disadvantages.

Pull digital marketing involves strategies to pull the target customers to your own business resource. Today’s consumer is an avid researcher. Consumers usually read reviews, conduct keyword searches and ask Facebook and twitter friends for suggestions and information. The ultimate goal is to strengthen consumer awareness of a brand and products and foster demand. One of the best ways to do this is to offer great content that informs, entertains, or does some combination of both. Websites, blogs, and streaming media (both audio and video) and other forms of visual messaging and search engine optimization  are examples of pull digital marketing. For instance, social media offers a great opportunity for consumers to interact directly with business representatives and discuss a specific query of the product or service they offer.  Pull marketing, is the fastest growing trend. However, with the digital marketing advent, the pull digital marketing term tends to be replaced by inbound marketing.

For example, Samsung has successfully uses pull strategies to launch Galaxy smart phones and tablets. Likewise, music has also fallen under pull strategies due to digitization and the emergence of social networking websites. Its music platform Samsung Music Hub is reflective of the power shift from providers to consumers. Businesses must adapt their strategies to pull in demand, rather than push products to the consumers (in this case, the demand in music is pulled to consumers).

Push digital marketing, on the other hand, requires the consumers to be educated and told that a service or solution exists so that then they may consume it. Push digital marketing is sent without the audience actively looking for it. Online examples of push advertising include email campaigns, interstitials, pre-roll video and banner ads, and any advertising displayed on websites.

The idea of push marketing has always been to provoke a response, promoting the product or service in a way that often doesn’t allow for feedback from the potential customers. But the communication created by push digital marketing are becoming less and less effective as consumers are increasingly able to reach into the ‘net and pull out the information they need to make informed purchases. And in today’s digital world, consumers will often engage in searching behavior on the internet. That consumer activity can be tracked by competitors, who will retarget those customers with competing offers. Overall, the aim of push digital marketing is to create an offer that appeals to as much of the target audience as possible, and hope will leave a lasting impression.

Now that you know the differences between push and pull, which model of digital marketing do you prefer?

Digital marketing is more about choice and engagement, less than it is a distraction. The primary difference between pull and push marketing lies in how consumers are approached. Many marketers use a mix of outbound and inbound strategies to communicate with customers. The outbound efforts that push messaging to customers, and an inbound which naturally pulls them in to engage with the marketing strategies.

The big difference with push and pull is that pull can be more accurately targeted, and its results more closely measured. Pull marketing is often associated with new Internet marketing strategies. It also has more effect, because the customer gets to decide whether to engage or not. Generally, pull marketing provides a higher level of consumer engagement because the customers seek out the companies.

On the other hand, push marketing techniques allow one to send personalized messages to the customers. Push marketing are still sustainable, yet with the rise of search engines and social media, new ways are required to engage and reach consumers across various digital media platform. This advantage is lacked by the pull digital marketing techniques.

Most businesses will use a combination of push and pull strategies in order to successfully market a product. Choosing the most effective strategy to engage and convert prospective customers is perhaps the most important decision you face in designing your company’s overall marketing program.  A company may use both push and pull marketing to drive sales growth. While push marketing uses more traditional approaches. Its real drawback is that it relies on advertising channels that are intrusive in nature and are no longer trusted by the typical consumer. On the other hand, pull marketing, offers a different strategy altogether.  In direct contrast to push marketing, pull marketing is more cost effective. An effective pull marketing strategy begins with extensive research into what makes a person evolve from someone who is disinterested and unaware of a solution area, to seeing how it might fit into their personal or professional lives and make it better. Companies must choose which strategy will be most effective as they develop marketing plans.

 

 

To Diversify Your Brand or Not To Diversify?

  Nik Oliva   None

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Branding and marketing and advertising are the most important things for any product or company to gain a long term market share. We all know that brands are increasingly accessed digitally, and so you might have been developing your online brand identity, as well as making sure that your website is both enticing and user friendly. However, a less considered consequence of this is that the interface through which a brand is accessed (for the reason that brands are increasingly accessed digitally)has become a primary identity element.

Brands become a constantly shifting relationship between the company and its customers and operating multiple brands across your market is a great way of tapping into many different target audiences. Nevertheless, maintaining the relationship between each one is a delicate and complex process.

This has prompted many companies to turn to multi-branding, a strategy in which a single company or store offers several brands of the same product.

For business that is recognized by a logo, name or product is a goal for many companies. This is known as brand recognition, and it develops over time through persistent marketing strategies and quality products. And nowadays, it has become very common for a company to have a portfolio of multiple brands. Multi-branding is basically the process of marketing of two or more widely similar and competing products by a firm under different brands.

For some parent companies, maintaining completely separate online identities for each of their brands is the best option, and a critical component of their overall brand strategy.

It’s really the idea of diversification, and that’s as old as capitalism. Dispersing risk can protect your business from negative market factors like economic downturns and encroaching competition. Dor investors, Diversification is all about investing in different types of assets, known commonly as classes. Experienced investors will likely roll their eyes at this, but given the rate of financial literacy in their country.

For companies, Apple as an example, has used close-related diversification strategies as their corporate strategy. Apple today is a much more diversified company than it was just five years ago. First there was the Mac line of computers, then Apple added the iPod, then the iPhone, and little over a year ago, the iPad.

Over the past 13 years, Apple has gone from being a computer company to being a true consumer brand and the company is busy in introducing new and innovative products to grab the attention of the customers and critics are busy in finding the drawbacks and competing the products with other competitors. All these new products have only served to make the company stronger and much more profitable, not to mention more valuable.

Apple’s diversification has helped the company understand more about what consumers are looking for in today’s evolving technological era.  Apple’s diversification has proved that Apple is capable of developing innovative high quality and well design devices that impress consumers and facilitates everyday and work life.  Apple’s iTunes, iPods, and iPad diversification success has boosted sales of the Mac computers because of the close integration between the products.

This distribution of multiple product lines or brands is a way that companies target multiple segments.

Multi-segment marketing is a departure from the tradition of finding a target market and dedicating business to serving it. It is aimed at the market as a whole in an attempt to maximize businesses’ reach and generate as many sales as possible. Companies that ventured into multi-segment marketing see opportunity at all levels and want to take advantage of every different type of customer they can.

Differentiation in product marketing is the perceived separation between your product and your competition. Also, sometimes a big company will own competing brands to control more of the market. One that have chosen this route, and have successfully created unique online identities for each of the brands within their company is Coca-cola .

This iconic American brand is recognized instantly around the globe and sold in more than 200 countries. Additionally there are thousands of subsidiary beverages that you might have no idea are owned by Coke. Coca-Cola does not only deal in non-alcoholic soft drinks, but it also makes a lot of juices and juice drinks, still and carbonated products. As a matter of fact Coca-Cola has more than 3,000 products worldwide.

Coca-Cola’s diversification has contributed to its growth and its superb performance.

For instance a new product like the Coca-Cola zero did so well in terms of sales. In fact the Diet Coke surpassed Pepsi to become the No.2 soda in America. “Diet Coke’s success led to the introduction of many flavor extensions, such as Diet Coke with Lemon, Diet Vanilla Coke, Diet Cherry Coke, Diet Coke with Lime and most recently, Diet Coke with Splenda.” This therefore impacted positively on the company’s market share.

Coca-Cola accompanies related diversification strategy that enables it in functioning in various different but essentially related businesses. With its strategic choice of related diversification the company depends less on an individual product which renders it with an advantage of becoming less susceptible to competitive or economic threats.

Diversification is simply a strategy that takes the organization away from both its existing market and its existing products. Businesses diversify for a number of reasons. Perhaps the most basic of these is survival.

Larger companies diversify in different ways.

For instance, McDonald’s starting of McCafe is an excellent example of diversification. By starting McCafe, McDonald’s is offering new products that were not available in traditional McDonald’s stores. McCafe specializes in serving cafes, which attracts customers that usually don’t come to McDonald’s to eat fast-food. Smaller businesses need to look at things in a different way. It is much better to start by offering variations on your original product or complementary products. One other way to diversify is to sell the products in a different way. For example, diversification can focus on related products – for instance, a popular line of budget hotels can complement their budget airline business. Also if you own a shop on the high street you could look at whether selling on the internet is a possible option. Or if you run a coffee shop, you could consider running mobile street stalls rather than setting up a new premises. Keep in mind that running a hotel chain is very different to running a small retail shop, but a large company copes simply by bringing in the right employees and funds to do the job. Small businesses do not have the means of this level of budget.

Developing and launching new products or starting a new business within a group can be a costly undertaking. The trick is to diversify your customer base while trimming costs at the same time.