3 Steps to Success with Analytics
“The golden rule for every business owner is this:
Put yourself in your customer’s place.”
Thomas F. Carre
You monitor your website’s analytics, but the real problem is, what do you do with the data? Follow this three-step plan to make the most of your site’s analytics.
Define the Needs of your Website’s Audience:
People buy a specific product or service because it fills a specific need. When you are able to identify that need, you can develop a way to address it. How do we assess the data supporting the need? Google Analytics is a free service. Click here for a listing of other analytic services available for 2016.http://: http://homebizforretirees.com/2016/04/08/home-based-busin…websites-in-2016/ Edit
Analytics are able to provide clues as to what those needs are. They can provide clues about your customers such as:
- Their interests
- How they accessed the site
- Do they tend to consume more short-form or long-form content?
- Do they watch the videos on your site?
- How long do they spend on your site?
Establish Baseline Conversions:
The “conversion rate” is defined as the percentage of buyers to take a desired action. You need to establish the number of visitors to your site’s page (baseline) and compare that number to the number of people who take action (conversion). Thus, if 10,000 people visited your website’s page in December, and 200 take action, you get the following formula: 200/10,00= 2%. The conversion rate is 2%.
It’s important to know your conversion rates. Analytics will not only help you establish your baseline conversions, but you will also be able to know the conversion rates from different sources of traffic.
For example, you will be able to determine that an ad on one site may perform at a much higher rate than on other sites, or that one site in particular provides a very low conversion rate.
Knowing the conversion rate of your site in general and of each of its traffic sources will allow you to focus and tweak your advertising efforts. This will maximize the results while minimizing the effort and expense.
Assign and Calculate Revenue:
Every action and interaction on your website can be assigned a value. Of course, a sale will have a higher value than a click-through, but each interaction has a value. Analytics are helpful in determining and assigning a value to these actions. When you know what is working on your site and what is not, you are then able to prioritize decisions and increase your site’s profitability.
Which Analytic Service Should a Retired Blog Writer Use?
Knowing your analytics makes the decision making process easier and faster. Google Analytics can provide you with all the information you need to make these decisions. The service is free and is available on your Google account. You will need a Google Mail account and a unique password to access all of the Google services. You want to click on the Adword Planner and then click on the Google Analytics account. You will be given a key for your WordPress site.
The Google Analytics Dashboard for WP is a WordPress plugin that brings all the Google Analytics information directly into your WordPress dashboard. You will see the number of people using your blog, the pages that are gaining the most views, and you can even find the keyword your customer used on Google Search!
Use Your C
Take the Time to Master Google Analytics:
Analytics can be a full-time job and can take a dedicated professional to comb through all the data and make sense of it all. But if you know where to look and what to look for, you can manage this information on your own and make educated decisions on your marketing efforts.
Click here for a report on several companies that can make the task of analysis much easier for you. As a retired person writing this blog, I believe in taking the time to learn how to use these tools to improve my business. I believe this will help you as well. As always, do your research!
As my Uncle Tom said to me years ago: “Know your customer and deliver what they want.” He was very good at his job and took great pride in achieving customer satisfaction. Take the time to master the learning curve and apply the information you gain in mining the data to attract more customers and improve your reader’s experience on your blog.
Key Resource: Google Analytics for Beginners by SSRG Solutions. This is a basic overview to get you started. I read this book to help me figure out how this stuff can help me with this blog. In order to begin collecting data, you will need to define “groups” before you get started. The authors stress beginning with simple analytics and using the data effectively. Then you add more data fields as you understand the information. I hope this will help you as well. Click here to buy the Book.
Local home-based bakery offers specialty treats to Cleveland community
The Clarion Online reports that Kristen Goins, owner of Cupcakes and Gourmet Treats by Kristen, has been baking sweet treats in her home-based business for the past 18 months. She built her business using her Facebook page where people can order the baked goods. The key to her home bakery is personal home and office delivery service.
Her marketing efforts include offering a weekly giveaway, to attract new customers and keep her existing clients. It worked!
She really hit the sweet spot by offering a ten percent discount and free delivery to student dorms near her home. The college students love the sweet offering. Parents will call and order a “care package” of cookies and birthday cakes for their college students.
Kristen began her business by giving samples to local offices such as Regional Finance. Now she has orders ranging from 10 to 40 customers every week and she is able to run her business smoothly.
Here is a screenshot of the story:
To read the full story, click here.
There you have it. This remarkable success story is a fine example of a person willing to take a chance and develop a home–based business. She kept her overhead to a minimum by working from home. She found a market for her treats and a way to reach her customers.
Way to go Kristen!
How to Use Content Marketing to Drive Traffic to a Website
“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.” Steuart Britt
With so much emphasis on quality content for search engine placement, content marketing is now a key strategy to generate web traffic. But a lot of questions still remain with regard to creating an effective content marketing strategy. Retired Baby Boomers wonder what is involved in content marketing.
Here is a strategy that focuses on the three main concerns of content marketing:
Previous SEO strategies included keyword stuffing and keyword density, but those strategies do not work anymore. Indeed, they will get your site penalized in the search engines. The best way to create search engine friendly content is with a combination of the following methods.
- Create High Quality Content
There are several factors to be taken into consideration in order to create quality content. The content must be directed toward a specific audience and address a concern they may have. The information included in the article must be detailed and perhaps even present a new or unique solution to the problem. Ask your friends to review the content and ask for their opinion. If they get lost, you need to improve the “call to action” on your blog.
- Use Relevant Keywords
Is the content you are creating informational or transactional? Know what kind of keywords searchers use when looking for this type of information and use them in your content. The content should provide an answer to the search phrase.
For example, the search phrase “how to grow greener lawns,” should have an answer to the “how to” question. The search engine will pick up the answer according to relevancy and freshness.
- Create Meaningful Interactions
Once a user has clicked through to your site from the search engine, how do they interact with the page? Content that answers the search query will grab the visitor’s attention and keep them on the site for a while. If the visitor doesn’t immediately see what they are looking for, they are likely to hit the back button, which is called a “bounce.”
- Stay Fresh
It’s important to add new high quality content. Search engines love to see new content on a site and new content will bring viewers back to consume your new content.
Visitors who find your content useful, insightful, unique, or funny are going to be more likely to share your content with others. When others share your content, it not only helps generate traffic and increase your search placements, it builds trust in you.
But just what makes content share-worthy? According to the NY Times study, “The Psychology of Sharing,” the key factors that influence sharing include:
- People need to trust the accuracy of your content in order to want to share it
- Simple content is more likely to be shared
- Things that are funny, convey urgency, or connect people to a cause are thought to be share-worthy.
The study also revealed a few motivations that people have for sharing:
- To bring valuable or entertaining content to others
- To define themselves to others (by sharing things that reinforce an image they would like to present)
- To connect to other people who share their interests
- To get feedback and interact with others
- To get the word out about a cause or brand
Keep these key factors and motivations in mind when creating content. Spark people’s interests by providing a different take on the subject or offering an opposing point of view. Bring new issues to the forefront and share new tools and resources.
The most important part of share-ability is to make it easy to share. Don’t forget to include share buttons for all the major social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc.
You can create great content that gets shared or even goes viral, but all the views in the world will not do you much good if the content doesn’t convert. Whether you want to make a sale or gain another subscriber for your list, if your content isn’t compelling readers to take some kind of action, your content isn’t working.
- Know Your Audience:
The first step in creating content that converts is to know your audience. Create profiles of kinds of people to visit your site and consume your content. What are their needs and desires?
2. What do you want your audience to do?
You must guide your audience carefully through the buying process. Provide clear direction and move the reader forward carefully so they don’t get lost in the process.
3. Create Quality Content That Converts to a Sale:
Don’t fall into to a “hard sale” mode of writing. People are searching for answers and will make their own decision. Just provide information like your would to your close friend and respect their intelligence to make the right decision.
Good writers find this type of content writing a challenge to master. We are used to the “hard sale” approach to marketing. But the web is changing the buying habits of people. They want answers to their problem, not shrill “buy now or perish” content. Here is a good book to help you develop your content writing skills:
Key Resource: Content Strategy for the Web, by Kistina Halverson and Melissa Rach. This book is packed with information for every element that is essential to write good content for the web. Each chapter is a simple step for you to take action and master the instructions. I like this approach because it is a lesson you can work on at your own pace. When you are comfortable with the lesson, you can move on to the next step. You continue this course until you master the art of writing for the web. Check out the reviews on the Amazon site. Click here for the book.
“Success is dependent upon the glands – sweat glands.”
~ Zig Ziglar
Know the Value of Working Hard for Success
The world is changing and you want to be part of the new world. Since we retired from the rat race, we Baby Boomers are searching for a way to work from home, with a reasonable chance to make money.
People keep asking me for ideas that will help them when working from home. Hopefully, these ideas will trigger your imagination to create your own home business. It is not an easy task due to the variety of different business opportunities that are available.
Here are seven ideas to consider:
- Affiliate marketing:
This is not a get rich quick business, but it is one of the best work from home jobs available today. Affiliate marketing is simply connecting sellers and buyers of online products. This blog is a good example of affiliate marketing. It takes time to attract an audience and to gain their trust. But it can generate income over time.
Key Resource: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: Simple, Smart, Proven Strategies to Make Money Online by Brian Connors. Click here for more information.
- Websites design:
Website designing is the easiest programming task available. You should know basic computer programming and have creative ideas. One option is to join the Elegant Themes membership and gain access to over 56 developed Word Press themes. The theme for this Blog is an Elegant Theme template. Amazingly, two of the themes, Divi and Extra, make it easy to design a custom website. Their video tutorials and customer support are the best I have seen on line. The rates are reasonable and will give you “more bang for the buck.” For more information on Elegant Themes, click here.
Key Resource: Learning Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide to HTML and CSS by Jennifer Robbins. Click here for the book.
- Content writing:
Unique content is the online king. Search engines love unique, fresh content. My website, Hall Content Writing.com provides all kinds of specialized content on many different topics. One of my clients is a belt factory in China. Another wanted website content for a recruiter. Click here for more information.
Another option is to write your own content for a blog, like this one, and then add Google AdSense on the blog to earn money while you sleep.
Key Resource: Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide To Creating Good Content by Ann Handley. Click here for the book.
- Herbalife work at home:
Herbalife is the leading MLM community and Herbalife marketers make money selling Herbalife health nutrition products from home. Direct sales can be done with home parties allowing participants to sample the products and listen to your speech on why they should eat healthy and engage in a healthy lifestyle. This is an ideal business if you like to communicate benefits to your customers to gain a sale.
Key Resource: Herbalife Shake Recipes: 70+ Delicious Herbalife Shake Recipes, Energy Drinks, and More! By Jen Taylor. Click here for the book.
- Selling products on eBay:
Millions of people make money on eBay selling and buying products. Think of it as the world’s largest flea market. Look in your garage, basement, or attic and find items to sell. Specialize in a product and find it locally. Then offer it for sale on eBay. Go to “Estate Sales” and find antiques and unique products that people may want to buy. I know of a lady who found old editions of National Geographic going back to the 1940’s. Yes, people collect these old magazines. Selling products on eBay is a fun way to make money from home.
Key Resource: eBay for Dummies by Marsha Collier. Click here for the book.
- Trading domains:
This involves the ability to create a unique domain name and then selling it on a website sales site. You can also buy existing domains at a lower price and then resale later for a profit. You need to learn the nuances of selling domains and website real estate and the challenge of finding a buyer. Domain Sales sites, online auction sites, and Craigslist are possibilities for your sales empire.
Key Resource: Virtual Real Estate: How to Make Money Buying and Selling Domain Names by Von Money. Click here for the book.
- Stocks and commodities trading:
Anyone can be a trader today. All the necessary data is available online. Just start trading with a small amount and learn methods like technical analysis. This is not for the person who cannot take risks, as the market can tank at any time. Be sure to study this business opportunity carefully, before taking the plunge.
Key Resource: Day Trading for Dummies by Ann C. Logue. Click here for the book.
These are just a few of the ideas that you can consider for your home-based business. Be careful not to fall prey to scams and do your homework. I listed key resources to help you with your research. Remember Zig Zigler’s advice: it takes hard work and sweat to develop a business.
Do you have any ideas of your own? Send me a note using the contact form on this blog and I will research the idea and develop a report.
Six Site Data Analysis Tools for 2016
“There are no secrets to success.
It is the result of preparation,
hard work, and learning from failure.”
Baby Boomers seeking to earn income from a home based business website should understand the basics. There are tools to help you understand just who is looking at your website and for how long. Google rewards sites with people remaining on the site for longer than 20 seconds, so it’s good to see how effective your website is in attracting serious readers and buyers.
Gathering data from your website is not just busy work. It’s important that you ensure that you’re doing the best that you can to bring in the most targeted traffic to your online real-estate. Studying the information you gather and taking action to correct the direction of the site will ensure success.
6 Web-site Traffic Analysis Tools You Can Use Today:
If you’re serious about search engine marketing and want to boost your visibility online, you can use all the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tools they offer at Moz.com. You can use their pro, local or content version to help you not only learn valuable information but also to understand how to use that information once you have it.
See your competitors’ best keywords, find new competitors, and see how domains change in ranking over time based on their activity. Finding the best SEO keywords will help you rank higher, and will bring more targeted customers to your website.
Take raw data, an address list and other information and turn it into an informative Google Map that will help you make great decisions about sales and marketing. It’s cloud based and works quickly to give you the kind of actionable information that you need.
This works with Google to help you make more sense out of your Google Analytics. It’s the “plain English” choice that helps you to deliver the very best results to your customers in an insightful way.
- Google Analytics:
This is tried and true analytics software that has been around for a long time. It can be used for all sorts of analytics even if you don’t use AdWords or run Google Ads. Since it’s free, and anyone who has a Google account can use it, why not?
This cloud-based software helps you look into which keywords are getting the most traction and helps you earn the most money. Plus you can get a detailed list of keywords that any website uses so that you can track your competition.
Ok, I have data. Now what do I do with it?
Practicing well-planned analytics will help you set expectations and determine how to make what you want to happen come true. You can do that by:
- Determining objectives
- Studying customer experience
- Conducting a traffic study
- Determining visitor loyalty
- Figuring out conversion rates
- Fixing broken links
- Upgrading landing pages
- Defining your goals and values
- Creating a sales funnel
- Testing and repeating
Good analytics and site data software will help you do all that and more. Without being able to look at all your metrics, you won’t be able to define any of the above. But with the information, you can tweak your site and improve it until you start having the results that you are expecting.
Key Resource: Google Analytics Demystified: A Hands On Approach (Second Edition) by Joel Davis. Click here for more information.