It's week 4, discussing Analytics and Goals in the book, Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day.
As a marketer, I know measurement is key and I couldn't even begin to count the number of associations I've talked to about the importance. But, it can be daunting if you don't have much experience. If you're new to analytics, don't worry, this post is perfect for the Google Analytics beginner.
Here are my top tips for getting started:
Step 1: Make sure Google Analytics is set up on your association's website. It's free and easy to use. I am certainly not an IT guru, but I can quickly and easily get access to powerful information and statistics using this tool.
Step 2: Login and go to the Overview tab. Here, you can set your date range and look at data such as visits, pageviews, and bounce rate. Don't try to measure everything you see here- start measuring just a couple of things that are most valuable to your association, and once you feel more comfortable, start looking at all Google Analytics has to offer. Use this link to get a definition of all of Google's terms.
Step 3: Find out where your traffic is coming from. Go to the Traffic Sources tab. Here, you can find out what keywords are most often searched, how many people arrive to your site via search engine vs. directly, what sites are referring to your website, and what landing pages visitors are using to enter your website. You may think that the majority of your traffic is entering your association's homepage - but you may be surprised how members and prospects are entering through other website pages.
I often see a large amount of visitors landing within the online membership directory, the membership dues page, the membership benefits page, on an association event page, etc. If, for example, you find many are entering your site via the online membership directory, this information can be extremely valuable to your members and you may want to consider adding more content to these pages.
Step 4 : Setup goals. Goals are what you want users to perform. This could be filling out a form to join your membership, registering for a member event, signing up for your mailing list, etc. I haven't begun to utilize this function to it's full capacity but I recommend getting started, even if it's just setting up 1 goal. You don't just want more traffic, you want an association website that generates results.
Step 5: Utilize custom reports. The initial setup can take some time, but it can save you hours in the long term. Need a quick website report for your board, a member, or for your boss? It's at your fingertips.
Step 6: Check out the Mobile tab. Every day, more and more of your association's website visitors are finding you via a mobile device. If your site isn't providing a good user experience on mobile devices, you'll see the data here with a high bounce rate. An association mobile website or association website app can provide a better experience if you see cause for concern here.
Want to learn more about how to create an optimized association website? We've delivered more than 1,000 association websites so we can help you generate the best results. Let us know. We'd love to provide your association with a free website assessment. Or, feel free to email me.