It is essential that you not only collect data regarding the effectiveness of your website and social media efforts, but that you critically analyze it to enable you to make improvements. Without analysis, you may as well be shooting in the dark. There’s no point religiously updating and modifying your website and social media strategy if you don’t even know what is working!
There are a number of analytics tools available to give you a whole host of information and statistics about customer engagement with your website and social media posts. And some of these are completely free. None of them offer every single angle you may wish to investigate, so you may need to use a range of tools.
Whatever you decide upon, make sure you regularly analyze the available data before you start to tweak and enhance your website and social media strategy, and do so at every opportunity. Here are some awesome tools to consider:
Google Analytics – a great, free tool which provides sound data on the demographics of your clients – where they are coming from, how long they spend on each page, and how often they return. The tool is sophisticated enough to flag significant changes in customer traffic patterns and it can be customized to produce reports the way you want them. Regardless of the tools you are already using or plan to be using, no website should not have Google Analytics implemented as it is the most effective and accurate free analytics tool.
Yahoo Web Analytics – also free and similar to Google, although it offers a little bit more depth in profiling and filtering your visitors. When it comes to the power of Yahoo analytics versus Google, it's worth noting that you will have much more flexibility with Google's Analytics tools.
Google Webmasters – a tool which specifically allows you to see which sections of your website are resulting in the most clicks. And it’s free.
Facebook Insights – a must for all companies on Facebook. It summarizes your fans’ likes and comments on all of your posts. The growth of your social media presence is just as important as the growth of your website. Keep track of your profile, followers and engagement.
Twitalyzer – another must for companies that like to tweet on Twitter. It reviews user activity and provides a number of measures of success such as relative influence and clout. Free trials are available but after that payment is required – but at a nominal fee only.
Clicktale – this offers real time monitoring and can track your marketing campaigns. It shows conversion pathways visually and where customers leave your website. It can specifically report on your online forms – and indicate how long they take to complete, when they are left blank or when customers abandon them and leave. Great information if all of your call to action steps are via online forms. Cost applies.
CrazyEgg – this enables you to track your customers’ clicks within your website to highlight the most popular pages which result in most customer engagement. Slightly cheaper than Clicktale and free trials are available.
Compete – a sneaky way to take a look at your competitors’ efforts and successes. This tool can tell you which keywords are directing website traffic to both your website and that of your competition. Slightly more expensive that the paid tools above, but it’s always good to see what you are up against.
These are just a selection of popular analytical tools available to you. There are plenty more. Decide what is important to you and what your budget will stretch to. Then start to really analyze the performance of your website, which areas are of most interest to your visitors, where your visitors hail from and how your success relates to that of your competitors. Similarly with social media, you need to know which posts and tweets are really working – from the type of post and the time of day it was posted.
It’s only with all this information to hand that you can start to modify your website, tweak your tweets and improve your Facebook posts. And as all well thought out modifications will lead down the road to sales, why wait? Get analyzing now!