Do us a favor and share this post!

#AMA Topic:

Do you have website and online marketing concerns? Your website is your 24-hour marketplace where your target audience can get to know your business, your services and get started or reach out to you.

There are many tools online for you to be able to get this information yourself about website and online marketing but once you have it what is your next step? How do you implement the changes the tool tells you to? How do you know there are no loopholes or information that isn’t translated in a way you can easily understand.

If you have website and online marketing questions or you are not getting the traffic you are working hard for, I’m happy to answer questions and help get you on the right track. After we are done, I provide a website audit and then a one on one 30 minute review to go over what we found and simple changes you can make yourself.

Sometimes it’s all about the strategy- your questions can be answered here as well and if you don’t have a website or have bigger website and online marketing questions we are happy to offer a strategic marketing session as well. 

Q & A:

How can you convey actionable insights at every reporting interval in website and online marketing?

Actionable insights are steps you can take to make changes in your website and online marketing. The answer to this depends what you are tracking. For example, if you are tracking the days you have the most visitors, you can change your blog to publish on the days of the week your visitors are highest. Then you watch and see if that made a difference. If you track social media marketing channels, you can recommend posting to the channels you have the most visitors. The goals and needs of the business determine the types of actionable insights you have to work with in website and online marketing.

What is most superficially tempting metric that is almost never worth worrying about?

There are lots of answers I can give for this in website and online marketing, but realistically if you are a professional in the field you take a look at everything. The biggest mistake is isolating metrics. Taking a look at a single metric over a short period of time and using it to make decisions can hurt you because true data for website and online marketing comes from combined information and a period of time. The most important evaluations are the month-over-month and year-over-year reports.

Analytics gives quantitative data; surveys: qualitative. What’s the best way to aggregate to understand clearly how to improve?

It’s an excellent idea to run both in website and online marketing. The difference however, is that you will get a lower amount of qualitative data since that counts directly on direct user action. Analytics is a great and necessary tool to be able to see what people are doing on your site so you can better isolate what needs to be done. For example, if you have a video, and consistently users stop halfway through, it is likely that you should cut the length of the video. Once you have the data, you can use surveys to see if the video was helpful to the user which then gives you more qualitative data.

What is the best approach for measuring the effectiveness of left and top navigation?

Using analytics events you can track this information but measuring the effectiveness has to do with website and online marketing metrics and user experience. Everything tells a story including your navigation. Take a look at how often a navigation item is clicked in relation to the services you offer. Running A/B campaigns you can often see what language is more effective. For example, if you were to decide to change the name of the page and track if traffic went up or down, you would be seeing which was more effective, title A or title B. Competitive research in website and online marketing is another way to figure out what navigation flow to use. Go to a huge competitor in your field. How are they using their navigation? The more data you have, and the more campaigns you run, the more effective your navigation will get. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

How is cloud computing related to web analytics?

You can host website analytics in a cloud environment for website and online marketing. This is often done by big companies with large volumes of data as a SAAS application. Cloud environments offer scalability, performance and is a complement to a typical analytics solution, but isn’t the best option necessarily for getting started.

How well do in-page analytics and heat-mapping tools work with responsive designs?

Very well! Analytics help define where your traffic is coming from and that means what devices your visitors are using. Analytics dashboards can be customized to show you many many layers of information that will help you to determine the areas of the pages visitors are clicking on, and what they are doing while on your site. As a side note, responsive designs don’t always mean your standard WordPress page shrink- sometimes your pages on mobile convert better with less text or hidden text/read more/accordions since the screens are smaller and hold less content.

How do you gain insights to improve competitive keywords rankings of websites?

There are a number of effective ways to gain insights to improve competitive keyword rankings of websites. The first step is to do your homework and your research as you work on your website and online marketing. Often we can use tools such as Moz Pro and Google Analytics to get more in depth and detailed information. Working with a professional is another good way to get the answers you need but depending on the number of hours this can get expensive. SEMrush and Moz Pro run about 150  month but are very effective tools. Google Analytics and search console are free but require a lot of homework and learning hours put into the strategies.

How do you sell the value of web analytics to a skeptical client?

This is a great question. Clients rarely see analytics as an investment in  website and online marketing. Their initial thought is that it’s an unnecessary expense.  My question to them? Please explain to me how you intend to run your strategy? Make your investments? Make decisions? What are you looking at to determine what is working and what is not working? Bottom line- there is not a single website and online marketing campaign that can run effectively without analytics. If the client still pushes not to use them, we typically don’t want to work with them. Our job is to do the best job we can for a client, but we cannot without the tools. Period. We always install analytics into the websites we build- it doesn’t cost extra. We offer training and reporting. We offer payment plans. If the client won’t invest in their business’ website and online marketing, we won’t either.

What are the best analytics platforms that can help brands understand mobile advertising?

It depends if you are using mobile apps or mobile web in website and online marketing. There are a lot of tools out there, but bottom line, Google Analytics is a powerful data analyzer.

You have Bi platforms from microsoft and other options, but if you’re a brand determined to turn data insights into actionable tasks, then you need to use Google Analytics, not only for tracking website visits and pageviews, but also for your mobile apps performance.

What is the best way to attribute an offline sale to an online assist?

This takes more time to be able to track, but using coupon codes or landing pages that are tagged to offline campaigns, you can more easily keep track of this information. It really depends on the type of offline sales and campaigns you are running, but online analytics attached to landing pages etc can be very effective in website and online marketing.

Is there any standard method to select the threshold level for alerts in Google Analytics?

Hi! So the answer is no, not really. It completely depends on the type of business you have and what type of goals you have, which as an answer isn’t really helpful. Considering your target audience in figuring out where they are coming from and setting goals around that is important but is trial and error until you have a good handle on it. I always recommend that you work with a reputable company to isolate the answers you need. Once you know what you need to track then you can continue on your own, but getting the training is important so you can build and grow faster. Bottom line, analytics are very personal and specific to the company.

If you are running an AdWords campaign for your website and online marketing and the analytics show that the 90% of traffic you are getting is coming from those ads, how deep into trouble are you?

Hi! Its been shown that AdWords and ads on search engines, or Search Engine Marketing only account for about 4% of traffic in website and online marketing . If most of your website and online marketing traffic traffic is coming form these sources, it’s probably that you nee to spend time seeing what your organics analytics are and growing those while you are using paid ads so you have a healthy combination of the two.

What is the safest CMS you have try and what are its advantages over other CMS?

WordPress.org without question for your website and online marketing.  CMS stands for content management system which basically means it has a database attached to it. From a safety perspective, these sites can be hacked. There are many steps you can take to ensure the safety of your site. Wordfence plugin is an excellent option, and making sure you have solid hosting makes a difference also. Making sure everything stays up to date can help to discourage hackers and others that would cause issues on your site. Other CMS options like drupal are okay as well, but offer significantly less flexibility than wordpress.org does.

If the bouncing rate of a business homepage is higher than any of the other pages, does it mean that the homepage needs to be changed completely?

The bounce rate of the homepage is what tells you that your traffic isn’t engaged in your homepage, content, images etc. It doesn’t mean it needs to be changed completely, but if you decide to make changes they should be based on data and small changes that can be tracked. Sometimes there are obvious reasons why a user may not continue into the site or convert, but if the reasons are not obvious, then changing the page may not do any good at all. This is why we evaluate existing web pages to see if we can identify the first changes to make. Keep in mind that even with a redesign, there is no overnight solution. Small steady changes lead to small steady measurable increases.

Which online marketing tool is better?

It depends on the type of website and online marketing tools you need.  A lot of marketing tools specific to inbound marketing revolve around automation.  The best automation tool and email campaigns tool combined by far is Active Campaign.  We liked it so much we became an affiliate to offer lower prices

What are the usual mistakes that that businesses make when they develop their websites?

The number one mistake is not hiring a professional to do the work. Its harder than it looks!  You have to take into account user experience,  layout,  integrated tools etc. Number two is not integrating analytics correctly and taking the time to get trained if you want to manage it yourself.  Websites are supposed to convert and work harder than you do. The third biggest mistake is around content,  and thinking you are done once the site is built. There are many things you can do to build the foundation the right way,  but its often fractured and without a proper plan behind it.

What are some signs that an online marketing strategy is not sending the right message?

The signs revolve around the leads you are getting,  if any.  If you do have traffic,  does it convert to leads.  If you are getting leads are they your target audience? What do your analytics show?  If people are bouncing off your page,  this can be another sign?

What are the benefits for businesses of using website chatbots and SMS bots?

Chatbots and SMS bots give your clients the ability to interact with your site in a different way,  and you can use multiple ways to engage them.  Basically,  if they can talk to a Chatbot,  and based on the answer the visitor gives the Chatbot sets up an appointment,  you have automated a process that may not have led to them interacting otherwise.  The possibilities are endless!

How does a website get links from other websites? How do you reach out to other site owners?

The answer is content, content, content. If you have good content then people will want to link back to those articles. Link building takes time and strategic planning but with good content you will build the links you need to increase your visibility and your authority. Social media groups like Facebook can be a great way to reach out to site owners. They are looking for the same things as you are, and if you have content they can link to, or another way to connect, building becomes much easier. Moz Pro tools can help track those links as well as your page authority.

What methods can a company use to increase its number of social media followers?

Content and more content pushed properly out to the best platforms for your business. From a good blog post you can get a lot of material to post with. Once you add analytics into the mix to confirm you are reaching your audiences,  you can grow quickly. You spend a lot if time early on with A/B campaigns to see what works best.

How important is a company’s logo? Is creating a logo really necessary?

A logo is the visual representation of your company and its values.  The purpose of a logo is to associate your company value system with your visual branding so when they see it,  there is a feeling that goes with it.  For example,  when you see a well known logo such as McDonalds or Nike,  you know what the product is,  how its made or the process that it offers. One misconception is that a logo is for good, quite often logos are adjusted a bit  to stay current while staying within the original branding scheme.

What do you enjoy the most in your job at Analytic Design?

The amazing people and businesses I get to interact with, collaborate with and learn from. Business owners come from different backgrounds,  stories and personalities.  I’m constantly growing with my clients.

What’s the most challenging aspect of running a business like Analytic Design?

Honestly? Not doing everything myself. I love the actual work of we do vs the running of the business, so the hardest thing for me is to take a step back and let one of my awesome team do the actual work so I can focus on the business. Also, not working 24/7. You can’t do that and sustain it long term, so you go crazy or go out of business.

When helping a business build their site, how do you deal with impatient clients and those who never seem to be satisfied?

On occasion.  It happened when I first started more than now.  We are very transparent from day one,  make sure the client is part of every stage of the project and get interim  approvals. We also clearly define how many changes and options you get.  We strive to create the best site for the client and teach them why we made the choices we did. Its not always about what they like, sometimes you as the professional need to show you have a good  reason,  and they will understand and step back.  If its simply a matter of taste,  the client may have a personal reason for wanting something a certain way.

How would you describe Analytic Design’s mission and how have your experiences in the industry influenced the development of this mission?

Our mission is to To provide your company with the highest quality professional services and solutions to enable you to maximize your revenues and increase profitability. Our expert consultants will partner with you to improve performance, enhance infrastructure and stimulate growth.

We are constantly refining and defining our processes and using self directed learning  to make sure we provide each client with the best and most complete services and solutions.

What specifically about the Analytic Design’s team gives your company a competitive edge?

Our competitive edge comes from the combined knowledge,  passion and technical skill we offer.  When we work with someone we see the whole picture rather than just the piece we are actively working with to help our clients achieve their goals. When you work with us you don’t just get a web designer, marketing ideas, or a data analytics person.  You get a complete team that works together to identify the weak areas in the business and help you strengthen them.  Our experience comes from a wide range of sources to offer a collaborative partnership rather than just an engagement. Most of our clients become friends,  and are ongoing clients rather than just a single project.

How can one give their website visitors the assurance that their data remains secure?

It depends what you are using to actually secure the data, but

a. using an SSL certificate on your website

b. describing the type of security you use (We use 256 bit encryption)

c. adding a page to your site describing what you use to keep their data safe

d. using small symbols such as locks can also make the visitor feel more secure.

How does one know that they’re actually reaching their target market through their website?

Usually through the combined results and analytics. typically you go through many small variations of your content, images and A/B campaigns before hitting your target market. It’s all about using the data to refine the “bullseye”, the center of the bullseye being your target audience. Using analytics (correctly) is the most effective way to get there.

If a small and low-budget business needs help in building a new website from your company, how much would it usually cost?

There is no charge for the initial strategy session so we can establish a connection and I can make sure my services are a good fit. After that it depends on the services themselves- analytics (installation and teaching), website update/refresh/redesign, design and branding- we usually work out what’s needed on the first call. I do offer in house payment plan services to better help business get started. The payments are broken down into affordable monthly amounts. The small business website is not usually less than $2500. There is a lot of work that goes into building the site, and we install analytics and take you through a training session- we are very hands on. Payment plans usually start at 750 down and the remainder in parts. With that said, each site is different and the initial strategy call can usually establish what’s needed.

To which specific areas of the industry to you offer expert solutions and to what types of clients are your services catered?

We have worked with all types of clients in all industries. There isn’t a specific industry, website design and strategy session cover all markets. We did begin to specialize at some point, but our expertise covered more areas than a specific market and we decided to provide services to many industries.

Some of our recent markets:

  • IT and Data Science
  • eCommerce
  • Fashion
  • Bloggers
  • Restaurant/food service
  • Architectural Services
  • Construction (Patio and Paving)
  • Construction (General)
  • Construction (Roofing)
  • Morgage
  • Green (environmental)
  • Housecleaning
  • Hunting
  • Non Profit
  • Newspaper
  • City and Government

How much does it cost for a business to get consultation services from your company?

There is no charge for the initial charge and strategy session so we can establish a connection and I can make sure my services are a good fit. After that it depends on the services themselves- analytics (installation and teaching), website update/refresh/redesign, design and branding- we usually work out what’s needed on the first call. I do offer in house payment plan services to better help business get started. The payments are broken down into affordable monthly amounts.

When is it best to have a live chat customer support for a website? Is it okay to have email support only?

Live chat support is the most user friendly option when you are building your business. There are lots of good ways to be able to manage this, but if you prefer email support just make sure you clearly indicate the timeframe that they will get a response and a fix. Many frustrated customers moved on becasue they had a problem that wasn’t taken care of quickly and efficiently.

In terms of the when- its really about when you can manage the live chat support. Sometimes live chat is good just to establish the problem, and then to let them know the issue is being worked on and they will be emailed a resolution.

How important is SEO in helping a website become an authority site? Does ranking really matter?

SEO is designed to help in two ways. The first is on page seo which is really important because your website needs to be very functional. User experience is key and your ranking will raise as your authority grows and you are doing the right thing.

The second way is through content. SEO is directly related to content marketing ie blogging. If you don’t have a blog site then the seo other than on page isn’t as  important. The purpose of a good web presence is to show you are an authority on the subject you are talking about or promoting. By taking the right steps such as analytics (this guides everything), strategy, good design, calls to action, social media…basically solidifying your foundation, you will achieve much more than if you were to focus on SEO- unless you’re a blogger. In that case, you would add that into the above actions.

The fastest way to grow your authority is by building backlinks, or links from authority sites to your pages or content.

Here is a great resource: https://moz.com/learn/seo/backlinks

Is it ideal to have an app version of a website, or would mobile web versions be good enough?

This can be tricky because it depends on a few factors.

What is the focus of the site/service/product? For example, a website can help to lead your client to the action you want them to take, but an app will help them to actually DO it.

Usually an app will focus on a client service or product. Take quickbooks for example. They have a ebsite that allow you to signup. Their mobile app allows their users to actually work on their business financials.

The cost also should be taken into consideration. Often a website or business model changes, so until you have a solid structure or foundation an app can be a costly and time consuming endeavor.

If you start with a mobile website, make sure that you take full user experience into consideration.

Why do you prefer to design simple websites, and what does the simplicity of a company’s website say about said company?

What is the purpose of a website and which websites provide the best user experience?

I answer a question by asking one, becuase if you think about websites that you visit, if there is no clear path to what the user need to accomplish on the site, if it doesn’t tell a story or is too busy, then the user leaves without accomplishing what you wanted them to.

The goal of the website in most cases to lead the user further in where you have more information rather than bombarding them up front.

How do you go about designing a website that is both simple and compelling, what are the essential aspects that need to be considered when developing such a website?

Simple and Compelling: Clear content designed around a strategy rather than just what you like on a page. Clear calls to action telling the user their next step, and what you want them to do. Understanding the user experience, and using analytics to deteremine what your users are doing to further guide them.

  1. The design starts with a plan. Colors and fonts that are easy to read are important.
  2. The navigation should highling a very areas without offering a lot of options. The analytics can guide this too over time to help you determine your most popular pages.
  3. Some important elements are landing pages inside your site that guide the user toward specifc actions, opt-ins, blog posts and social media in a simple way.
  4. Your platform and your hosting. I recommend Godaddy managed wordpress, and as a Pro user I daeal with client accounts directly. It’s important to work with someone or a company that can guide you through some if the more basic not so fun areas.
  5. Email, make sure its your comapny name. user@yourcompany.com is much more profesisonal than user@gmail.com.
  6. An appointment setter. We recommend acuity for best cost, and ease of use so your clients can set up appointments rather than just submit a request. Look at Acuity here
  7. The most important area are analytics. They need to be setup properly to track the areas that will grow your business. Working with an analytics specialist will help you achieve much faster.