As we head into another New Year, it is unavoidable that everywhere you turn are things reminding you to look back at your last 12 months. There are “Year In Review” articles about entertainment, news, even your Facebook page.
With your Company’s website it is also important to review your performance for the last year. Your site should be set up to measure this performance with Google Analytics at the very least, among other things. For this review to be effective, you need to have determined what your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were and your reports set up to measure them. Some of your goals might be Online Sales/Conversion Rate, Contact/Quote forms submitted, publication downloads, etc. In a perfect world you should have been capturing this data for at least two years in order to allow you to measure performance Year Over Year (YOY).
See this screen shot for a good example of YOY web traffic results. There are a lot of things that can be drawn from this even at a glance. Large, consistent increases in traffic over time in this case were attributed to a Google AdWords campaign. The drop in traffic occurred when the credit card expired, and then picked back up when the AdWords campaign was reinstated.
Don’t forget that throughout the year you should be making consistent annotations in Google Analytics. A few examples of things you should make sure to record in your Analytics view:
- Sending an email blast (Record subject, date, time sent)
- Advertising campaigns (even print/mail/phone – web traffic trends can help you to measure success of media which are traditionally difficult to quantify)
- Social Media campaigns
- AdWords/Cost-Per-Click campaigns
- Unique circumstances in your industry, something appeared nationally in the news, etc.
- Weather Events – if you serve an industry impacted by weather (think Buffalo this year – Snow Plow demand would have probably increased significantly over the prior year which couldn’t be explained if you don’t remember what happened).
There are numerous resources out there to help you, and if you are a Cazbah client your Account Manager is trained to be an expert in how to help you put all the pieces of the puzzle together. There is a reason why having a dedicated Account Manager has significant value – simply hosting a website and not making strategic content updates, not managing a marketing plan is a recipe for failure. Make sure you’re taking advantage of your resources, both the free ones and the ones you are paying for. Let’s make the New Year even better than your last one!