Many new webmasters and website marketers are under the mistaken impression that online marketing is a “Field of Dreams” and “if you build it, they will come.” Unfortunately, you can build it, but if you don’t market it, and place it in front of the audience that buys your products, nobody will come, and neither will their credit cards.
Using data from your website, you can find and fine tune advertising placements that increase your foot and online traffic; today, we’re going to show you how.
First, have a realistic idea of who your audience is. If you’re a travel or tourism business, it is feasible that your guests could come from all over the world. If you’re paying for advertising, though – be sure you target locations where a lot of guests seem to originate.
Let’s take a look at the user data Google Analytics provides.
First, under “Audience” we can see a wide variety of information, from Demographic information to Technological information. This data will help us determine the top locations and “types” of users to target with our marketing.
We can also use this data to see how different geographic regions are interacting with our ads and content, helping us fine tune our message and increase conversions from the placements we’re gaining naturally, or paying for.
If we look under Demographics we can see “Location” and “Language.” These are probably the two most important pieces when looking for targeting on a national or international scale.
Within the “Location” tab, we can see Country/Territory, City, Continent, or Sub-Continent region. By viewing the “city” tab, you can see which cities are popular among your audience and find advertising opportunities that lie within those cities.
Once you’ve placed advertising in those areas, watch your statistics by city and keep fine tuning your messaging within the ad placements until you see improvements. The big metrics to watch are going to be Bounce Rate by city (or state, depending upon your placement) and conversions.
To see Ecommerce by city, select “Ecommerce” in the left side, then choose “Product Performance.”
Within the table listing the products, add a secondary dimension of “City” from the drop down.
After we look at locations, we can look at languages.
For many sites, we’re going to see mainly native language speakers – with a few foreign users. That being said, if a majority or close to a majority of your traffic (and revenue) originates in a language other than what you’ve written in, you may want to consider translations of your site. With translations of your site, come translations in your ad copy.
Again, this serves the purpose of not only finding ad placements through Analytics, but also fine-tuning those for better conversions. Purchasing an ad placement in Germany is great if you get a good amount of traffic from Germany, but you shouldn’t have an English language ad point to a German-language version of the site. Keep it consistent and continually fine tune to improve traffic and conversions for those placements.
To create another language on your site, you could use the Google Translate feature, but remember Google Translate performs a literal translation, and may or may not work (or even make sense) for your audience. If your traffic is significant, we prefer to hire firms that do native language translations in these cases; the cost is well worth the return in our experience.
Next, let’s look at fine-tuning the User Experience by paying attention to the “Technology” tab. Within this tab we see Browser & OS data, along with “network” data that accesses your site. Network is probably not going to help much, but technology can.
Here’s an example:
You’ve built a site that doesn’t perform very well in Internet Explorer, but a majority of your traffic uses Internet Explorer, you need to get that fixed as soon as possible. This is big; a majority of your users cannot function within your site. Just because you don’t use IE, doesn’t mean your audience follows suit!
Within the Technology tab, we can also see another important piece of data; one that is overlooked all the time!
Screen Resolution is so important to user experience. If our blog were designed for optimal viewing at 768×1024, but a majority of our users have a 1024×768 screen resolution – we’re in for a mess.
Although appearing smaller than the window is generally more acceptable than appearing larger than the window, it’s still important to use as much valuable screen real estate as you can. Don’t make users scroll side to side, that’s annoying.
Within the same Browser & OS tab, you can also see if a majority of your users have Java Support. If a majority don’t, don’t make your website dependent upon Java to work…simple, right?
You can also set custom and user defined variables to track within Google Analytics. These can help you glean more information about your users and create better information around ad placements, but are a tad advanced for a beginner to set up. If you’d like to take a stab at it, check out the “how-to” within Google’s Analytics help.
Analytics might not help you find new markets to expand into - but it can help you better market to the traffic you’re already getting or plan to get via new placements in markets you’re already exposed to. Just placing the ad is only the first step.
Use this data to track the success of your ad, fine-tune its message, and ultimately, track your investment return more closely. You’ll have a better idea of what works, and what doesn’t, in the long run.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.