Pitchrate | Find the Leaks in Your Web Presence - and Fix Them!

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Philippa Gamse

A web strategy pioneer, Philippa Gamse has been working with Internet applications since 1991. Originally from the UK, she formed her US-based consulting and speaking practice in 1995. Clients report significant improvement in quality web traffic, visitor engagement, customer loyalty and qualified ...

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Business & Finance


Total 'Net Value, Inc.

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03/14/2011 03:40pm
Find the Leaks in Your Web Presence - and Fix Them!

Find the Leaks in your Web Presence - and Fix Them!

I've reviewed over 5,000 websites since 1995, and 95% of them were leaving money on the table - sometimes a lot of it, and their owners usually had no idea!

You could be losing untold opportunities for leads, sales and other revenue that you should be making, or you could be spending money on advertising or search engine optimization for little or no result.

Many business owners have Google Analytics or another traffic analysis program implemented on their website. But they never look beyond the dashboard section of the reports, assuming that if the overall visitor number this week is bigger than last time, everything must be good.

This is simply not the case. Larger numbers aren’t always indicators of successful marketing – maybe the streams of new visitors are actually not qualified prospects for your business at all!

This reluctance to look at the numbers in-depth is quite understandable. The mass of URL’s, graphs and pie-charts are daunting, and it can be difficult to figure out why certain patterns are emerging, let alone what to do about them.

Perhaps your site has just been redesigned, and your friends and your current customers are telling you that it looks fabulous! And your phone is ringing, or you’re taking just enough orders to believe that it’s working as it should . . .
However, in my experience, almost every Web presence suffers from hidden “leaks” which are often hard to find without in-depth investigation. These leaks can occur through failure to attract the right type of visitor in adequate numbers, failure to engage visitors in your content, and failure to motivate them to take the actions that you desire. They drain the resources that you have, but fail to replenish them.

So persevere! Go beyond the top-level numbers and drill down into the details of your traffic reports to find out what’s really going on. What’s happening with your site and your social media strategy that indicates a problem requiring attention, and what’s happening that you can disregard?

Different types of visitors will have different behaviors, so learn to use the segmentation tools in your analysis program so that you can break these out. (If your current program doesn’t allow you to do this, change to another system fast!)

Segmentation will allow you to look for trends on your site which are good and should be grown. These can include visitors who use a relevant keyword search to find you, who are from a geographic area that you serve, who are engaged with your content and who fulfill one or more of your goals such as buying a product or subscribing to your mailing list or RSS feed. What are you doing to attract that traffic, and how can you increase that?

Then look for the red flags – such as visitors who use a relevant keyword search but leave immediately, or pages on your site which have great content but are never seen. These are classic examples of what I’d call “leaks”. So what’s going wrong with the visitor experience that fails to engage them, or with the navigation and links on your site that aren’t drawing people in to your best material?

Here’s where you might have a leak in your allocation of resources. If you’re attracting traffic from paid search, but those visitors are leaving quickly without fulfilling any of your goals, then clearly you’re wasting money. Put the ad campaign on hold while you diagnose the reason for the lack of engagement and results.

Be aware of issues that appear to be problematical, but on further analysis actually aren’t. You might have some bounce rates which at first sight are very high. Drill down into the page numbers to see where in the world visitors are coming from, and filter out all the visits from places that you don’t care about or don’t serve. Do the same for keywords which bring people to the page but which aren’t relevant (for some reason, I used to get a lot of traffic to my site looking for “computer gamse” –


web strategy, web marketing, website strategy, social media strategy, web analytics
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