Digital Analytics Helps You Measure Your Website Objectives

Anybody who has a small business website should sign up to this fabulous and free online course on digital analytics which will help us all take advantage of the enormous power of Google Analytics.

Digital Analytics tools like Google Analytics Help You Measure Your Website Objectives
Digital Analytics tools like Google Analytics Help You Measure Your Website Objectives

What is Digital Analytics, a.k.a the evolution of Web Analytics

In the definition of the best story teller among web analytics evangelists, Avinash KaushikWeb Analytics 2.0 is:

(1) the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your website and the competition,
(2) to drive a continual improvement of the online experience that your customers, and potential customers have,
(3) which translates into your desired outcomes (online and offline).

Addressing the importance of digital analytics, this informative video guides us to address the type of customers we serve and the business goals we can address through the power of digital analytics.

Know Thy Site: What are your website objectives and how can you measure them through digital analytics?

“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.”
~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

According to Google’s Digital Analytics Academy, the five common business objectives for websites are:

  1. First, for ecommerce sites, an obvious objective is selling products or services, for ecommerce websites.
  2. Second, for lead generation sites, the goal is to collect user information for sales teams to connect with potential leads.
  3. Third, for content publishers, the goal is to encourage engagement and frequent visitation.
  4. Fourth, for online informational or support siteshelping users find the information they need at the right time is of primary importance.
  5. And finally for branding, the main objective is to drive awareness, engagement and loyalty.

I decided to use the list above and determine the type of business objective for some of the websites I manage either personally as a blogger, collectively  with my colleagues on behalf of my employer, or as a website optimization consultant on behalf of my clients. As it turns out, I have quite a variety of websites with diverse business objectives:

Taking the time to reflect on the type of objective applicable to a website is deeply satisfying — a delight for geeks, I would say — because it sets one on the course of actually managing, rather than just maintaining a website. And there is no better tool for managing through measurement than digital analytics. Peter Drucker would be delighted with the power of the tools we have easily accessible today!

A new site for Farhoumand Dental presents an SEO challenge

A new website for Farhoumand Dental presents an interesting SEO challenge

Two friends of mine, my dentist Foad Farhoumand, DDS and his sister Farah Farhoumand, DDS, hired TNT Dental to design a new website for their  Farhoumand Dental Practice and to rewrite the content for it. They asked me to assist them with implementing a coherent social media strategy and search engine optimization in order to address an interesting SEO challenge made apparent with the launch of their new website.

Farhoumand Dental launches a new website, and a new SEO challenge
Farhoumand Dental launches a new website, and a new SEO challenge

Google’s Hummingbird update presents an SEO challenge for small business

With the recent Hummingbird update of the Google Search Engine algorithm, the challenges for any small business are very real. In the case of Farhoumand Dental, the new changes translate into actual business loss.

Farhoumand Dental local search listing
Farhoumand Dental local search listing

Google generates the information in the right hand box automatically, pulling it from all over the web —  in this case the dental practice’s old website and its old Google + page. The problem is that the phone number listed is old, currently incorrect, and is in fact the phone for the newly minted competitor, Avanti Dentistry, which until recently was part of the original Farhoumand Dental Practice. This presents a real business problem because old and new customers are mislead to call the competitor, leading to actual loss of business. Herewith comes the value of search engine optimization!

SEO experts willingly share their knowledge and expertise

As always, the web is a wonderful source of knowledge. Just as during my early web development days back in the ancient 1995, nowadays there are still generous professionals  willing to share their knowledge and expertise. Among many others on Search Engine Land’s LinkedIn forum and Moz Community, several SEO experts shared practical suggestions, among which I am quoting Randy Tallman‘s:

I believe you are dealing with an issue of identity changes. This can be complex, but can be dealt with by integrating SEO strategy to enable the new site being found. The following are some things to consider. There are more, and hopefully other help will come forward with other strategies.

1. Purchase the alternate domains that are like the original domain, such as .net or others. Point the .net domain over to the new site. (In the future build a landing page for the .net site though.)

2. Be sure to use the original name in the Title, Description and Content on the page (near the top of content). This will enable you to obtain positioning organically.

3. If you can, blog about the transformation — as search engines love Blogs. If you add the appropriate content which your clients are searching for on a consistent basis, you may be able to move your position to the top in time.

4. Reach out to your prior clients, and ask them to get the message out to others.

5. Connect with Social Media where your clients most likely hang out.

6. You may want to have similar page names to the old site which are optimized as much as possible to bring them to the new site.

I wish you the best in your transformations.

RT

I will be tracking on this blog the adventure of optimizing the new Farhoumand Dental website for the search engine as well as user experience.

Website Optimization When Business Is Closed

Google pulled an ironic prank today by featuring the Yosemite National Park on its Google Doodle the exact day, 123 years after its creation, when the National Park Service is shutting down because of the government’s inability to come to an agreement and keep its basic services running.

Google's irony: As government shuts down, Google marks anniversary of national park you suddenly cannot see
Google’s irony: As government shuts down, Google marks anniversary of national park you suddenly cannot see
[heading]Search Engine Optimization and Web Site Optimization[/heading]

Having your website featured on Google’s front page with a creative Google Doodle is, of course, the ultimate search engine optimization accomplishment. But a website rarely exists as an abstract entity not related to business, organization or a person. When that business is closed but its website is open to the biggest web traffic imaginable, the user-friendly thing is to update the website and clearly indicate of the closing or the limited working hours.

When online does not reflect offline reality

The National Park Service, no doubt hoping for the best, has no indication on its website of the possible closing.

National Park Service - Yosemite

A better alternative

YosemitePark.com run by DNC Parks and Resorts at Yosemite, Inc., an authorized concessioner of the National Park Service, has put a simple warning indicating the possibility of the park closing.

yosemitepark.com

The value of Website Optimization when business is closed

Thinking holistically about how a website is used improves its usability and solves a number of potential problems particularly when the website represents a physical place of such enormous beauty as Yosemite National Park. I had wonderful time when hiking Yosemite with my cousin’s family 4 years ago and would not want to be among those who have just arrived at the park to only be told they need to leave. Of course, the closings are not the fault of the National Park Service, but whoever operates the websites should have been prepared enough to use the web as communication medium and clearly indicate that, sadly, the 123rd anniversary of Yosemite, will not be celebrated.