The Importance of Website Analytics
by webmaster — September 11, 2009
Earlier this week one of our customers asked me if we had research on how many people actually read a printed insert ad — with a newspaper distribution of 12,000 in a small, suburban town.
We’ve seen some recent research conducted in similar sized markets with similar subscribers – and it’s not pretty.
We’ll never know unless we speak with each of the 12,000 subscribers but if the insert ad doesn’t really look unique or different from the other inserts in the same newspaper – it’s very likely that less than 3,000 subscribers will actually view the front page of the ad and fewer than 1,000 will open up the ad to see what’s on page 2. Those numbers drop when the newspapers are “Pennysaver” style or free distribution newspapers. In general, many of those that do read print ads are looking to see what the sale items are on page 1 to decide if it’s worth an extra shopping trip to pick up those items (which are traditionally low gross margin items).
It’s not uncommon for a single store retailer in this type of market to spend upwards of $4,000 a week to get 12,000 ads in the newspapers. In rough numbers, that’s 33 cents once the design, print and distribution fees are tallied.
Print ads are vitally important and if the true cost is close to 33 cents per copy, you need to make sure that you improve your readership ratios by having an attractive ad with significant appeal.
Now, let’s shift gears from print advertising to web advertising.
What does it cost to market the same ads to 12,000 shoppers? In most cases less than a half cent per ad – and in most cases, less than that.
But, can you be sure that 12,000 and not 12 people are viewing the ad on the web? Absolutely!I’m attaching some screen grabs of our web analytics tool available to any retailer with a website. Unlike print ads, you know (in real time) exactly how many customers are viewing the ad, for how long, from what location and if you have clickable promotions…… you know which customers view your web promotion and clicked to redeem the offer vs. those that viewed the promotion but did not click to redeem the offer.
Check with your IT staff today to see what web analytic tools you have to measure your web penetration.
Important: If you hear that you have web analytics through a third party provider (e.g. Google Analytics) – ask to see specific, measurable information that is helpful to your marketing efforts.
An interesting test to take to see if you have the necessary tools –
Ask to see the following information on your web traffic from today :
- Number of unique visitors vs. repeat visitors on your website today
- Average length of time for your site visits
- The top 10 cities visiting your website today
- A printed copy of your homepage today showing the areas of the page that were “clicked” today
- The number of visitors to your site this morning at 8 am and who those visitors were, what they looked at, where they entered your site and where they exited your site.
- How many visitors came to your home page and left – without looking any further (bounce rate)
- How many visitors were referred to your website from another website – and what are those websites?
- How many customers saw your e-blast sent out last week and of those customers, how many clicked on the offer or printed the offer?
- What are the top 20 keywords used on search engines to find your website today?
- What are the three most popular screen sizes, browsers and search engines used on your site today?
If you are presented with screen after screen of data that is not helping you analyze your web marketing — it’s time to get better tools to do so.
Cost? In general, you can buy the best analytic tools on the web (user friendly, intuitive) for under $50 a month. Don’t be told that you can’t get the web analytics you need because they won’t work with your web hosting company, or that reviewing the information will consume too much time each day.
You’ve operated your business for many years and never really known about readership levels of your print ads. Don’t wait another day to get the detailed information on readership levels of your website, web promotions and web ads.Each morning I review all the data from just 6 (six) of our Supermarket web customers and a thorough review of pertinent information should take less than 10 minutes a day. And…. if you’re too busy to review it, download the information to EXCEL and review the data later.
For less than $50 a month – it’s well worth it.
Have a great week.
Filed Under: Company News