Tag Archives: analytics

Yes, Blogs Really Work. Here’s Proof…

10 Oct

If you have a small business or provide professional services like accounting, financial advising or legal representation, you may have read that you “must” have a blog. Maybe you thought that writing all those blog posts was a waste of time that would be better spent, well, doing business. While it is true that blogging is a long term strategy and is a less direct way of marketing your product or service, it does actually work.

Hubspot recently did a study on small businesses and found that those with blogs generate 55% more traffic to their websites than similar businesses without blogs. Not only that, but they also got almost double the number of inbound links to their sites and over four times the number of indexed pages, increasing the likelihood of getting found on the search engines. Check out the research for yourself.

So, if you don’t have a blog, get one. Regardless of your type of business, there is something you can write about. Have a clothing store? Write about the latest fashions. Have a restaurant? Give recipes and write about the type of food you serve. Have a law practice? Write about the law and people’s rights and responsibilities.

But what if you are a professional and charge hundreds of dollars per billable hour? Does it still make sense to spend valuable time blogging? Yes, and no. It still makes sense to blog, but it may be smarter to contract out your blogging to someone else. If you provide your information and research to a qualified professional writer, she should be able to write blog posts on your behalf. Just be sure that the ghost blogger is aware of any regulatory or industry restrictions. For example, state Bar Associations forbid lawyers to use advertising, including websites and blogs, to boast of past successes or promise positive results to prospective clients. Financial advisors must obtain approval from FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) before publishing any blog posts. If you don’t dot the “i’s” and cross the “t’s,” you could be in hot water.

Marketing’s Ugly Stepsister – Crunching the Numbers on Social Media Effectiveness

3 Aug

Marketing's ugly stepsister

Crunching the numbers isn't pretty, but it's necessary

When I had finished my degree in Marketing at the University of Miami, I knew that I wanted to pursue an MBA, but in which area? I opted for Finance, because I felt that it was opposite to marketing, and therefore made me a more well-rounded job candidate.

Most marketing people have an “ick!” reaction when we start to talk about numbers and analysis, preferring to leave that to the finance geeks, but in reality, doing a thorough analysis is a critical part of the marketing function. It is the only way to know what’s working.

When working with direct response advertising, it is easy to see your results, but with social media, it’s a little more tricky since it’s a softer approach. Nevertheless, there are metrics that you should look at regularly so that you know which strategies are hitting home runs and which are striking out. Here are some number to crunch and track:

Who is reading? – If your blog is through WordPress or Blogger, you have a built in stats package that will show you how many people are reading your posts, which are most popular and where they are coming from. If you are hosting your own blog or website, you can install Google Analytics to get the same information.

Who is contributing? Track how many comments you get on your blog. The more comments, the more your audience is interacting and engaging with you, which is a good thing. You may even want to write a controversial post to elicit feedback and spark discussion. You may also want to consider soliciting user generated content in the form of articles, photos or videos to increase reader engagement and build your community.

Who is subscribing? When someone subscribes to your RSS feed, that person is more likely to be a hard core fan, and may become a community leader or brand advocate, so it is important to know who they are and how many you have of them.

Who is recommending? You can get tremendous amounts of traffic when readers recommend your site on Del.icio.us, Reddit, and Stumbleupon. Encourage them to do so by providing clickable social bookmarking icons. Then you can track how many people are using them by running a click map report. Alternatively, you can go to each of the social bookmarking sites, set up a profile and search for yourself.

Who is linking? WordPress and Blogger both allow you to see which sites are linking to your blog (in the Stats tab from your dashboard in either program). You can also go to Technorati, the top blog search engine and search for your domain, or you can go to Google, Yahoo or MSN and in the search box, type in link:http://www.yourdomain.com.

Who is connecting? On social media network sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or MySpace, you can keep track of how many people are connecting/friending/following, and you can also see your total profile visits and other stats.

Keep your stats in a spreadsheet, and graph it to get a visual picture of what is going on. If there are certain posts that are getting better results, then you can look at the comments to see what it is that is creating the spike in interest, and you can focus more on that topic.You should also map your web/blog promotion efforts against your traffic to see what is giving you the most bang for your time. Are your tweets driving people or should you be focusing your efforts on LinkedIn groups? Your numbers will tell you. As you continue to promote your company and blog, at the very least, looking at your stats will make you feel good to look at how far you’ve come.

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