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Internet Marketing Blog

April 2012

Decoding Site Stats

If you have a website, keeping track of your site’s statistics is important. Why? Learning things like who is looking at your site, how they got there and which pages were viewed the most can help you tailor your content, and monitor how visitors are interacting with your site. Here, we’ll define the top five stats you should be keeping track of.
1. Page Views
Page views are the number of times your web pages have been looked at. Page views are important because they can help identify what content your customers care about most.

2. Visitors
Keeping track of the number of visitors your site has, as well as when these people are checking out your pages, is a great way to figure out when to run particular content. For instance, if you know that Tuesday is a high-traffic day, that might be when you want to run a specific sale.

3. Location
Visitors to your site can come from anywhere — from your hometown to somewhere across the globe – that’s the power of the Internet. Use the location information to see your site’s popularity in specific areas, as this insight can help you focus your advertising budget on these regions.

4. Search Engine
Identifying these search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) indicates where your website is being indexed and it can also help you see the search engines your visitors prefer.

5. Referring Traffic
Any website that links to your website is called referring traffic. Knowing what sites drive traffic to your website can allow you to find out more about your customers’ online activity, which can help you customize your site to fit their interests and needs. It’s a good idea to post your website on other sites such as your area’s chamber of commerce, blogs that apply to your business or review sites to create more referring traffic. You can also spot users that click to your site from your email marketing campaigns or local search profile with our click source feature.
It’s amazing how easy it is to get to know your site visitors. Check your stats on a regular basis and make sure you use the information to better your website and strengthen your connection with customers.

Websites We Love: Picture This

Since each week we pick the sites we love, this week’s Websites We Love question focused on what, exactly, our Vistaprint Internet Marketing Facebook community loves about their website. As it turns out, a lot of you love your sites — and with good reason, since the submissions we received were all great, and the decision to pick just one to feature was difficult.

This week’s winner comes from Jamie Benedict, who wrote that there are quite a few reasons she loves her site. “I love the business that my site brings in,” she says. “The style and design of the Vistaprint design center, and how beautiful all my pictures look…I love that I can change it around and it’s so easy.” We’re big fans of the pictures, too, especially the My Brides and More section, where there are short blurbs about each of the women featured. The images are a creative way to showcase her services, portfolio, and her clients. We’re also impressed by her non-traditional Contact Us page, which features a number of engaging questions. Congrats, Jamie!

What about you? Tell us why you love your site in the comments section!

Websites We Love: Confidence

what one word summed up how their sites made them feel. After more than a month of featuring Websites We Love, it comes as no surprise that we received a number of amazing comments--and links to sites! But we had to pick just one...

The winning site this week comes from Diesel Overhead Doors Inc., who say that their site makes them feel confident. And we can see why! The welcome page grabbed our attention, and we were also impressed with the extensive picture gallery, informative maintenance section and easy-to-use
e-mail marketing sign-up box. Congrats on a site well-done!

What about you? How does your site make YOU feel? Tell us in the comments section!

Five Tips for Using the Vistaprint Support Community

The Vistaprint Support Community is a great place to pick up advice from Vistaprint Internet Marketing specialists, read up-to-date content about all the products you love, share your ideas, questions, expertise, feedback and much more. Here are few pointers on how to best use the forum.

1. Ask the Right Question
If you have a specific question in mind when you visit the forum, but you don’t see an exact answer match after hitting the “ask” button, your very first instinct might be to simply repost the topic. Wait! Before you do that, click through a few of the generated responses. There are a number of ways to pose questions, and sometimes, different often-asked questions can have the same answers.
Hint: Still not seeing your answer? You have a few options: You can try entering a keyword instead, or you can check out the product listings on the lower part of the screen there, you can search, even if you're not sure what to ask.

2. Read Up
The support forum is FULL of up-to-date, Vistaprint-approved articles. So even if you don’t have a question, the forum is a perfect place to explore new tricks of the trade, or just read up on favorite products.
Hint: If you don’t know where to begin, look on the homepage. There, you’ll find the most popular ideas, frequently asked questions and common problems. It’s a good spot to start exploring.

3. Share Your Ideas
You don’t have to just submit your questions — you can also share your ideas! If you have an idea for a brand-new product, or an innovative way to improve one we already offer, we’d love to hear from you.
Hint: No idea is a bad one — even the tiniest thought can lead to a big outcome, so don’t hesitate to share.

4. Talk to the Community
The forum is a quick way to reach Vistaprint employees, of course, but it’s also a great way to connect with other Internet Marketing enthusiasts. Answer other people’s questions, ask for advice, and more!
Hint: Other members of the forum are probably experiencing many of the same things you are — it’s a great place to reach out and connect with others.

5. Be an Expert
If you know an answer, pass it on! You don’t have to be a Vistaprint employee to share expert tips and quick fixes.
Hint: If you’re an expert, don’t be shy — you might get to a question before we do!

Websites We Love: Home Page Importance

Take a look at your site. What do you think is the most important page, to you and to your users? That is the question we asked this week on our Internet Marketing Facebook page, and we received (as always!) a number of great responses--and great websites, too! This week's Website We Love winner, Celine Jacobs, of Rockhampton Happy Hounds Dog Training, thinks her home page is the most important spot on her site. We think it's a great place to welcome visitors--human and canine alike! We also think the About Us page does a great job explaining not only the company's services, but also the history behind the business; it also provides helpful information such as location, hours and more. (Plus there is even a Dog Blog!) Congrats, Celine!

Now it's your turn--tell us what page YOU think is most valuable when it comes to your site, and why.

How to Share Your Small Business’s Story Online

Storytelling is an important part of who we are as humans. Since the first hieroglyphics were smeared on the walls of ancient caves, stories have captured our attention and our imaginations. Here are a few tips to help you connect with customers by sharing your business’s story in the About Us section of your website.

Think Back
A great story has tremendous value. It catches your attention, it’s interesting and it’s memorable. Think about how your business came to be. Perhaps you began in a converted garage. Maybe it was your 3-year-old daughter who sparked a prolific idea.  Or maybe you lost a job but discovered your calling. Whatever the case, if you’re passionate about your business, then you have a story to tell!
Be Specific and Use Details
Details bring a story to life and they’re what stick in people’s minds. If a potential customer is interested in your product or services, they’re going to be interested in the details of your business. Share the details that make your business unique and website visitors will feel more connected to you. By opening up, you’ll allow visitors to become invested in your business.

Show Off

Take the opportunity to show visitors what you do better than anyone else. Explain what really sets you apart and why you can be trusted to provide better products or services than the competition. Are you the fastest? Newest? Friendliest? Maybe you pride yourself in offering free, half-hour consultations to prospective clients, or maybe you’re the only company in town offering a specific product. Your story should set an expectation of what it’s like to do business with you and it should also help to establish brand identity. Even if you don’t actively managing your brand at all times, your story will.

But I’m Not a Writer!

Don’t worry — no one is expecting your story to rival Charles Dickens. The most important thing to remember is to provide clear and simple content.  Don’t try to sound like something you’re not and don’t use business-speak. Just tell the truth, in a good way. But, if the thought of putting pen to paper proves too terrifying, it’s worth hiring a freelance copywriter. With a little research, you’ll be able to get something great, at an affordable price.
Think about what makes your business unique and try putting it on paper. Your story might not win a Pulitzer Prize, but it’s got to be better than those cave paintings…

Image: Victor1558

Websites We Love: Standing Out

Another Wednesday, another Website We Love! This week, we asked our Internet Marketing Facebook Community about competition. Specifically, what about their site sets them apart from everyone else?

We, as usual, received a number of great responses, but had to choose just one to highlight here on our blog. The winner this week is Tamara Canzater, from Creative Cooking, who writes that her site stands out from the rest because it's "bright,colorful, inviting, and kid friendly." We tend to agree; the vibrant colors tie in the overall theme of the site--fun! We also liked the prominent display of the site's creative tag line ("Where we're cooking up fun, one class at a time.") Congrats, Tamara! 

What about you? What sets YOUR site apart from the competition?

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