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Internet Marketing Blog

digital trends

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.

Three Quick Tips for Better Marketing

When it comes to marketing your website or online business, it can be easy to forget about marketing it offline, too. Although traditional online methods such as email marketing and having a local search profile are both vital, think about all the potential customers you might be missing! Here, we give you three quick tips on how to build your business and create a strong brand though offline AND online marketing.

1. Keep It Consistent
When it comes to your business, consistency is one of the most important things to keep in mind, and ultimately, it strengthens your brand identity while helping customers easily identify your business. So when you want to create something new to market your biz, whether it’s as small as a postcard or as large as an email marketing campaign, start off by ask yourself the following questions:

Will my logo be easy to recognize?
Is my design template memorable?
Does my content match the theme of my business?

The answer to all of those questions should be yes, but if it’s not, don’t worry! Vistaprint offers hundreds of matching design templates so you can create marketing materials to match your business card, website, brochure and more!

2. Avoid a Marketing Rut
If you find yourself using the same advertising methods over and over again, it might be time to get creative. Using a variety of mediums can help you acquire a larger customer base and can have great returns. For instance, if you run a local business, and have been using mostly online marketing to generate in-store traffic, you might want to see if mailing postcards in your area can encourage more people to stop in. Plus, you can track its success by asking people to bring in their postcard in order to receive a discount or a free gift. There are other offline marketing products that can give you great results. Some inventive examples include leaving flyers in local shops, posting lawn signs to attract passersby and using car magnets to increase your exposure as you commute.

3. Get It Together
The more your advertising and marketing tools work together, the more success they will bring your business. Your offline materials should support your online efforts and vice-versa. Hint: Make sure your print pieces – such as business cards, postcards and brochures – contain all of your contact information. Include your website address and your business email address, and encourage prospective customers to visit your website or sign up for your e-newsletters.

Although we’ve just scratched the surface of this subject, if all of your customer communication is working together online and offline as one cohesive unit, you will create a professional look, be viewed as a reputable and trustworthy business and drive more traffic to your store. Even if customers can’t remember where they put your flyer, they’ll still remember you – that’s the power of a strong brand identity.

Digital Marketing Dictionary

We get it — when it comes to getting listed online, the process can be overwhelming. The first step is understanding what terms such as “local search” and “organic search” mean, and how they relate to your site.


Key Terms

Local Search
: The basic definition revolves around geography. Results are displayed when a potential customer searches online for a product or service within a specific geographic location. For example, if you type “landscaping, Boston” into Google, Yahoo orYelp, it will return Local Search results for landscaping businesses in Boston.

Social Media: According to Merriam-Webster, Social Media includes “forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos).” Whether or not you use Social Media in your personal life, utilizing it as a marketing tool for your business can have big benefits. Popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter make it easy to engage with existing customers and connect with new ones.

Organic Search: The original type of results in a search engine that include a list of websites. Major search engines such as Google evaluate websites based on credibility and relevancy so that searchers find the best matches for their search.

Search Engine Optimization: Otherwise known as SEO, it is the process of optimizing your website so it shows up in organic search. One specific way to do this is to think about various keywords that you use within your content.

Keywords: Think for a moment about what words you type in to your preferred search engine when you’re looking for something specific. For instance, if you were searching online for a restaurant that served a particular dish, but you couldn’t recall the name of the restaurant, you would likely type in keywords such as your location, the dish’s name, or perhaps even the main elements of the dish.

Paid Search: Results are advertisements or "sponsored links" in search engines that businesses can purchase from sites such as Google. Paid Search is a useful form of online marketing for some businesses because one can see results immediately, however, unlike other more gradual types of online marketing, it does cost money.
 
Over the next few months, we’ll be posting specific content about how you can utilize these key digital marketing terms. Can’t wait for the post? Keep in mind that we have an extensive Online Guide that can be found on your dashboard!

Group Buying 101

This post originally appeared on Vistaprint's Micro Business Perspectives Blog.

Here is a general overview of group buying and how small businesses are using it.

If you type “group buying” into Google, you’ll get over 44,500,000 results. The most recognized player however, is probably Groupon, a Chicago-based company that has enjoyed explosive growth over the past few years. The business model is simple: Groupon typically keeps half of the money generated from the deal, and the other half goes to the featured retailer. If, for instance, a $160 dinner is offered for $80 on the site, Groupon and the restaurant split the $80. As we mentioned, Groupon is just one of many group buying sites. Others in the space include LivingSocial, Google Offers and Gilt.
 
 
What about my business?

The big question, of course, is how does (or doesn’t) group buying fit into the world of a micro business owner? The first step might be looking at a few pros and cons. Although there are a number of advantages to consider when it comes to group buying, the biggest is likely the opportunity to generate buzz and in the end, reach a deep pool of new consumers you might not have been able to before. According to a Financial Times piece, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason thinks his company is the perfect way for small businesses to do just that: “We’re hands down the best way to get customers through the door,” he says. “Which for small businesses is the difference between success and failure.” And while customer procurement is undoubtedly vital, small business owners also have to weigh a number of important risk factors like potential financial impact, and whether or not they’ll be able to honor the deal if it takes off.
 
ToMuse takes a hard look at whether or not group buying is cost effective, and ultimately comes to the conclusion that it really depends on the offer. And as for delivering on the deal, one cautionary tale comes in the form of a cupcake. Rachel Brown, who runs a small bakery outside of London, featured what she thought was a simple deal on Groupon (a 75 percent discount on a dozen cupcakes) that would maybe generate a few hundred orders. Instead, she was flooded, finally cutting the orders off at a staggering 8,500 — which, for the record, is a lot of cupcakes. According to the Daily Mail, her business took a massive hit. “Because [Brown’s] deal had been so generous and the demand so huge, she made a loss on every order – wiping out her profits for the entire year,” the publication reports.

In the end, not all businesses are the same, and the decision comes down to you as a small business owner asking the right questions, such as: Is the risk worth the potential gain? Can I afford to offer such a deep discount? Am I prepared to honor the terms of the offer if there’s no limit? We’ve only scratched the surface of group buying, but hopefully you’ve gained a little insight.

Tell us in the comments section: Do you think you’ll consider group buying or will you stick to more traditional methods?

Image: Groupon

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