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Thursday, December 10, 2009

SES Chicago proved once again THE place to learn the latest marketing, measuring and money making tips for your online store. And you know we love to bring you education so get ready to absorb, ponder and more importantly USE!

We gathered great tips from the top people in Search Analytics - Jim Sterne, Bryan Eisenberg, Matthew Bailey, Google Product Manager Phil Mui and Yahoo!’s own Dennis Mortensen presented wonderful info on how to use your analytics tools to make more money.

Sadly, I hear day after day “Yes, I have analytics” – My follow-up question is what are you learning from it and the response is “I don’t look at it”.

If you are not looking at your analytics and making informed decisions regarding your site’s structure you are wasting your time and leaving money for someone else.

So let’s look at what you need to do to increase your bottom line.

Let’s start by focusing on one single process - what search engine did they use? Yep – that’s it – did they come from Google, Yahoo or ???. More than likely they came from Google but did they stay, did they browse and did they convert?

Once you look at one aspect of your data, it will lead you down many other paths of information.

With this data you can make informed decisions on how to change your site to make more money. What is working for your site and what isn’t? What did you do right and can you do it again? What didn’t work – now get rid of it. The secret to analytics is very simple - monitor, change, monitor, change … You get the idea.

Let’s describe a few of the processes you need to look at:

1. How did they find your store? Search, blogs, articles, or social media. Which ones generate the most income? Now focus, focus, focus on what worked.

2. Look at your keywords. Not just the top performing – look at which ones are converting and start writing more content for those.

3. If they aren’t checking out of the shopping cart, where did they leave your store? Analyze that and you may see drastic areas that need to be improved. Did they leave after reading your Shipping Policy? If they did, was it too confusing, did it promote trust? Remember to Keep It Simple. This data may lead you to a pattern of behavior that is actionable on your part.

4. Remember you are not optimizing your site. That is right – I said it – Don’t optimize your site. Optimize each page. Which entry page generates the most income – which page generates the least?

5. Segment behavior. Go deep to see exactly what your traffic is doing in your site. If you had a brick and mortar store, you might have someone follow customers around the store (stealth-like) to observe their behavior. Analytics reports will be your spy.

Now take action!

What did you learn from the data? You learned behavior of your customers.

Now make changes that can increase the behavior you desire from your traffic and start making money.

Remember - data gathering is critical to running an online store.

Let me rephrase – Data gathering is critical to running any type of store. Without knowing who, what, where, when, why and how your customers are finding or leaving your site, you are blind in ecommerce. And your successful competitor has their eyes wide open with information about their site and yours as well.

So what are you waiting for? Review your analytics and find out how to increase your profit.

If you need help, we are just a phone call away!

by: Shawna Seigel

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