Proper analytics to track your website performance should be on the top of your to-do list when launching a new website, microsite or social media project. There are many useful analytics tracking tools, but in this post I will provide you with 5 essentials, no matter what your digital marketing goals. Keep in mind that as your site grows, advertising and media partners will want to know about your site traffic in media kits, as well as demographic penetration. It is integral for fashion blogs and commerce sites to make analytics a top priority!
Tracking tools are available to monitor keyword traffic to the pages of your site, as well as track incoming traffic via referral URLs, such as visits from social sites like Facebook and Twitter. The analytics tools used on many fashion sites range from free tools to paid enterprise level tools. Of course there are benefits to both types of analytics tracking tools, but here is an overview of free and paid solutions:
- YouTube offers viewer analytics for videos published on YouTube. The demographics are beneficial to help tailor marketing efforts related to video content. Use of YouTube should include these elements: 1) Headlines: These show up in search results, so make sure they are topical and relevant to the season (since fashion & beauty is seasonal). 2) Tags: These are items a blogger should always limit, on YouTube and on the blog. Always focus tags on topics you will write about over and over. Avoid being generic. 3) Link in Description: When writing a video description, be sure to add a link back to a target URL of the website.
- Quantcast offers its own free analytics for sites that add its tracking code. This is so useful for site owners to build personas and learn about audience demographics. This is a free analytics-tracking tool, and allows you to get details about users.
- Google Analytics offers free tools for small and large business, which give site owners the chance to track organic search keywords, as well as paid traffic. This tool is excellent for drilling down into segments of data, but all of your site information will become Google’s. The importance of these tools is really up to the site owner, but I personally find them very useful. Also look at installing Google Web Master Tools, and contact me for 101 training.
- Adobe Omniture offers enterprise level customized analytics for larger businesses with multi-level channels. This tool provides custom integration for multi & cross channel integration, specifically e-commerce and major publishing portals.
- Topsy offers free social media tools for monitoring Twitter mentions The emails sent provide a look into content and links going viral around the topic you set out to track. The top 3 items fashion bloggers should track using Topsy are: 1) brand name: target the blog domain or brand. 2) target keyword: focus on a keyword or topic you want the blog to show up for in Google search results (i.e. “fall leggings”) 3) main blog interest or theme: set an alert for topics related to your blog theme, so you can reach out to these Twitter followers mentioning such interest.
Understanding your audience using analytics helps you get a look at visitor usage factors, which are important to help determine content, referral partners, and advertiser sponsorship rates. Here are a few visitor usage factors to monitor, no matter what tools you choose to install:
- Bounce Rate (monthly average)
- Pageviews (per article)
- Unique visitors (1.5 per visit)
- Total search keywords (monthly)
- Referral traffic (sites sending traffic)
Using analytics helps you understand your audience by providing deeper insights into informative data points, but also should guide your overall online marketing strategy. Analytics can be used to forecast seasonal topics that should be covered year over year. Before I sign off, here is an analytics tip that should help your site get some visibility during or before the holidays; for smaller sites, seasonal topics should be covered extremely early, so your site can penetrate the search results before the bigger brands start developing content and out rank your content.