In the last installment, I talked about the first steps of a new website. That is registering your brand name on social networks and getting your site indexed on the major search engines, thus probably saving a couple of quid. Today let’s take that further- start “engaging” and “tracking”.
One of the main things in any marketing campaign is consistency and it’s no different in the case of social media. Create a persona and stick to it. Do you want to be official, friendly or act like their high school buddy? Do you keep an air of authority, try to generate discussions or just want your followers to laugh at every update? The recommended approach is to go with what seems the right image for you or your organization, just don’t break the character you’ve adopted.
The major buzzwords in the social media marketing circles is ‘engage the audience’ or ‘engage the following’ or even ‘build a following’.
What all these marketer-code sounding phrases really mean is- be there for your customers. If JaneFoxy99 asks on your Twitter if your shop carries pink pompoms with a skull, answer. If somebody comments on the bad video quality of your commercials on YouTube, assure them that you’re working on it and later change the videos to better quality. If John Doe posts a funny cat picture on your Facebook wall, reply with the obligatory smiley face (or ban him, if you don’t like cats).
It’s that simple- in theory.
In practice, you really have to work at it. One good way is to make an editorial schedule and stick to it- update your blogs on Tuesdays, tweet every other day, post videos on Fridays- that kind of thing. It will feel like preaching to an empty parish for a while, but if you build it solid enough, they will come.
You can build up your fan base either by slowly growing it from existing customers or just post a really good article that will spread like wildfire, it’s by no means an exact science and is heavily based on chance, especially in the case of major breakthroughs. So the best advice someone can give you is be visible and try to stay relevant.
Before you start building your social media empire or doing any kind of traffic generating activity, it’s important to know where and how people are finding your website and what they’re doing on your site once they’ve found it. Your hosting provider is probably offering some kind of user tracking, but I’d recommend using Google Analytics (GA), as it’s free, offers a comprehensive interface and is customizable to fit your specific needs.
Installing GA is very simple. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Register for a GA account here.
- Follow the instructions until you get to the tracking code
- Copy the provided code into every page on your site that you wish to track, right before the </head> tag
- If you have an Adwords account set up, it’s recommended to check the box on the left side saying ‘I want to track AdWords campaigns’
- Press ‘Save and Finish’
If you installed the tracking code correctly, GA should start providing information about your website’s visitors within 24 hours (but we find it’s normally a bit quicker).
Here are two things that you should also do, to get the most out of GA:
- Excluding yourself from the website statistics:
- Go to www.whatismyip.com –you should then see your IP number (the unique identification number for the network that you’re accessing the internet from)
- Go to your GA Account
- Click ‘Edit’
- Scroll down, until you see ‘+Add Filter’
- Name the filter something like ‘Office IP’ or ‘Home IP’, so you don’t forget
- In the middle drop-down choose ‘traffic from the IP addresses’
- Enter the IP address you got on whatismyip.com in to the provided fields
- Click ‘Save Changes’
- Repeat for every location, that you expect to visit your site from
- Adding goals to your site
- Go to ‘Edit’
- Click ‘Add Goal’
- Enter a descriptive name for the goal, like ‘Brochure Download’ or ‘Contact Form Sent’
- You can set goals to be either ‘URL Destination’, ‘Time on Site’ or ‘Pages/Visit’. Choose ‘URL Destination’ for this example.
- I recommend leaving the Match type to ‘Head Match’, so you register both /thankyou.asp and /thankyou.asp?id=0
- Enter the URL of the page you wish to classify as a goal.
- Enter the value, if any.
- Further you can create a funnel for this goal- the preferred or required path that a visitor must go so /thankyou.asp would classify as goal.
- Click ‘Save Goal’
That would conclude the basic set up of your GA account. Additionally, I’d suggest registering with Google Webmaster Tools (will do a separate post on WT later) and submitting an xml sitemap to them, for additional statistics on how your website is ranking and for what search queries it’s showing up.
Will be continued..
If any of this seems too complicated- Passion Digital is there to help with your online marketing needs
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