Lose Your Addiction to Vanity Metrics

Studies continually show that small business owners largely limit their analysis of online data to so-called “vanity metrics” such as the number of Facebook friends or likes, or the number of Twitter followers they have garnered over time. This could be because analytics provided by Google are deemed by many to be difficult to implement or difficult to interpret. This is unfortunate because this data gathering tool provides meaningful information such as: a) the number of website visitors; b) the number of pages and total time their site was visited; and most importantly, c) conversion rates.

The problem with “likes” or “followers” or other such soft metrics is that they rarely can be directly attributed to customer conversions, or sales. Google Analytics provides incredibly useful information, but if it intimidates you, there is another great tool you can put to use immediately. The simple addition of a “Call to Action” on a website can become your internal analytical mechanism. We’ve all seen these on websites at one time or another. The company offers a useful, information-packed, free publication in exchange for your email address. What is it your potential customers need or want to learn more about your business or what you can do for them?

I’ve had a good amount of success offering a free whitepaper (a fancy name for an informational document!) titled, “Five Easy Steps to Take Now to Optimize Your Website” on my search engine optimization company’s website. It provides qualified leads and I can easily track which inquiries eventually become clients.

Los Angeles headshot photographer Vanie Poyey offers “Wardrobe Guidelines for Your Headshot Session” on her website’s homepage. Again, qualified leads and data that enables conversion analysis.

Determine what expert information your customers might benefit from, include a Call to Action on your homepage, set up an email auto-responder to fulfill the request, and hopefully those potential clients can be “converted” into paying clients!

Blake Discher is the founder of go-seo.com, a website search engine optimization company serving small businesses.

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