Tracking is what separates the hobbyist from the professional. With Google Analytics alone you can know where your traffic comes from, which keywords consistently bring traffic, where that traffic goes and you can know which buttons on your site your traffic doesn’t care about. Imagine that!
And that’s just Google Analytics. There are many great ways to track what’s working and what isn’t in your business.
As far as tracking goes, are you using trackable urls in your emails, pamphlets and .pdf’s to help determine their effectiveness? Are you tracking origin sources, such as keywords, which are creating sales? Did you know that you can use the Google Analytics Goals feature to see exactly how people get to specific pages on your site? And you can see what happens when they leave.
Are you tracking your email open rate and sending a second email to all the people who didn’t open it the first time? Are you able to watch your site rise in the rankings for your intended keywords? And did you know Google provides evidence of their tracking efforts to tell you which keywords directly support your main ones?
Are you putting filters in your analytics services so they don’t track when you’re looking at your own site? When you change something on your site, are you flagging that date in Analytics so you when something you changed actually worked? Did you know you could track pretty much everything including phone numbers, contact forms and even how the on-site activity of your first time visitors is different than your regulars? Knowledge is golden.
Click-and-Clack became auto repair experts through a syndicated radio program that pretty much ran on Saturday afternoons across America. Think of an industry, can you name that industry’s experts? Or even just one?
Seth Godin became a blogging expert with a book. Lance Armstrong became an expert with a race. My folks became experts on front porches because you’re hard pressed to search for any front porch related keyword and not find them. And Dr. Phil became an expert because he was a guest on someone else’s show.
What are you doing to prove to the world that you’re an expert? Have you interviewed the other experts in your field? Are you proactively looking for guest blogging opportunities in your niche? Do you have a podcast, a mastermind group, or a syndicated column? Are you providing weekly information to your local news or run a forum known in your niche?
Check the “topics” in Klout and the “lists” in Twitter. Both might seem hokey, but if you look at the experts in your industry, their lists and topics reflect accurately what they’re known for. If you’re a landscaper and you seem to be mainly listed on Fantasy Football lists, perhaps you’re not sharing your knowledge as much as you should be in your quest to become an industry expert.
Traffic is the holy grail isn’t it? The key to massive traffic is leveraging lots of small sources of traffic to build up to large sources of traffic. Do you dominate lots of small keywords in your niche? Going after small keywords means less work dominating them. And once you’re on the first page of the search results you start getting comments, forum posts, and social media mentions. All good stuff.
Are you also writing the posts necessary to support and bolster your efforts with bigger traffic numbers? Have you completed a keyword theme map and are you working the plan? There’s nothing like thinking about your traffic generation plan ahead of time and putting it on paper. Have you completed and executed a marketing calendar complete with a hashtag schedule, editorial and holiday calendar?
Once you’ve determined which keywords are working for you, have you started dominating other properties with those keywords? Have you created YouTube videos, uploaded images, created Slideshare presentations, joined forums, and started writing guest posts to drive traffic?
Google traffic is great but it can fluctuate. Make sure you’re looking for other “non-Google “sources to maximize your traffic. And if you’re doing keywords make sure you’re concentrating on both evergreen keywords and seasonal ones. Meet your audience where they are searching and they will find you.
3 Part Series
I would consider all these things to be the assets of an “advanced blogging” mind, but that’s not it. In all three parts, we’ve discussed some of the activities that should be considered once you’ve moved past “hobby” and into a professional role.