What’s in my purse? Who cares! For me it’s all about fun new tools and apps to help me gain insights. So what’s sitting open for days on my browser? Let’s have a look at analytics and site monitoring tools – this is part one in a three part series on tools for marketing & content, with start-ups in mind. This post is based on a lecture I gave at Hubanana – you can get the slideshow here. Questions? Leave it in the comments and I’ll answer you.
So right now I’ve got two main sites I’m responsible for, Coupick and Name Factory. Coupick is a MVP (minimally viable product) for a coupon discovery engine temporarily running on WordPress and the other site is an unofficially launched e-commerce store for personalized jewelry running Magento. Let’s have a look…
The one thing any site absolutely must have is Google Analytics. Install the tracking code and enjoy watching the insights. If you’re not familiar with the power of analytics, watch an intro video at Google. Analytics can give you intelligence on your visitors from the simplest information, like location, to more complex functions like user flow. It truly is an amazing tool.
Learn analytics from Google here – their tutorials are the best and you can even get certified if you want. And if you need some help, but don’t have a budget to hire an expert, try Start-Up Wednesdays at Google Campus – there is usually a mentor there or fellow start-up willing to help out with analytics.
Cost: Always free for the basics, but let’s hope that at some point your business will grow and you’ll need to get the premium version. Worthwhile to hire an expert to show you how your specific business can make the most of it, particularly in the set-up process.
No matter what you’re running your site on, a monitoring system can let you know about downtime, speed tests, and errors instantly. For the coupon site, we’re still in the development stage, so we haven’t tried any system yet – we’re also on WordPress temporarily so it’s less important. For the personalized jewelry e-commerce site, since we’ve started running advertising campaigns and receiving some organic traffic, it’s exceedingly important for me to see what’s happening. If our site is having a major slowdown or errors, we can instantly adjust our marketing campaign, put up work tickets, or adjust any plans we have on the PR side.
We’re using Shoppimon, a monitoring system for Magento. Not only are they an Israeli start-up, the product works great and has already saved me time & money. Find a monitoring site that fits your needs and site’s platform – and remember there is no one-fits-all solution. You may have to try a few of them, but since most have free trials it’s in your advantage to take your time choosing the best for you.
Cost: Free Plans & Premium Plans.
I’ll keep it simple when it comes to AdWords – Hire An Expert. There is no substitute for experience when it comes to AdWords. You can bleed your entire marketing budget in a blink of an eye if you don’t know what you’re doing.
And even though we’re pretty amazing at Moavs Marketing, we still use a system of checks and balances to run AdWords campaigns. For example, campaigns are almost always touched by at least 3 different employees. Analysis of AdWords should be integrated with your analytics and also used in conjunction with screen recordings. And remember to optimize and re-optimize and optimize again – campaigns are not a “set it and forget it” kind of thing.
Cost: Free. But spend money for an expert; it will save you money in the long run.
Screen Recorders & Heat Maps
It’s incredible how much you can learn from watching real visitors in real-time or in recordings visit your site. Sure, it feels a little creepy, but in no time you’ll be cooking up some fresh popcorn and watching the show. Heat maps and screen recordings can give you immeasurable insights, from discovering bugs to optimizing landing pages.
We’re using Lucky Orange for this. It’s not the most mind-blowingly accurate version, but its performance is remarkable for its very reasonable cost. I also love the live reports and live chat service that’s bundled in with the recorders & heat maps. They offer a free 7-day trial.
Cost: From $10 and up a month depending on your needs.
The Future of Marketing
Marketing, advertising, and PR are integral parts of nearly all businesses today, particularly start-ups. Make the most of your marketing by using Google Analytics & AdWords, site monitors, and screen recorders & heat maps.
Now you might be thinking that you don’t need these tools. Or that you can do just fine without them. So for the doubters out there, I have just one question: Do you want to do the best you can with your business or website? Well there’s your answer… Now get out there and make your dreams a reality!