One of the more frustrating things I see as a web marketer is businesses using the magical powers of observation to determine whether or not their online marketing efforts are succeeding. Sure, observation can be interesting, but it should not be held as a definitive benchmark for determining your site’s success. At best, observation should be used as a starting point for digging deaper into your analytics to get to the truth of the matter.
When any new site rolls out there are going to be some hiccups, bumps and potholes along the way. A good SEO will help you minimize problems as much as possible, but inevitably, they’re,well, inevitable (mic drop.)
But the point here isn’t that there will be issues on any new site rollout. It’s knowing what they are. And that’s where we can’t rely on having “a bad feeling about this” as being an authoritative measure.
That might work in every Star Wars movie (and twice in Episode 3) but it doesn’t work in the real world of website analytics.
In order to assess the effectiveness and performance of your new site and be able to compare it to that of the old site, you need to be sure you have your analytics tracking codes in place. Without proper tracking, your gut may be telling you there is a problem, but that can lead you down an entirely wrong assumption as to what it is. It’s your data that will will allow you to see the changes in visitor patterns and exactly how and where the new site improves (or not) the visitor’s experience.
There are a number of tracking platforms you can choose from, but Google is perhaps the most popular, plus it’s free, robust and easy-to-implement. To use Google Analytics, you’ll need to install the correct code on your website.
As a side note, you should also be sure to implement and/or maintain your RSS feed links. This is especially important for your blog but can also be important for feeds for new products, updates and anything else your customers like to stay up to date on.