Issue 010 November 2013 – Grow Smart Growth Bites

Welcome to the latest issue of Grow Smart Growth Bites, your monthly newsletter dedicated to business growth and development. In this issue:

Google Analytics for Small Business 101
Increase Traffic to Your Site and Store with Google Business Photos

Google Analytics for Small Business 101

Google Analytics for Small BusinessMost all small business people get the necessity to understand their website metrics, but surprisingly, a large portion of them, (I would venture to say a majority!) aren’t using one of the best sources for this business intelligence, Google Analytics.

What’s even more perplexing about this is that it’s free! There is a paid version, but mainly for enterprise solutions. For the average Joe Business, they’re missing out on data that could dramatically affect the bottom line.

So why the hesitation to employ Google Analytics?

First off, most new users are petrified of the mountain of data Google Analytics serves up. This can indeed be flat out overwhelming, and for a busy business owner, seem like one more (very difficult) thing to do! Thus, it gets pushed to the back burner.

So question becomes, “How can I efficiently use Analytics in my business?”

Questions to ask before you start

There are a couple of key questions you need to pose to yourself before setting up your Google Analytics.

  • What are your overall site goals?
  • What traffic sources are you targeting?

Knowing what you’re after makes the process of sorting through this information more organized.

4 Tips to using Google Analytics more efficiently

Here are four ways you can make Google Analytics a bit less unwieldy and more useful!

  • Know the data you’re after – The first thing to get right is knowing exactly what data you are going to be tracking. A short list would include your primary and second tier keywords, referring websites, geographic locations of your visitors, popular pages, inbound links and organic search traffic.
  • Create Custom Reports – Most people are blissfully unaware that you can create your own custom reports within Google Analytics. This is done so that you can track and analyze only the data you are interested in, and blocking out the noise. You can generate reports that show you where your most valuable traffic is coming from, and which resources are driving this traffic. You can also share these custom reports in Excel, PDF, or Google Drive.
  • Use Advanced Segmenting – Advanced Segments with Google Analytics allows the user to sort out and better analyze specific traffic sources. For example, you can apply an Advanced Segment filter to your mobile, tablet or desktop traffic stats to get a clear picture where and how your visitors are finding you.
  • Use Intelligence Events – Another underused feature of Google Analytics is Intelligence Events. These are automated email alerts (or notifications to your mobile phone) sent to you in the event of a spike (up or down) in traffic, or a number of other events you’ll want to know about.

Take a deep breath and determine to get past the initial overwhelm, and use Google Analytics to help you understand your website metrics.

Could your business be generating more customers online?

Contact us today for your free marketing assessment!

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Increase Traffic to Your Site and Store with Google Business Photos

Google Business Photos tipsMaking your listing in Google’s local search results as provocative and appealing as possible is sometimes a challenging proposition. Beyond ranking well, and attaining Google authorship for your content, what is there besides pumping out more of said content?

Fortunately Google has come to the rescue with their latest offering, called Google Business Photos. This is a program whereby local businesses can offer a 360 degree virtual tour of their business. This can have the beneficial effect of enabling your prospective customer to get a peek at your store, office or business in a way they may not have been able to do with a static, text-only listing.

Why is Google Business Photos a good idea?

When it comes to search engine results listings, (SERPs) it’s all about getting seen. It goes without saying that if you’re not found on the first page, you’ve got very little chance of making a dent in the organic search market. And, if you do manage to get there, standing out amidst all the other offerings is job one!

Google has given you yet another way to make that happen. Google Business Photos enable you to upload a high quality, interactive 360 degree photo of your establishment. This can be found in the search results, your Google+ page, or in Maps. You can also use these on your site or on you r social media properties. It instantly sets you apart from the crowd, as usually if anyone else has an image, it’s static, if it’s there at all.

People can see what you’re all about, get a feel for the ambiance of your place, and get a feel for who you are.

JustFoodForDogs realized a 23.7% increase. They’ve also experienced a 50% increase in the click-through rate from the search results to their website. They attribute this entirely to their using the Google Business Photos.

Don’t run out front with your iPhone just yet!

While this seems like an easy way to make a tangible difference, (and it is!) there are a few hoops Google makes you jump through to get this done.

First and most important is that you need to use a trusted Google-approved photographer. Yes, they approve the person who takes the photos. This is because they want to control how things look in the search results, and adhere to their rules. They really want to capture how your business appears on a typical day, and they like to have a few people in these photos as they can.

These photographers are trained in how to use the panoramic camera technology. They are able to give potential visitors a much better sense of the layout, decor and beauty of your business interior.

If you are looking for an easy way to enhance your Google+ local listings, Google Business Photos may do the trick for you!

Thanks for Reading!

We welcome your ideas and feedback to make our content more applicable to your needs. Contact us anytime!

Best wishes for much success!

Neil Gass
Grow Smart Marketing