Traffic Patterns: Making the Most of Website Stats
There is one crucial step any DJ business-but especially wedding specialists-must take before pursuing other promotion: Invest in a quality website.
Why is this so important? Today’s bride expects it, and will be unlikely to consider a vendor that doesn’t have a website. She appreciates the empowerment the web has given her to make more choices and do more sorting of her options before “investing” in a phone call.
What’s more, it’s becoming less and less likely that a bride who responds to your ad will do so by picking up the phone; the next step she’ll take is to visit your website. That means that if your site isn’t up to par, you stand to lose much of the business you’re drumming up with your advertising. And worse, you may falsely conclude your ad’s not working. (More on this ahead.)
Bottom line: Until you have a website that accurately and appropriately represents your DJ business, investing in advertising doesn’t make sense. Start with a quality site, and, once it’s ready, be sure to back it up with sufficient advertising so that brides can find your home in cyberspace.
Understanding the Print/Web Connection
Perhaps the biggest web marketing mistake I see DJs make is relying solely on their websites to generate business. They’ve overestimated the amount of “free” traffic their websites receive. On a regular basis, I hear from a panicked DJ facing a dramatic drop in business because he assumed he no longer needed to advertise-because he thought he was “getting all his business from his website.”
It is true that the majority of brides will look at your website to decide whether or not to contact you. And many will then say “I saw your website” when they do. And that’s where the confusion begins because what you don’t know is how they found your site in the first place.
Odds are, much more of your web traffic is coming from offline sources (paid or otherwise) than you think. For example, if you are advertising in print, brides responding to your print ad will likely visit your website, and, if they eventually call you, they will likely say “I saw your site,” rather than “I saw your ad.” They may even forget that it was a magazine ad that prompted them to look at your site in the first place! Similarly, if you handed out brochures or business cards at a show, interested brides will visit your website to see more of your work.
We all know that brides aren’t terribly concerned with the accuracy of your lead tracking. They want to get done with your questions and on to theirs as quickly as possible. Faced with this reality, is it possible to get a handle on where the business is really coming from?
Fortunately, there is a very useful source of objective data that can help you: your web server traffic logs, which track all the visitors to your site and the pages they access. To understand what’s bringing brides to your site, your first step should be to analyze these logs.
Sound intimidating? It can be at first. But, the good news is, most web hosting services offer free analysis tools, and it’s usually very easy to get started using them. Even if your host doesn’t offer a traffic analyzer, there are good, cheap (even free) software programs that you can download to your computer and use to analyze your logs.
Once you’re able to analyze your log files, what should you be looking for? Here are some helpful statistics to start with:
No Refer – To understand how much of your web traffic comes from your offline marketing, review the “no refer” visits. This statistic shows how many visitors typed your web address directly into a browser, rather than linking from a search engine or other site. Visitors who typed your web address in directly had to have been exposed to it from an offline source-your print advertising, brochures, business cards, etc.
Online Ad Referrals – Check the number of referrals from websites on which you advertise, especially links you receive as part of print advertising contracts. This traffic can be significant, and should be factored into your analysis of these advertising programs.
Average Page Views – Closely monitor your site’s average page views per visit. Are people coming and looking at one or two pages and leaving? Or, are they poking around all the sections of your site, and seeing most of what you have to offer online? If visitors are leaving without exploring much of your site, odds are you are losing them. This is a clear message that you’ll need to improve your website to grow your business.
(Excerpted and adapted from Guerilla Marketing Companion for DJs, by Andy Powell and Jay Conrad Levinson, available from ProDJ Publishing. (Go to www.mobilebeat.com and click on “Bookstore.”)
Andy “Cubbie” Powell is the National Sales Director for ProDJ Publishing and Mobile Beat, including web and print advertising, as well as tradeshow sales. He is also the author of the essential DJ-entrepreneur’s guide to the big marketing picture, Guerilla Marketing Companion for DJs, along with Jay Conrad Levinson. Contact Cubbie at firstname.lastname@example.org with any marketing or sales questions you may have.
Filed Under: Business, Issues from 2009
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