3 Ways to Use Google Analytics to Grow Your Fashion Business

google analytics fashion business

Google Analytics, a free tool through Google, is one of the best resources for brands when it comes to uncovering trends, data, and insights about the consumers who are coming to your website in order to improve and grow your business.

According to Orbit Media, the terms you need to know in order to get started and understanding your dashboard and use it frequently are the following:

  • Users: These are people who have visited at least once within your selected date range, and includes both new and returning visitors.
  • Dimensions: These are descriptive characteristics of an object. For example, browser, exit page, and session duration are all considered dimensions.
  • Metrics: These are individual statistics of a dimension, such as Average Session Duration or Screenviews.
  • Bounce Rate: This is the percentage of single-page visits, meaning that someone left your site from the same page at which they entered; aka, they didn’t interact with your site.
  • Sessions: A session is the period of time that a user is actively engaged with your website.

When it comes to growing your business there are three areas you want to focus on:

  • Traffic Sources – Where they’re coming from.
  • Audience Profile and Demographics – Your visitor information.
  • Behavior on Site – What they’re doing when they get to you.

Traffic Sources

You want to look at your traffic sources to see where your audience is coming from and what sources are working the hardest for you. Let’s take a look at what types of sources may occur and why they’re each relevant to pay attention to:

  • Direct: Visitors that came directly to your website by typing in your site URL. This means your awareness is pretty good and people are wanting to discover or learn more about what your brand has to offer. That is a great thing. If this is lower on the list, then it means your awareness still needs some work, which as a startup is not a shocker. Getting direct traffic is never easy, and is something to strive for, but not be worried about at the start.
  • Organic Search: These results are free and amazing. An organic search visitor is someone who is searching for you or something/someone like your brand. They are interested in your product or service and either want to learn more or purchase. If they find you through organic search, it means your SEO strategy is working well. If this % is lower on the list, it’s an indicator that you should work on your keyword strategy and what could help drive your SEO up against your competition.
  • Paid Search: People who found you through your Adwords campaigns, which is good too. It means your paid search strategy is working. Again if this was lower on the list, then either your budget is low (no problem, you can work on that), or you need to reconsider your bid strategy on the keywords you’ve chosen.
  • Referral: Referral traffic is a great source because it means that other sites are linking to yours and creating more traffic for you. It may behoove you to give them a high-five back and link back to them if it’s appropriate. This could also mean that your syndication strategy is working well across blogs and websites.
  • Social: This section used to be within referral traffic but now broken out to give you a clearer picture to see which social channel are working hardest for you and driving the most links back to your site. It gives you the opportunity to see what channels need to work harder, and which ones you may want to invest more in.
  • Email: The visitors that came from your email campaigns; like social it allows you to see how hard your strategy is working in this channel and if it needs some optimization.

Audience Profile and Demographics

The audience section allows your brand to dig into insights of your website visitors and see a little more about who they are and if it fits who you thought your target consumer was/is. It allows you to dig into:

  • Gender – understanding if there’s a balance or if your brand skews in a particular direction
  • Age – understanding the mindset by age/life-stage
  • Location – understanding where your audiences are coming from
  • Browsers – understanding where to test your content (always)
  • Mobile devices – understanding how your content is being viewed

Knowing this data allows you to tailor your content a little better, and understand which audience is actually consuming it versus not. For example if your audience is predominantly female, you may want to ensure you don’t start creating content that will scare them away. If your audience is younger (millennial), you don’t want to suddenly start putting out content that will not be of interest to them. Not only does this help with the content you create, but it helps with the messaging of the content. You may use more casual tones with younger audiences (assuming it fits your brand tone and voice that you’ve established). In the end it’s always a balance of your business goals, brand voice, and consumer interests.

Behavior on Site

The visitors’ behaviors on your site will help indicate what content on your site is actually working. You can see:

  • What pages people spend time on – to see if where you are driving them is working, or if there are other pages you should be focusing on more (i.e. certain products, particular blog content, etc)
  • Look to see the flow on your site – how do people travel from page to page, where do they seem to go naturally (or get stuck)
  • Where’s the drop off? There is probably a particular place people automatically bounce from or get stuck and leave. See if there’s a way you can route them back around (so they don’t leave) to where you want them to be, or to content that seems to be working well for your brand.

Your Homework: Go play around on Google Analytics and see what it means for your brand.

This post was originally written for Startup Fashion. 

3 FREE tools to help your brand measure Social

So many tools, so little time. It is not always easy to determine which ones are right for your measuring your social media performance.

statigram

We know the usual suspects like Facebook Insights, which is free on Facebook for Page Admins, and Hootsuitewhich allows you to manage multiple channels and get some general information about traffic and keywords.

However, I’m going to focus on 3 others…one of which are known by many but should never be overlooked, and two others which are sometimes overlooked but still quite helpful for most brands that are active across social media networks.

The essential player: Google Analytics

Google Analytics is basically a free website insights tool which allows brands to track traffic to their site.

This is useful because you can see when a social channel such as Facebook or Twitter was the traffic driver to a page on your site or not. Also you can track which ones are the biggest referral drivers – and when. This is helpful because you can see the plateaus, dips, and spikes and see which campaigns may have attributed to those.

Extra Tip: In addition to Google Analytics, Google Alerts and Google Trends are also helpful tools. Google Alerts allows for RSS or email updates on when your brand is mentioned in blogs, news, etc. Google Trends is great because it can help your brand compare search terms and other sites, in order to get an idea on which search terms are being used most and which of your competitors are receiving said traffic.

A great sidekick: Topsy

I’m a fan of Topsy – even the free version- because it allows brands to get some real-time information on what trends are occurring.

To read more on Topsy and my other fun tool to utilize, check out my original and full post on Startup fashion!

Five Productivity Apps To Stay Organized This Fall

As many of us have realized with September, comes not just the school year, but autumn days full of productivity and kicking butt with new projects, goals, and more.

So in the back to school spirit – for those of who aren’t going back and haven’t been back in year – here are some productivity apps to keep you on track (in between those pumpkin lattes of course)…

1) Evernote

I know Evernote is one everyone’s list for smart tools to use to keep track of your notes and more…but it can’t be overlooked. I use this app every day at work to keep track of different meetings, different projects, and even random To-Do’s, as well as my own personal projects including blog post ideas and more. Why? One simple reason: once you type it on one computer, it is seamlessly saved on all your devices through the cloud. Can’t remember that note you took in the 9am meeting? No problem – check your smart phone and it’ll be their via the app. Simple, easy, and amazing.

2) Pulse

Do you read 20 million different magazines, newspapers, blog posts, and other online articles? So do most of us these days and it’s impossible to keep track of it all even with google alerts, RSS feeds, and emails. Pulse makes it simple to have them all in one place in an easy to read visual format – looks just like a glossy magazine but accessible on your computer and/or mobile device. In a time when pictures and visuals “win” Pulse takes advantage… and no harm in checking it out – it’s free.

 3) iDoneThis

Whether its your work team or significant other – this tool helps keep track of assignments people have done or not. Integrates with Gmail and lets you get a quick snapshot of what people did that day or week. Unfortunately it’s not free but it’s only $3/month per person. Not bad for a quick tool to keep track of your tasks.

4) Smartr for Gmail

Makes your inbox smarter so you don’t have to deal with the hassle. Takes less time for you to fish through your inbox looking for a contact and stay on top of the main contacts you email with on a regular basis. You can even view more fully complete profiles of contacts including their Facebook and Twitter (which can also be minimized when not needed).

5) Remember the Milk

Are you the type that goes to the store and then forgets half the items on the so-called “list”? With all that we have going on in a regular day from exercising, work, home projects, making plans, seeing friends and family, walking the dog…remembering the olive oil for dinner may be easily forgotten. That’s a handy dandy to do list app comes in handy, which also integrates with gmail (who doesn’t love gmail?) and can easily be accessed via mobile devices including Siri! Although there are tons of other to do list apps out there, this one couldn’t help but catch my attention with the name and the integrations and quick and simple to use interface.

What other apps do you live on each day to be more productive?

Note: I originally wrote this post for Social Media Club and my post can also be found here

Three Creative Ways of Using Google+ Hangouts

There are so many shiny new toys in the social media sphere…sometimes we can’t keep up. Google has a tendency to test out new ideas (remember Google Buzz?) and this time around they have spun out Google Plus Hangouts. It’s an opportunity for individuals or businesses to utilize this virtual “hangout” to communicate with others in their community or business via video. The only disadvantage that appears right away is the restriction of 10 people per hangout. However, when it comes to meetings and having the chance to build a deeper relationship among community members sometimes fewer can be beneficial.

How individuals are taking advantage of Google+ Hangouts

Individual users are being creative and using hangouts for a face-to-face experience for hobbies like photography and cooking. It is a simple way to make your personal life more interesting with people who share your interests. It’s also an opportunity to join communities that you may not have realized existed…whether it’s with people locally or not. Google Plus Hangouts allow individuals to stay in closer touch with their circles and/or to expand them in a more personal way.

Possibilities for Businesses with Google+ Hangouts

1. Dell 

It’s been reported that Michael Dell of Dell Computers has been very interested in Google+ Hangouts, especially for the ability to group video chat in order to assist customers with tech and customer support needs. Unfortunately the capabilities do not work with Dell currently and the restriction of 10 users appears to be a hindrance as well. For now it appears it’s a no-go but Dell hopes that will turn around one day so they can utilize the technology Google has offered with Hangouts. The company believes video chat for tech support could lend a great hand in real-time and personal support for their customers.

2. NBC Philadelphia: 

Television has definitely jumped on board and realized that social media doesn’t have to be a threat to news-telling, but a great cross-promotional tool. NBC Philadelphia has recently used Google+ Hangouts for both weather and even more recently a chat with President Obama. The weather team hangout was to allow viewers to chat with the team up close and personally and ask any weather related questions they had. This demonstrates the team giving a closer look behind the camera and showing an even more human side to the team.

Even more recently, NBC Philadelphia hosted a hangout with President Obama. Unique? Yes. Cool? Definitely. The President spoke live and answered submitted as well as live questions during the hangout. It was an opportunity for some to ask questions that had perturbed them such as employment issues. Social media can be a tough venue, especially with all the different opinions and questions that can easily rise. I commend the president for taking the chance, opportunity and demonstrating his willingness to be there on a more personal level.

3. Tearfund 

Tearfund, which is a nonprofit known for disaster response and advocacy, used Google+ Hangouts as an internal communications tool. It helped their team talk to staff who worked from home, or were off-site. Hangouts assisted Tearfund in doing briefings, staying on top of their objectives, and communicating more regularly with their teammates.

In short, there are many possibilities to interact, grow within communities, enjoy hobbies, have meetings, interviews, and/or build relationships on a more intimate and personal level. There are definitely other tools out there, which have similar functions, but being that Hangouts is a part of the Google ecosystem of Gmail, Apps, and more…it just makes it that much easier.

What would you use a hangout for? How would you use it for your business? 

 

Note this post was originally written for Social Media Club, and the original post can be found here

Sources:

http://www.tearfund.org/en/about_us/how_we_work/

http://9to5google.com/2011/09/29/black-eyed-peas-hosting-backstage-hangout-via-google-hangouts-tomorrow-night/

http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/

https://plus.google.com/115181052736294416606/posts/TrJuQDBwjZS

https://plus.google.com/115181052736294416606/posts/YNGiC9V4XLn

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/30/obama-google-plus_n_1242816.html

http://www.reelseo.com/dell-google-hangouts-video-chat-customer-service/

Keep your New Year’s Resolution: 5 Ways to Find a New Job with Social Media

So many New Year’s resolutions, so little time. The New Year is already flying by, and it’s no time for slacking off. Many individuals have
the desire and resolution to find a new job that will make them happy and put them in the right path for their desired career aspirations. Need some help?

Here are five great ways that social media applications can help you search better and also stay organized in your job search…

LinkedIn: In short, if you aren’t on LinkedIn, you’re already way behind on your job search. Job recruiters post on this networking social site, look through your profile for keywords related to their requirements, and filter through profiles in order to see who may be a good match. So here are some ways you can take advantage of this perfect social site for finding that perfect job you want this New Year.

Profile Picture. Make sure you use a single head shot for your profile picture so people can clearly see who you are. Preferably this wouldn’t be the same picture you have on Facebook where you may be friends at a party or bar. Think more professional.

Fill it out. Your profile should be filled out at least 90% to show your education, previous employment, and details of what skill sets you possess and could bring to the table.

Links. Take advantage of the social real estate. Use those link spaces and promote yourself. Have a blog? Show it off! Active on Twitter? Share your handle.

Recommendations. I could not speak more highly about having some recommendations…even if only a handful. Other people’s praise is not only golden, but a hot commodity when it comes to scoring a new job.

Job Search Tool. The best part of the LinkedIn search tool is that when you find a job match via your keyword search (which can be customized by location, etc) is you can see who in your network has a connection to that job prospect. The personal connection could just be your ticket to a new job. Use it!

Twitter: the micro-blogging site is an essential search tool that many overlook. Although it may seem intimidating to some and useless to others, it can be a rich resource to many, especially those searching for a new job. Key tips:

Follow the right people. Find the people in your territory who are prominent companies you want to follow, people from those companies, and those who post about jobs often.

Set up search feed for key words. Set up different search feeds for keywords you want to monitor for jobs you’d like.

Monitor. Don’t just set it and forget it. Monitor well and monitor often. You could also use Topsy in order to monitor keywords and have them sent to your Google Reader for convenience sake.

Blog: Having a blog and searching industry blogs can be essential to the job searching process. Here’s why…

Have it. Having a blog is like an investment. It can only help you in the long run. The key is to build one which is on a good domain (preferably one related to your topic or name), has a key focus, and shows you are an expert in that area – in turn showing your future boss you know your stuff.  

Search away. Many blog posts also offer job postings on the topics they focus upon and in the areas they are in. For example, Mashable is frequently posting open jobs. Subscribe via your Google Reader, Email, or check out their Twitter feed on a regular basis. Can’t hurt!

Google Plus: Just because it’s a new social network doesn’t mean it isn’t important and useful for a job-searching tool. Google is well known for its great SEO capabilities and is key when it comes to search. Build your profile, start following key people, and place them in the appropriate “circles.” It can only help to be more visible as long as you are following the right people, providing valuable content, and networking your butt off.

Google Alerts: As mentioned above, having searches set up is key. Google Alerts are essential in saving time and not going back and forth all the time. You can easily set up key search terms and then have them sent to you via email or via a RSS feed to your Google Reader (or Feedly) in order to check it at your convenience.  

Bonus: You are searching through job search sites, social networks, and Google-ing away, but so are recruiters. At the very same time they are also searching for “you.” So why not make it easier for them to find and reach out to you? Make your social sites job viewer friendly. 3 tips:

Headlines: Describe what you’ve done, what you want to do, and what you are good at.

Photo: Have a clear photo that is just you and preferably more of a headshot.

Share your expertise: Demonstrate what experience you’ve gained in each position you’ve held, accomplishments you’ve achieved, how you’ve assisted your companies to ascertain revenue goals, and more.

Still unsure about social networks and how much they can help? See below for a clear-cut example that companies use social networks just as much for recruiting too.

To check out more, visit: http://mashable.com/2011/08/28/social-media-recruiting-infographic/

Please note: this post was originally written for Social Media Club and you can find the original post I wrote here.

[Above Image Credit: http://mbahighway.com/2011/10/top-10-mba-job-search-websites/]

Sources:

http://laurenkgray.com/2011/03/02/job-hunting-via-social-media-using-linkedin/

http://pamsahota.com/social-media-at-work/how-to-find-a-job-using-social-media/

http://mashable.com/2009/01/05/job-search-secrets/

http://www.margieclayman.com/30-tips-on-how-to-find-a-job-using-social-media

http://mashable.com/2011/07/24/google-plus-jobs/

http://mashable.com/2011/08/28/social-media-recruiting-infographic/

 

How do you Subscribe?

Do you subscribe to magazines the old-school snail mail way? Or do you get the digital version sent to you via email? I cannot help but still enjoy turning each glossy page filled with a ridiculous amount of advertisements…and then the other day I was trying to decide whether or not to subscribe to Fast Company. I paused when I was about to subscribe via snail mail thinking I can get all the cool articles right on the website and via email rather than having 50+ issues stacked up on my nightstand collecting dust, as they hope to be opened and taken on the T on my way to be work. It is a never ending battle for me as I do not see myself w/ an iPad (yet), so as for now I am becoming a fairly regular digital reader (thanks to Google Reader) but also enjoy my stack of magazines that I can just throw in my bag on the way to work, dinner, and/or on my future apartment balcony where I sit on my lounge chair taking in the short yet splendid Boston summer.

Where do you stand?