What is your baseline?

All too often I go into a meeting with a new client and they say “I want to update my website”.

I normally then ask them “what do their analytics say?”  And they often just sit there and stare at me with a blank look on their face. They often respond to me with “I don’t think we have analytics on our site”, or “I don’t know, I don’t really look to see what it says” or they ask me “what are you talking about?”

So lets talk a baseline report for a minute — This is basically a first report on your web site to track changes over time.

If you don’t have analytics on your site — before you redo your web site, add an analytics tracking package to your current site. Even a small web site will typically take 30 to 45 days to redo and this will give you a baseline report of who goes to your site, where do they go — and what are they interested in.  This provides you with the RETURN ON INVESTMENT information you need to measure the value of your investment.

Best of all — You can get analytics put on your web site for free. It takes very little money to add some simple code to your web site pages. Any programmer who is doing your new site, would be happy to assist you in putting this on your old site.

Typical things that you want a baseline report to answer are:

  1. How many people currently go to your site?
  2. What are the most popular pages?
  3. How long do they stay there?
  4. Where do they go when they come to your site?
  5. How are they finding you?
  6. What keywords drove them to your site?

The list can go on and on — but what we are trying to achieve is  a baseline report that we then use to measure the changes we have implemented over time with the new site. In addition, it tells us if we are having success with the new web site and was it a strong return on investment for us.

During these economic times, Marketeers are frequently being asked to justify how they are doing work and the value they bring to the company — without these analytical reports — it is often just another  pretty web site.

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