What is the Point of Your Site

Online frustrationThere are 3 key factors to developing your sites success but what happens if you no longer have access to at least one of these.

I guess like me you use Google Analytics to determine how your sites are performing in those 3 key factors.

However it has become clear that Google are withdrawing from their Analytics platform access to metrics that form the foundation of all that has been taught in becoming successful online.

But lets take a step back and consider the most important question regarding your site, perhaps one you have not really thought about because you are being a good student and following the advice of your mentor.

As part of the P2S course we were advised to setup a blog using the OptimizePress 2 theme which I did. We were then advised to implement Adsense on our sites but having been banned from this I chose the equivalent service from Yahoo and in the weeks to come I will either implement or find an alternative to the recommendations that John Thornnhill is sure to make.

Now to that most important question.

What is the point of your site?

And more importantly how is it actually measuring up to that.

With that in mind over the weekend I started to look at answering this question for this site and I came up with 3 answers.

  • Branding, establish trust and authority through addressing and providing solutions to niche issues.
  • Lead generation, encourage visitors to provide their email details in exchange for one of those solutions.
  • Income generation, by displaying commission based solutions that address the problems raised in the content.
The next step of course is measuring our performance in these areas which returns us to the start of this post.You may have noticed in the Keyword section of your Analytics account something that looks like this:

google analytics keywords report

During the weekend I discovered that this is intentional as Google has withdrawn for the most part access to keyword data and moved it into your Adwords account, which is of course where you pay to advertise on their network.

Thus you can no longer see conveniently what phrases people are using to find your site which is the first factor, understanding fully how people are finding your content. The second factor is how people are engaging with your site and its content and the third is that we need to appreciate how they are leaving our sites.

To achieve the 3 areas, its important to measure how you are performing and the best way is to measure your progress towards your goals.

And that is precisely what Google recommends, setting up goals, unfortunately these have one major problem.

They reply upon success being measured in a visitor gaining access to a pre-determined page, such as an optin thank you page however simply watching a video all the way through could be considered a key success for your site and this is where Event tracking comes into play.

I actually wanted to write a post stating I had found a plugin that would definitely achieve this event tracking however that was not to be.

The 2 plugins I tested were, Gravitate Event Tracking  and WP Google Analytics Events  both are good plugins however for reasons I will explain, I cannot pass verdict on either of them.

Event tracking is supposedly recorded in real time however I found that this was not quite the case which meant when it came to comparing these 2 plugins I could not tell whether it was Google playing up or the plugin.

test site event tracking test

On the site I installed a test download, a PDF and a banner ad. The idea being to measure both my income and branding goals, would people click on my ads and would they trust me enough to download a file. Both of these rely upon Event tracking as I will not have access to the ad landing pages and there is no landing page for a download.

Despite running several tests using both plugins, I did not feel confident enough that either was recording all of the test events but as I said I could not be sure whether that was due to them or the delay in the presentation of the analytics. Also Google’s explanation of how to achieve accurate event tracking is made to feel like you’re training to become a brain surgeon so that did not help matters either.

Thus with all of these factors in mind, I am now going to start testing Piwik  which is a self hosted analytics software package that will give me access to all of my data, enabling me to track my complete site performance.

The question of course is whether this will be easier to setup and operate than Google Analytics because after all the point of data collection is to ensure we are meeting our goals by creating a better experience for our visitors which is only possible if we are not in a constant battle with our analytics software.

 

6 Comments

  • Dave Thomas
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply May 5, 2014

    Hi Igor

    My site is set up to promote me as a brand in preparation for my own product launches. The other two points you mention are really not that relevant on this site as the majority of the visitors, if not all, are fellow P2S members so will not be clicking my links or following me.

    I’m hoping that as I promote more often and get my domain out there in the general marketplace that both my followers and my income will start to grow.

    I will be interested in the results of your trial on Piwik which might be a decent package to use for data gathering.

    DaveT
    Dave Thomas recently posted..All About Elevator PitchesMy Profile

    • igor

      Reply Reply May 6, 2014

      Well hello Dave, thanks for sharing your thoughts. The point of course is that once we are clear on the point then we need to implement a method of gathering the evidence that measures our progress.

      I like Piwik but am also now testing Clicky as its a more mature option with all the major tracking features available today

  • Sky Nealon
    Twitter:

    Reply Reply May 7, 2014

    Hi Igor,

    I’ll be most interested to hear how you get on with Piwik and personally, my current blog site is mainly for the purpose of branding as lead generation and income generation barely registers a click at all. Initially I was going to use my blog as a teaching resource/ platform to share new ideas, techniques etc.., but then later I figured out that this may not be a viable option due to most of my current visitors are fellow P2S members / students to which many and most are more experienced and have greater expertise that I have on the subject or matter of discussion.

    Hope you are progressing well.

    Kind regards
    Sky

    • igor

      Reply Reply May 7, 2014

      Well hello Sky, great to hear from you again. The competition at the moment is between Piwik and Clicky with the latter being the more mature service at the moment, although it turns out the OP2 theme creates its own issues due to its non standard (according to Clicky) footer file. All three platforms, Google, Piwik and Clicky are now tracking this site as I figure that live traffic after the initial testing is the best way to test these services.

      Your response is similar to the others from our fellow P2S members and putting our own stamp on the Internet is a great way to start, what I would say is never shy away from sharing an idea or a lesson if you think someone could benefit from it, particularly those not in the P2S program. When in the future you are doing far more than just branding, those following in your wake will be comforted to know that you were like them at one point in your past which is their present, trying to find your way and your voice online.

  • Thanks Igor for writing such an information post.

    I didn’t have any knowledge about those plug-ins. But here you nicely explained about them. I will surely install them on my blog to take their advantage.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Swapnadip
    Swapnadip Chakraborty recently posted..Dreamhost Promo Code – $50 Discount + 1 Free DomainMy Profile

    • igor

      Reply Reply August 13, 2014

      Well hello Swapnadip thanks for leaving a comment and glad you found the content useful.

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