The Truth About Your Blog Stats

If you’re new to Google Analytics or confused about how to use it effectively to help grow your business then chances are know your blog statsyou (and your pocket perhaps) may benefit greatly from understanding fully what the numbers really mean and how to use the tools to help you gather intelligent info about what is making or breaking your website.

When I first took a look at my numbers utilizing the Google Analytics tool, I was completely perplexed.  Yet, the information offered some mystery that I knew I had to further evaluate.

Statistics…What???

I don’t know how but by some miraculous reason I managed to ace my Statistics 101 class in college.  However, the numbers I was looking at behind my website just seemed like a whole different animal. And if you are anything like me, I couldn’t scream help fast enough before my eyes started rolling back into my head and I was overwhelmed with trying to make sense of the seemingly important data that was flashing right before my eyes.

Thankfully, I have a great mentor who not only offered some guidance but also has a Blog Statistics Workshop replay that helps break down the numbers into edible pieces. This allowed me to understand what it all meant in order to work efficiently on getting more traffic.

It is true for many of us who run businesses online that our Google Analytics tool is the go to place for reference in order to see what our website traffic looks like.

But when you get there, wouldn’t you want to know what the numbers really mean? Why they’re so important? And what that information tells you about the health of your site?

In Know Your Blog Stats,  Kelly discusses the significance of  this information and what it tells you about your readers.  If you think you already have what you need, take a look at this article I read in Inc magazine where it describes how you may actually know less than they think about your website’s analytics.  

Billions Are Connected

There are billions of Internet users across all continents around the world. I think it comes to no surprise that the number keeps growing by the day. This means that as time goes on, there will be more businesses competing with each other online and more people available who can potentially be your customers.

Many people have come to rely on the Internet as a referential point in making a decision about something.

Think about it. How many times a day do you “Google” something, look something up for a review or attempt to make a decision about a fancy restaurant you’ve never been to without first searching for it online?

Because of the prospective of reaching an extraordinary amount of people online, businesses have vested interest in developing solid marketing strategies that are competitive in nature and produce the desired results

How do businesses produce results?

By learning about what is working in their business and doing more of it while identifying what is not working in order to trash it or tweak it as deemed necessary.

What can you do to figure out if your blogging is working? [Read more...]

But It’s Not Google: It’s Bing

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Bing has been all over the news since Microsoft announced its launch last week.  They’ve also done quite the commercial blitz.  Rumor has it that Microsoft has earmarked more than $80 Million for marketing their new search engine.

As a small business owner or freelancer, why should you care?

That’s a pretty tough question.

Google has made itself hella useful for business.  Since getting your company’s website to show up on the Google search results means more business for you, business owners love Google.  Can getting your website to show up on Bing help your business? [Read more...]

Review: Online Marketing Inside Out

online-marketingSitepoint writers Brandon Eley and Shayne Tilley have written an excellent guide to internet marketing.  Online Marketing Inside Out is a comprehensive guide to the basics of marketing tactics using email, Search Engine Optimization, social media, affiliate marketing, and more.

For beginning online marketers it’s an introduction to the necessary tactics to get the online exposure you’re seeking.  Brandon and Shayne are experienced marketers and those with a strong marketing background will recognize their expertise in the fundamentals of marketing at work here.

As a business owner these concepts are incredibly important to at least be familiar with.  Many business owners make the mistake of pawning their web marketing efforts off on their web guy.  Online Marketing Inside Out helps you understand that web marketing is not an IT function, but a fundamental marketing decision.  The book provides a way to get an overview and start a plan.

For experienced online marketers the book reads like a checklist of important things to remember.  It’s a technical manual that covers the bare bones and allows you to be creative and fill in the rest.  The only thing that I was hoping for was an entire chapter dedicated to viral marketing.  The authors touch on the subject and give some general advice, but choose to approach viral marketing from the standpoint of how content can sometimes go viral.

I highly recommend Online Marketing Inside Out as a reference point for people who want to get started with their online marketing efforts and for experienced marketers who might need a solid checklist to compare their existing campaigns against.

Sparkplugging received a review copy of this resource.

Review: The Savvy Freelancer’s Website Secrets

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This is a review of a low cost special report for freelancers written by our intern, Cory Huff.  Sparkplugging has not been paid to write this review but can earn commissions on sales made through our referral link.

Lexi Rodrigo’s Website Secrets is a great little guide for freelancers.  I spend most of my day consulting with clients about how to improve their online marketing, and the number one problem for small business owners and freelancers is that they are acting on bad information and they don’t have time to figure out on their own what works.

Over 50% of small businesses still do not have a website.  If you know you need a website, or a website upgrade, or are wondering if you need one, but don’t quite know how to get started, Website Secrets has everything you need.

While Website Secrets doesn’t go very deep into any one aspect of web design or marketing, there is no need for a cash strapped freelancer or small business owner to pay for an expensive web developer.  There is no magic bullet, but Lexi shows you how to use tools available for free online to create a site that will explain who you are, what you do, attract customers from the search engines, and do it all in a way that requires no technical skill, only time.

Review: Outright Free Online Bookkeeping Tool

outrightThis is a review of Outright, a free bookkeeping service geared to solo entrepreneurs.  Sparkplugging has not been paid to write this review and will not profit should you decide to use their service.

Our interns, Leigh Anne Wilkes and Sherra Humphreys took Outright for a spin and this is what they have to share with you:

Bookkeeping can be the obstacle that keeps people from jumping in and starting their own business. It’s overwhelming. It’s tedious. It’s not fun.  If a service like Outright.com had been available when we started our homebased businesses, accounting and bookkeeping would not have been such a dreaded task. [Read more...]

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