Friday, June 15, 2012

Is my online wedding advertising working?

So now you have invested some of your hard earned cash into advertising online for your wedding business.  You are still not quite sure if your investment was worth it but you are anxious to find out.  I always encourage any advertiser on any of our websites to check this information to insure they are getting the value from advertising with us.  You could take a number of approaches to begin to track the return on your investment. We will cover a few of those approaches today. 

What, you are not tracking your investment?  Shame on you!!! It is your money.  Don’t be throwing it away needlessly or “hope that it is working”.  I have personally heard some wedding vendors say “I don’t have time to track my visitors to see where they are coming from”.  But those same vendors had the time to fill out all the forms, do an online profile, and either fill out a check or do a Paypal/Credit Card payment.  If you are not going to check up on your investment, like anything else, you are wasting your money for online advertising.  You need to spend at least 5 minutes a week (and that is all it takes) to see if you are getting what you paid for. 

You could ask your bride how they found out about you?  Of course she is going to tell you “the internet” and have the foggiest idea which web site.  Or you can even put a form on your website to ask that question and I am sure the bride will fill it out (yeah right).  You can even ask your advertising portal (that you paid) to send you statistics (I have some Ocean Front property in Palm Springs to sell you also).  Last but not least, you can not rely on someone else and see for yourself how people are or are not finding your business online.  Today I am going to cover one simple and FREE way to track your visitors.   I will try to hit more ways in future blog posts…which may be converted to Word Press soon BTW.

Let’s not be confused by visitors to your listing and visitors to your website.  One of the sales approaches by some of the big names is them telling you the amount of visitors to your listing.  Visitors to your listing don’t mean diddly if they are not going to your website, where you are really selling your business.   Let’s find out who is coming to your website. 

We'll go to our old friend Google.  They have something called Google Analytics.  It is FREE (my favorite price), easy to install, easy to read for our purpose, and an easy overall way to track your online advertising investment.  Sign up for the Google Analytics account.  Once you have your account established, you will need to place a single line of code into your HTML to track your visitors.  You copy and paste this one line of code in the header of your web page(s).  If you have a webmaster taking care of your site, he should be able to do this for FREE for you or at the most charge you $5.00.  If you have a Word Press web site, there are Plug Ins you can get (for free) that will let you put this code in.  The All In One SEO plug in does this for you.  Once you have the code installed, wait a week or so until Google begins to track some statistics for you. 

After you waited a week, log into your Google Analytics account.  It may appear like information overload, but that is OK.   We can look at all the other tools later.  Right now we are only interested in where our visitors are coming from.  We can get to the rest of the features later.     On the left, you are going to look for the “Traffic Sources” tab where you will get an overview.  Click on Traffic Sources to open it up.  Then click on All Traffic.  You will get a view of where all of your website traffic is coming from.  The search engines may be first but other sites that refer people to you may be in that list also.  Hopefully the site that you paid money to, will be high on that list. 

Next click on the Referrals tab.  Here you will find a list of sites that sent people to your website.   One again, take a look at what sites sent people to your website.  You will also seed how long visitors spent on your site and how many pages of your site they viewed.  There is all kinds of other information that is there, but we can get into all of the other information in a later blog post.    

But there you have it.  A total of 5 minutes spent on who sent visitors to your web site.  I surely hope that the advertising portal you spent money with for your online advertising is sending you visitors and customers.  If so, great and keep checking this as your money was well spent.  If not, it may be time to reconsider just where your advertising dollars are going.    

Until next time…..


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