Monday, March 21, 2011

How Authors Can Use Analytics - Marketing Mondays

Guest Post by Nicole Rodgers:

Analytics provide tools to help writers maneuver the waters of public relations. Developing an understanding of analytics and putting that knowledge to work can help you with your author platform.

Understanding How Analytics Helps With Platform Building

Analytics will:

Come from information gathered by software on your website that tracks what your visitors do while on your website and even where they come from when getting to your website.
Provide you with feedback for the level of success content has in attracting visitors and even in making sales.

Give you information about trends on your site so that you can then make the most of those patterns with content creation and release timing.

Help you view the growth of your platform which can make it easier to sell your writing or approach publishers and agents.

Choosing the Right Analytics Software

1.    Know your budget. There are a number of different analytics programs that are available at no charge. These can be the perfect place to begin understanding the numbers games.

2.     Make a list of what you want to track. Not all analytics software is created equal. Some of them will only show you the number of page visits and other basic information. Others will show where you visitors come from and where they click when they leave. 
    Keep in mind that as you learn more about analytics your needs may change. Keep that in mind when considering signing up with a program that requires a financial investment.

3.    Realize your limitations. Some software will have a higher learning curve than others. Think about the time that will have to be invested to learn the software when weighing the different analytic programs.

Using Analytics as an Author

The term writer platform has become a common phrase in the industry. Authors need to be seen and known in order to sell their products. A platform is any reason that people would know the name or the face of the author.

Analytics provide a measuring stick for how many people recognize the author online. Knowing the number of unique visitors gives you a negotiation tool when approaching stores, publishers or editors.

·         Knowing the keywords that draw visitors to your site can guide the content that you create in the future.
·         Understanding the way your visitors click around your site can help you create a website that is easier for them to use.
·         Seeing the path that brings visitors to your content can help you create relationships with other websites in your niche.
·         Learning the timing of visitors can help you discover the optimum time for releasing new content or new products.
·         Being able to determine which topics receive the most traffic can help you use linking techniques to draw visitors to more places on your website through those articles.

Building a presence on the internet – just like in real life – requires understanding the traffic flow of potential visitors. Measuring the way visitors interact with your website can give you the information needed to chart the flow of your visitors. 

Analytics programs provide you with the tools to gather the information you need.

There are a wide range of programs available that can help you maneuver through the streams of information. Understanding analytics, finding the right program and putting them to work for your advancement as an author will help you immensely.

Nicole Rodgers has been blogging about the tech industry for 3 years.  She blogs about a variety of topics ranging from using a heat map for sites to ways to create a budget for your business plans. 


Rogue Mutt said...

You probably have to have traffic going to your website first, right? D'OH!

Jamaica Golf said...

Thanks. Good article. I want to print it out to read again.

K.M. Weiland said...

This is one of the most straightforward and helpful posts I've read on analytics. This is a subject I've put a good amount of time into studying - and my eyes still like to cross at all the information available out there. Thanks for sharing!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

So much I don't know!

Talli Roland said...

I'm with Alex. Eep! Thank goodness for people who do know these things and blog about them!

Sierra Gardner said...

I'm a complete tech idiot so I finally found a friend that could introduce me to some basic analytics. It's amazing how much information you can get and how helpful it can be!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wow. I had no idea. Thanks, Raquel! :-)

Donna Hole said...

I don't know about any of this. Sounds like work. Guess that's why I'm not self published - too much work :)


Clarissa Draper said...

My husband often feels I should use these programs but I put him off. Now I'm going to take a look at them.

Vicki Rocho said...

You mean the analytics software is supposed to be USEFUL? I've just been using it as entertainment. The search terms people use to find me boggle the mind.

Arlee Bird said...

Good post, Nicole. I only have the free Google Analytics. I used to look at it daily and it did help establish some trends, but I never really studied it in enough depth to gain much sense from it. Maybe someday I'll take the time to do the research to learn more about what it all means.

Raquel, I like the page you set up for the Linky list.

Tossing It Out
Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

Raquel Byrnes said...

So glad it was helpful for you guys. I learned a lot from Nicole's post. For instance, a large portion of comments come from people that linked over from Twitter...who woulda thunk it? =)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Thanks for the information. I have a program, but don't understand much except the number of visitors I get and where they originate.

Thanks also for visiting my blog and becoming a Follower. I'm returning the favor. :)