Yesterday, we talked about focusing on your customers. I’ll be the first to admit that without intentional effort, it’s easy to begin to drift away from listening closely to them. But in business, this can be a costly mistake – even when times are good and business is strong. In those times, missing out on subtle cues from your customers can cause you to miss the opportunities to serve them that you’re leaving on the table.
In the 21st century, however, we have some amazing new tools for listening to what customers want. If you have a website, for example, you should be able to monitor a variety of statistical information that lends remarkable insight into what your customer base is looking for and, in fact, how close to the mark you’re getting.
For example, which pages on your website are getting visited? Where is the traffic coming from. If your website is strategically set up (in other words, it doesn’t just “look” good), you’ll have different “pages” of content that focus on various product or service offerings. Websites that are set up according to the methods that I use are getting large percentages of their traffic from search engines. This means that traffic coming in to the site is arriving because our content is attracting them to the particular pages they are visiting. By evaluating traffic data to your site, you can see which offerings are doing all that attracting.
Your website statistical information should also tell you exactly someone typed into Google (for example) to cause them to arrive at your site. This helps you in a couple of important ways. First, it tells you if you’re attracting the folks you want to attract. If your website talks about auto repair in Indianapolis, and you’re getting traffic for the Indy 500, then you need to re-evaluate your content (or if better yet: sell ads!). If the search terms line up with what you have to offer, then the second thing those terms are telling you – very specifically – is what your customers are asking for. If you evaluate this data over a meaningful period of time, you can check your product and/or service offerings and see if you should consider doing some repackaging or some new promotions.
What I’m describing in today’s content is really the tip of the iceberg. But, this is the type of strategic information that most companies who have invested in the web have not been trained how to use. I hope you find it useful to you.