Internet Development
The Bigger Picture: Existing Sites and eMarketing
You’ve built your new Internet site, had your launch party, paid for search engine
inclusion and you’re now looking forward to reaping the rewards of your efforts.
However, now is not the time to put your feet up and relax – your journey into the
mysterious world of the Internet has only just begun. One of your first hesitant steps
should be to maximise your visibility on search engines…
As discussed in the previously search engine visibility is influenced by a number of
factors including: tags within the page itself, the content of the page, paid V free search
engine submission, hits from other sites, keeping the site fresh etc. However, search
engine visibility itself is often greatly over-valued. A site could feasibly attract vast
numbers of hits and yet deliver little revenue increase.
From the outset it is wise to remember that the site is part of an overall marketing mix.
Traditional marketing methods should be used to direct the right type of visitor to the
site. Having attracted the right type of visitor the focus should be to convert leads to
sales as rapidly as possible, as well as to get customers to return and purchase again.
This means having effective back office processes in place to action leads and a
genuine commitment to customer service excellence.
Measuring Success
As a manager one of your first priorities should be to ensure that you have information to
answer some of your questions. Where are your visitors going / how do they behave /
how are they finding the site? What do they like? What are they ignoring? What annoys
them? Who are they?
Perhaps the most common solution is to look to your site’s web logs for inspiration. It is
true that it is possible to spend a great deal of time and money analysing web logs. It is
not true that web logs record an accurate picture of what is happening. Do you really
want to base business decisions based on a partial or distorted view of reality? If you do
then go ahead and start what will be a long process of deriving non-meaning from what
can be a vast volume of data.
What’s wrong with web logs? Without getting too technical – plenty. If you adjust your
browser settings to never refresh, or access via an ISP that dynamically assigns IP
addresses, or press F5 to refresh, or use a strict personal firewall, or browse via a proxy
server with caching enabled, or disable cookies you are helping to corrupt web logs.
There are a host of technical reasons to explain why web logs consistently fail to log
web activity. Remember: there are lies, dammed lies and web logs.
© Neuro Innovation 2004
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