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Metrics Posts

About this category:

Data is crucial for any business and especially important for online businesses where technology makes it simple to collect a tremendous amount of actionable data. This category consists of posts that help you capture and use this all the valuable metrics you’re collecting.


How to Run Giveaways and Sweepstakes for Fun & Profit

Credit: anieto2k

Credit: anieto2k

For a few months, I ran a small site called Giveaway Jungle that featured one giveaway a day worth at least $100. I started it because I wanted to discover how all of these mommy bloggers had extraordinary social media metrics. Blogs that seemed to have modest readership statistics, based entirely on comment counts and Compete metrics (both of which are not accurate measures), had 10,000-15,000 likes on their Facebook page. Some would have enormous Twitter followings and their Pinterest counts would be through the roof.

I was baffled.

How were they doing it?

How were these sites getting tens of thousands of likes on Facebook?

The answer: Giveaways and sweepstakes.

With just one $100 cash giveaway, Giveaway Jungle jumped to a thousand likes on Facebook, seven hundred followers on Twitter, and a thousand subscribers to the email newsletter. (current counts are slightly higher because I ran a second giveaway)

In this post, I discuss everything you need to run an effective giveaway that will boost your social media stats and email subscriber counts, whether you should be doing this, plus everything else I learned in running a handful of my own giveaways.

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Obey This One Weird Rule to Lower Bounce Rates

Earlier this week, we discussed the importance of bounce rates. At the end, I teased at how I lowered this site’s bounce rates.

Before we get into the code I used, I want to stress the importance of lowering bounce rates by creating content your visitors want to read. Your statistics are only as valuable as the story they tell and with this coding tweak, any visit beyond 15 seconds won’t be considered a bounce. I only want my analytics to record a bad bounce, which is a visit of under 15 seconds, and let the good bounces go. If that gels with your understanding of your readership, it’s safe to do the same.

Let’s get into how we lower your bounce rates:

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How Important Are Bounce Rates?

Statistics and analytics are usually pretty dry subjects but if you want to get some bloggers fired up, ask them about bounce rates.

The most controversial statistic in Analytics, and any stats package, is that of the bounce rate. It has garnered a lot of attention because of it’s potential impact in search engine rankings. I remember when everyone started paying much closer to this metric and sharing ways to bring it down, since a high bounce rate was considered bad, and I wasn’t entirely convinced a high bounce rate was always terrible. Nor did I agree on where to draw the line for “high.”

Bargaineering had a very high bounce rate – around 80%. 80% of visitors were seeing just a single page and leaving. On the surface, that sounds horrible right? Just one page per visit! Except the average time on site was over two minutes. My assumption was that they were reading an article for two minutes, getting what they wanted, and then leaving. You could make the assumption that they were loading up the page, coming back two minutes later, seeing it was crap and hitting back. Unless you’re sitting over their shoulder, you can’t know for sure.

So, not all bounces are created equal and until they get a metric called “Visitor Got What They Wanted,” it’ll have to do as our statistical canary in the coal mine.

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How to Exclude Your Visits in Google Analytics

Who doesn’t love stats?

Understanding your site’s metrics is important in the growth of your blog. It’s good to know where people are coming from, what they’re reading, and what is resonating. What’s challenging about a smaller blog is that it doesn’t have a ton of traffic and your own visits to the site can skew the metrics.

When you’re first starting out, you’ll be loading your website up a lot. You record a pageview when you check post previews or when you check that a plugin is working. You make a tweak to your theme and design and you’ll load it up again. Those frequent visits can skew your statistics and make your analytics less valuable.

The simple solution is to exclude yourself, here’s how:

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How to Stop Compulsively Checking Stats

Google Analytics StatisticsDo you check your site’s statistics all the time? You open up Google Analytics or Sitemeter or Statcounter to check your impressions and uniques. You fire up Commission Junction or Google Adsense or whatever affiliate company you’re working with to see if you got any new revenue coming in. And then five minutes later you fire them up again.

You’re not alone.

I used to do the same thing. (OK, I still do it a little – I just check different things and fewer of them!)

It’s a thrill seeing your Adsense clicks go up and the money increase. It’s fun seeing another sale or commission hit the dashboard. It’s a rush! We all know the extra click in Adsense was worth just a few cents (or maybe a buck, if it was on an ad for mesothelioma!) but it’s the thrill that matters, not the money.

So how do you stop?

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