You may be reading a lot about analytics lately, but it can be tricky to understand. Having ample data won’t help if the analytical sources aren’t utilized effectively for improvements and strategy. We’ve got the breakdown of what analytics are and how you should utilize them for your business website to improve user experience and customer conversion too.

What Are Analytics?

In short, analytics are the compilation of data. When it comes to your website, there is what seems like an infinite amount of data to be processed. Everything from how traffic is referred to your site, how a user accesses it (mobile v desktop), which pages they visit, how long they stay on each page, which links are clicked…the list seems to go on forever!

Why Is That Important?

While the amount of information that analytics provides can feel overwhelming, it really is valuable. Why? Because knowing how to interpret the data can provide you with actionable areas to be addressed. Understanding how your site is being used and viewed gives clear direction for how to make changes and improvements.

How Can That Information Be Used?

Analytics can and should be used to develop a marketing strategy as well as improve and change your website. Knowing how, when, where, and more about how visitors interact with your site is invaluable! For example, if 80% of your site visitors are viewing on a mobile device – and your website is not mobile optimized – you could be losing visitors before they even get into the site! If the majority of the traffic to your site is coming from Facebook but not Instagram posts, then putting more emphasis on engagement on one platform may be a smart idea. If a page has a high bounce rate, an evaluation can be done to find out why customers are leaving so quickly.

Hammersmith Support Can Help

If this all sounds a little overwhelming, Hammersmith Support has you covered. Our maintenance packages include enrolling in Google Analytics and our monthly emails to you will offer suggestions for improvements (that we can make!) based on those reports. Schedule your complimentary 30-minute consultation today and let’s talk through your site needs.

At Hammersmith Support, website maintenance is one of our core services. We know that you can build a beautiful and responsive website, but if that site isn’t maintained, it can cause major headaches and be expensive to fix if issues occur. We have five maintenance tips to keep your website running smoothly, and five additional tips in our download in the link below.

Check Credentials

Be sure that all of your contact information on the site platform is correct. Missed renewal emails can spell disaster with loss of security – or even your domain. Regularly check that emails, contact information, and credit card information, including the expiration date, are current.

Update

While it may seem obvious, it is very easy to miss or ignore the need for updates. In addition, it’s important to pay close attention to what you are updating. Plugins, platform, themes, and PHP are all separate areas that need to be updated regularly. Don’t risk the site crashing due to trying to catch up on too many updates – be consistent.

Security

Maintain the integrity of your site, as well as your place in Google search rankings, with a valid security certificate: Security Sockets Layer (SSL). If your domain doesn’t have an “s” after “http” or if it has a broken padlock in the address bar, then your site isn’t secure. Ensure your customers’ information stays safe with a current security certificate. Browsers will check for the SSL automatically and will alert you if it’s not present on the site you’re visiting. A current security certificate will also avoid downtime from the chaos a hacker can cause.

Content Updates

Updated content is not only good for customers, it’s great for SEO as well. Google Ranking Factors look for not only fresh content but also the magnitude of the content update to evaluate. Check your site’s information and make changes and additions, including images too (don’t forget to complete the image information!). Consider starting a business blog to share more detailed information as well.

Enroll in Google Search Console

See your site the way Google sees your site by using Google Search Console. This free and valuable tool will let you know if any parts of your site need work. This can include areas that are not visible on mobile, a page that can’t be indexed, broken links, lack of accessibility, or missing pages. Google Search Console is fantastic for maximizing your SEO and ensuring that your site is functioning.

Want More?

These tips are just the beginning! Click to download our “10 Tips for Website Maintenance to Keep Your Site Running Smoothly” to get five additional ways to maintain your website.

Hammersmith Support is Here to Help

If this sounds like another task on your list that you don’t have time for, don’t worry, we can help! Our monthly maintenance packages cover all of this – and more! Schedule your complimentary 30-minute consultation today and let’s talk through your business needs and find the perfect package for you. 

Lisa Finn, Support Specialist
Lisa Finn, Support Specialist

We’re certain you’ve read all about our Hammersmith Support maintenance packages by now, but are you still curious about exactly how the process works? We asked our own Lisa Finn to break down how she and her team maintain our clients’ sites each month, the reporting provided after maintenance, and what she says every client should do with the information she sends them.

Step 1: Enroll

The first step for every new maintenance client is to enroll the site in Google Search Console and review the Google Analytics account (or add this tracking if it’s not on the site already). Google Search Console allows users to see how search engines are crawling the site and flags anything that requires attention, including flagging broken pages (404 errors), pages that Google isn’t able to index, and other issues as well. Google Search Console also enables users to submit their sitemap, which is especially important when new content is added or outdated pages are updated or removed. Google Analytics provides valuable feedback such as:

  • where site traffic is originating
  • how users are viewing the site (mobile or desktop)
  • when they are visiting
  • what pages they view the most and for how long
  • how quickly they are leaving the site (bounce rate)

Step 2: Update

Before beginning any updates, a backup of the site is made. This is done to protect the integrity of the site should anything “break” during the update process. Next, the site is updated one area at a time and continually checked after each section is complete to ensure that the update was completed and that nothing unexpected occurred. The updated areas include plugins, plugin licenses, the WordPress platform, theme, and PHP – the language the language on which the site is built – as well. Updates are vital for the security of the site. Out-of-date plugins and versions of WordPress can leave security holes unpatched.

Step 3: Test

After the updates are complete, the team tests the site. Each area that was updated is examined and checked. In addition, we test site forms. Everything from contact forms, to sign-ups, and links are reviewed. While sending a test through the signup forms may sound like overkill, it really is a vital part of the process. Email servers may update their spam filters without notice. These spam updates could then block or send to your spam folder a legitimate website submission. Consistent checking and testing can avoid missed site submissions and broken forms/site feeds as well (Instagram feeds, real estate listing feeds, etc.).

Step 4: Report

Once all of the maintenance steps are completed, the client is sent an email with an easy-to-digest summary of the work completed. This includes a request for confirmation that the client received a test email from their website and the Google Analytics report. The email will also include notes with suggestions for minor updates and changes to keep the site healthy over time.

Key Take-Aways

While Hammersmith Support maintenance is convenient and hassle-free for our clients, there are two things we ask of our clients each month. First, be sure to confirm that you received the test email submission. While we can test the form, only the client can confirm that the email was received. Second, read our brief summary of work. Many months the report will be purely informational, but often we call out issues or changes that need to be made to improve the site or address issues.

Get Started

Ready to get started? Set up a complimentary 30-minute meeting and let’s talk about your business website needs. In addition to monthly maintenance, Hammersmith Support also provides website redesigns and rebuilds too.

For many businesses, search engine optimization is the name of the game. Having a more favorable rank on a search engine results page – SERP – means more visitors to your website. While we’ve shared a lot of ways to improve your site’s SEO on any platform, we want to highlight how the WordPress platform can make SEO easy for your site.

Image Optimization

WordPress offers users the ability to complete the image information for each image. Being able to publish images with alt text, descriptions, and titles gives web crawlers more content to evaluate, as well as a description that makes deciphering the image easier.

Blog Categories and Tags

In the same vein as image optimization, being able to categorize each post along with additional tags is great for site evaluation. Quickly and easily digestible information is key – for search engines as well as readers too.

Header Options

In addition to categories and tags, WordPress also offers several heading and subheading options for all of your pages. Not only are headings great for visually breaking up content and calling out important information, but the formatting also makes it easier for web crawlers to evaluate your site.

Pretty Permalinks

Permalinks are the URLs for pages and posts on your site. WordPress provides an easy way to customize these so they are readable. This allows for keywords to be added to your links and can also improve your click-through rate.

Paginate

When it comes to comments, too many can also be an issue – even the legitimate ones. The reason is that they can cause pages to load slowly. Pagination allows the blog creator to divide comments on other pages so that they load more quickly.

Plugin Options

We really love a good plugin! WordPress offers a plethora of these bite-sized bits of code. This includes great SEO options for blog posts like Yoast and SmartCrawl. These plugins allow the user to add additional information like metadata to posts, as well as evaluating posts for better SEO.

“No Follow” Link Option

Links are great for SEO, but search engines will pass a small bit of your site’s authority to the other website when you link to an external website. You can opt-out of having a search engine follow the link when setting it up.

Thinking It Might Be Time to Switch Platforms?

Or not even sure where to start? Hammersmith Support has you covered! We’re here to answer your questions about your business website and talk through any challenges and possible solutions too. Schedule your complimentary 30-minute consultation, and let’s talk through your questions.