Bottom line up front: Create a new Google Analytics account for every website domain, unless you want to track your Adsense clicks in Analytics.
After attending Affili@SYD 2011 last week, I decided to review all my web properties.
I don’t consider myself an affiliate marketer, I’m more an e-commerce and traffic guy. But I’ve had moments of success over the years.
The first step of the review is to benchmark my properties and get a picture of their current state. Some have been sadly neglected over the years so I’m dusting them off and giving them a lick of TLC. Google Analytics provides some wonderful benchmarking tools for this.
Βest-practice is a one Google Analytics account per domain. Any subdomains can then be set up as a filter or a profile under that account. My old web properties were created with a new profile under my main account.
Analytics profiles cannot be moved between accounts. A separate account for each property lets me sell a property and “unhook” its Analytics without losing all the historical data.
I also want to run Google Adsense on the revitalized domains and track ad effectiveness through Analytics.
Unfortunately Google currently allows only one AdSense account linked to one Analytics account.
So for now it means the smaller properties must reside in my main Analytics account if I want to track Adsense with Analytics as I don’t want multiple Adsense accounts.
Once a property gets traction and significant traffic on it’s own I will then create a new Google Analytics account for it. I’ll disconnect the history and lose the ability to track it’s Adsense data in Analytics, but I’ll be better able to use the reports in Adsense with more traffic.
Flemming Funch at Escape Velocity posted in Ugly sells? and challenged Mark Daoust’s Site-Reference.com post The Surprising Truth About Ugly Websites.
It is not fancy, it is not exactly beautiful.
It’s one of the best-kept online secrets (and worst-kept direct marketing secret). It is possible to be too well designed or professional. Especially if that award winning design eats most of your marketing budget.
Once, before I knew anything about search engines, online marketing, seo (search engine optimization), I let a business friend talk me into closing a website “better no website than an unprofessional website” he advised. This guy was a marketing professional whose clients were all the big end of town. Big mistake many years later I realised it was popular with our customer base and drive enquiries to our sales team.
Another anecdote. I was meeting with a client last Tuesday to finalise a web marketing campaign, One of his marketing team wanted input to the website I am designing for them. Specifically the objection was precisely about the elements I use to get the fantastic results my websites generate in so little time.
What sells online is whatever speaks to the target audience. Banks and finance companies are expected to have slick, modern award winning design.
Online marketing demands function over form. Once the website gets attention, then you can add pretty features. Make sure the function of the website is clear obvious!
I’ve had two interesting meetings in the last week. Both were with other fathers whose kids attend the same school as mine. Both also run online businesses.
They’d heard I’d been in online businesses for years; was in the top 3% of worldwide sellers on eBay (more in a couple of days on that); and knew a thing or two about getting traffic and search engine results.
To compare the two, one was aware he could do better, expected to learn and grow his business over time – essentially in for the long hall. The second guy was scattered over four or five different technologies and business models, chasing the next big thing.
My system suits the first way. And I advised my second friend to be patient.
Both however needed more links to their websites both directly from their friends, but also from relevant, non-competing sites. Reciprocal links (where you link to me and I link to you) are a bit tricky with Google penalizing people who build link farms. Relevance and quality of the linking site is more important that just getting any old links.
So while I am always looking for suitable link partners, I looked at fast alternatives. I found Link Vault a free, text-link advertising network. This is a high-quality ethical way of growing inbound links and getting a share of the web mindspace.
Link Vault has a good reputation for fast lasting results. I’ve already rolled it out on some of the sites I manage and expect to implement it here as well.
quickdraws photo by Cristian Galletti Casalgrande, Italy