Who are these people? This is a question every artist website owner asks, as the number of hits grows. Let us try to look into how Google can help.
Most web services offer rudimentary hit or page counts. But there are many more statistics about your visitors beyond counts. Google has tackled this issue head on, and provides a free but very sophisticated tool called Google Analytics.
You might wonder why Google provides this for free. By helping their clients know how to improve their site, Google knows their paying advertisers will increase their advertising spend. So Google Analytics tries to provide everything you need.
Google Analytics is easy to install. All you have to do is sign up and paste some code on your website. Some artist website services such as our site, MyArtClub.Com make this an easy one step thing to do.
Analyzing site traffic is a great way to see what your visitor is doing on your website. You get to follow what your customers are doing online. You win by learning from them, and adapting your website to take maximum advantage.
This article will not describe each feature and how to use it. Google does a good job of course on their resources pages. See the brief product tour for an overview
Here are couple of good overviews written for artists of the basics of Google Analytics related to marketing art Marketing Art Online: Using Google Analytics
and Why all online artists and art bloggers should use Google Analytics
Cutting to the chase, here is how you can use this powerful tool to augment results for each of the three main goals of an artists websites: to show, connect and sell. (Click here for a discussion on these goals)
Showing your art - Google Analytics helps here to:
Know your customer. You can count your traffic, break it down by geography, and where the traffic came from.
Action: Based on where it is coming from, or what search terms attracted the traffic, you are encouraged to do more of what worked, less of what did not.
Judge your content. Take a look at this artists report in the illustration below, it shows percentages of who clicked where on the page. Interestingly, the first and last positions have higher numbers of clicks.
Action: Experiment with moving art pieces around to see if traffic moves with the piece or with the positioning. This is useful, as it shows which art attracted most interest. Can you add more art like the ones of most interest?
Connect to your customer - Google Analytics helps here to:
Measure the results of your promotions. When you invite your mailing list to view your latest works, or send out a newsletter, you can see how the number of visitors is affected over the next few hours and days.
Action: Experiment with tracking the effect on your traffic of different types of promotions, such as emails or newspaper articles, or mail pieces, even handing out flyers at an Art in the Park event. Follow these events to see what creates more traffic.
Sell to your customer- Google Analytics helps here to:
Measure the sales you get. When clients visit your site see how many enter the sales process pages. How many complete that process? Were there steps on the process where more exited the sales process than on other pages? How might you adjust the ordering pages?
Action: Experiment with different types of sales pages or page content, such as varying the sales story, trying special offers, etc. Your goal is to see what works better, and keep improving and tweaking your sales approach.
Measures of traffic and attention mean nothing. You want to meaningfully expand your audience and build their trust.
Audience: Just measuring Google page view counts and traffic increases does not mean you are developing an audience or growth in the community that you wish to serve. Measure growth in your mailing lists, or interactions from your audience (interactions like comments on blogs, emails to you, etc) to show progress with your art marketing.
Trust: Just measuring attention your website gets in traffic and time spent, does not mean you are building trust. It is trust that truly defines the digital connection you have with your audience. Building online trust takes a lot of time. Be authentic and deliver value consistently to your audience to build trust.
The bottom line:
What then exactly is the value of Google Analytics to artists?!?!
Answer - a general indication of your marketing efforts, and a way to identify potential changes to make.
Try the actions suggested above, prioritized depending on your artist website goals. Take an interest in learning more about your customers by following their activities on your site, you may be in for some surprises!
Set up your Google Analytics, wait a week, and see what your biggest "ah-ha" may be. What did you find?