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Navigating through the maze that’s Online Marketing

February 25, 2015 ark-com

It’s not a nice feeling being lost alone in the New Zealand bush. I first experienced it many years ago when hiking around Mt Tongariro. I had just arrived from the UK and was keen to experience the New Zealand outdoors. I joined the trail at 1pm midway up the ski road, hoping to walk around the mountain in two days.

No map, no compass – just a desire to follow the poles. You guessed it. In about five hours I was lost. And for the first time I experienced that deep-seated panicky feeling – what  had I got myself into? Fortunately, I managed to walk out the next day after a very cold night in my tent. The sound of cars driving up the mountain guided me back to civilisation. It put me off tramping for a long time.

That was until a couple of years ago when I decided to take just me and my mountain bike out to Riverhead Forest just west of Auckland. I had a small scrap of a map and the hope that if all else failed my phone and Google Maps would be my back up.

Fail again – no road signs, no cell phone signal and back to that terrible lost feeling of panic. I was riding up and down deserted forest roads in the late evening hoping to find my way out. A one hour ride took four – I  was so pleased to get back to the car.

Which would make my heading back to Riverhead a second time only last week sound totally crazy. But this time things were different. Now I had swapped a bike for some running shoes – for a slow plodding trail run – but more importantly, the scrappy map was replaced with a Garmin handheld GPS.

I had loaded the Garmin with some New Zealand maps and created my own track. The plan was that it would all guide me and my spaniel for all of the planned 14 kms. I’d designed a trek involving one big loop back to the car. All going well I hoped to experience a panic-free mix of forest road and trail.

I set out from the car park just a bit nervous. I had packed spare batteries for the Garmin. The manual said it would last for 16 hours but to be honest my confidence was not that high. Water was sloshing around by the litre in my pack and there was enough food for a small family gathering. You never know.

 

Well it worked.Path across labyrinth

 

I followed that small Garmin track pointer up and down roads, through gorse-lined paths and even down the occasional mountain bike trail, which had me questioning its thinking. But Mello and I kept going. We crossed rivers, splattered through some mud – yes even in February – and returned to the spot where we’d started. All with just one bar of the battery used and food hardly touched. Success!

Buoyed up, the following week I plotted another trail and headed off exploring again. This time into the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ space that had confused me proper a while back on a mountain bike. Now the triangle was no match for my super satellite technology, and I made it back safe and sound. Technology had tamed the beast.

For the business owner, improving your website’s performance is like navigating my ‘Riverhead maze’. Each month we help business owners who have become “lost” in their web marketing reports. It seems you receive the information but don’t know where to look and what to follow.

I hope none of you have a feeling of dread quite like mine, lost in the bush. But you do mention being frustrated, confused or simply intimidated.

Most of you do what I did after my first experience at Tongariro. You avoid the issue as much as you can. There’s not much to lose when you head out into the bush alone. However if your company is avoiding online marketing while your competitors are lapping up the openings – the strategy comes with  sizable lost opportunities.

Thankfully there is a  ’business Garmin’ you can use to guide you through the online marketing maze.

 

Your guide through the maze? Google Analytics.Google-Analytics2

 

Unfortunately, just like the Garmin GPS I bought, Google Analytics comes with a relatively steep learning curve. To make my Garmin do what I wanted I trawled through numerous how-to’ videos on YouTube. I sent a few support request emails to Garmin. And I created some test “tracks” around my neighbourhood to ensure it worked. All up I probably sank a good 10 hours into the thing before it became useful.

Google Analytics is not as difficult to drive as that but there is still a learning curve. Unfortunately, for some business owners this curve is too steep and they give up. That’s a shame. Persevere, because once properly configured, our Google analytics account will be your true north. It will guide you along the right path to online marketing success.

For instance, it will uncover gems like how much your Google Advertising is really worth compared to what it costs. The pages of your website that perform and those that fail. If your email marketing raises or lowers the engagement of those on your list. Whether the time you spend on social media translates into sales or is just “noise”.

For the business owner, these are bigger problems to solve than “can you get me back to my car before the light fades and my water runs out?” (That is unless you are stuck in the New Zealand bush at 8pm with the light fading, no food or water and no idea where you are!)

Call us today to learn how to make sure your business marketing doesn’t get that desperate. We help business owners like you navigate to their own online marketing success using Google Analytics.

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