(706) 576-4702 Get A Quote Client Help

Analytics Archives - Vroooom Technology

4 Tips for Launching a New Website

By | Website Tips | No Comments

The launching of a new website can be a difficult and challenging experience for those who have never done it before. Inexperience and technical knowledge both play parts in this, and although the process is easy to learn, it may take some practice to get comfortable with it. We are going to offer some suggestions for those are who have yet to launch their first website. These are general tips for a wide variety of topics, but all of them will make the launching process much easier.

# 1 Install Analytics

It’s important to know how many visitors your website is receiving, so you can make changes to your site if no traffic comes. Tracking your visitors is a vital part of the marketing process, and should definitely not be left out. We recommend Google Analytics for beginners, as it is free and very easy to setup on your website. For advanced users with more technical knowledge, you may want to look at Piwik as an alternative. It’s very similar to Google Analytics, but offers a different perspective on things.

The Google Analytics Dashboard

The code for your tracking script needs to be placed on every page of your website. If the website is a static HTML site, then you’ll need to copy and paste the code to every page. If you use another language to code in, such as PHP, you can use includes to make a single template file (for example, footer.php) which will contain the tracking code. This file will then be included to every page of your site, making the process much easier.

#2 Sign up for Webmaster Tools

All three of the major search engines have a service that you can sign up for that monitors data about your website, and then lets you view it. Google’s and Bing’s are the best of the bunch, but we recommend using Yahoo’s too for the best results. Since the data you feed to these Webmaster centers will feed directly to the search engines, it’s highly recommended you do this. Create a sitemap.xml for your site and submit to these Webmaster centers to help the search engines crawl your site.

The Google Webmaster Tools Dashboard

Be warned though, the reporting tools inside these Webmaster centers are not always perfect; in fact, most of the time we find they are way off. Keyword and traffic data always seems skewed to us, so you should use other tools for these areas. The Webmaster Tools also offer crawl rate, spidering, and indexation reporting, which is usually more solid than the keyword and traffic reports, although it may not be completely accurate. They do however keep rolling out new features for the tools, and overtime, it seems the reporting has gotten slightly more accurate.

#3 Setup a Newsletter

After launching your site, include a newsletter signup box so that visitors interested in further updates and news can receive them. Email marketing is also an extremely valuable tool, if used correctly. It’s even better if you have a list of friends or clients that you can already use to email about your newly launched website. Be honest and polite in your email and ask for feedback about the website. It’s a good idea to say you will return the favor too, as this may get more people interested. Make sure to use Carbon Copies (CC) so everyone on the email list doesn’t see the email of everyone else on the email.

A Newsletter Signup Form

This will allow you to stay in contact with visitors to your site via email.

If you notice people aren’t signing up for your newsletter, you may want to offer an incentive to do so. This creates some trust between you and your website visitors, and makes you look knowledgeable about the subject your website on. Some things you could create to give away are e-books, videos, whitepapers, or any other content that is exclusive to your website.

#4 Signup Your Brand on Social Media Sites

Every year, social media becomes a more powerful and popular way for businesses to communicate with their customers. Every business in this day and age should be utilizing social media marketing, no matter what industry they are in. There are a couple of sites that you should, at minimum, have an account on. These are:

There are other sites we recommend, although these won’t be suitable for everyone. We say you should still go through and find out which ones are relevant to your business and industry. These sites are:

Take the time to fill out all the information fields when you signup for these sites. This makes your business easier to find. Change up the information slightly for every profile, and don’t just copy and paste the same information to each one. The descriptions and bios should be unique for each site, tailoring to the specific needs of users on that specific site. Empty social accounts are no fun and do virtually nothing, but an active account can create traffic, customers, and a ton of value for you if done correctly.

Piwik VS Google Analytics: A Battle of Website Statistic Software

By | Website Reviews, Website Tips, Website Tools | No Comments

A Battle of Website Statistic Software: Piwik VS Google Analytics

Recently we’ve came to the attention of a new (new to us anyway) website stats software by the name of Piwik. On the homepage of their site, Piwik claims it aims to be an “open source alternative to Google Analytics.” We currently use Google Analytics on our websites, so we were eager to give Piwik a try to see the differences of the two.

One of the biggest gripes to me with Google Analytics is the fact that once you add your site to the system, Google then has all your data available to them. While this isn’t a big deal to some people, I’m not too comfortable with Google knowing about all the sites I own, how many visitors they received, and the exact search terms visitors are searching to get there.

On the other hand, Google Analytics is extremely easy to install on a website. It takes very little time, and very little coding knowledge. You simply enter in your site information and paste a little snippet of code into your pages. After that you sit back and the visits start registering. All the stats and graphs within Google Analytics are also extremely professional and clean looking, and they aren’t hard to read at all.

Piwik itself had a very easy install, simple upload the files to your site and go through their easy installer (literally 5 minutes at the most!). On the first look, the dashboard layout is very similar to Google Analytics. The charts and features look a little more basic compared to Google Analytics, but they are still very easy to read and ultimately look neat. After using it for a while, Piwik seems to actually register data more accurate than Google Analytics does.

Piwk's Dashboard

Piwk's Website Analytics Dashboard

Anything that is in Google Analytics can pretty much be found within Piwik. Another plus side is that when you install Piwik on your server, every last bit of data is yours and yours only. But that also means that if your server goes down, so does your stats and your stat tracking. Google Analytics has the plus side of being hosted on Google’s servers, which have a very, very tiny amount of downtime, if any at all.

Piwik runs using PHP and MySQL, so a little knowledge of those languages may be needed, although definitely not required. I was able to set up Piwik without seeing a bit of PHP or MySQL coding at all. Knowing PHP or MySQL is really only required if you would like to make your own custom edits to the software. As far as setting up the tracking code, it just takes a tiny bit of HTML to input on the page you wish to track stats for.

Google Analytics Dashboard

Google Analytics Website Stats

Overall, I think Piwik can definitely be a contender in the web analytics world. It may take some more time for it to reach that point, although Piwik seems to have a much larger amount of support overseas. It may be a great alternative for Non-Profits and larger corporations that sometimes only use open-source, free software, even though Google Analytics is free.

It also may be a good alternative to those paying big bucks for web tracking analytics such as Omniture.

We plan to keep working with Piwik over the coming months to see which we prefer. We may even find a use for Piwik on some sites and Google Analytics on others. If you think you may enjoy using Piwik, definitely give it a go. You can always install it without messing up your Google Analytics stats if you ever decide to switch back.