Since everyone has been practicing good Internet connections via the 7 Internet personal stamps each day, we know we exist, but how do we know others know we exist?
There a lot of different ways to track unique visits and link clicks from various different places. A visit is anyone who “stops” at a site on the Internet, stays a moment and then leaves. Your log analyzer takes into account the IP address and figures out if the hit came from the same IP address. If it happens over a short period of time, the analyzer “assumes” its the same person. When there is no activity for a while, the analyzer “assumes” the user has left. This then becomes the “click out page”.
And this is different from a unique visitor in the sense that it is one unique visitor that makes several visits to a website….I lost Bob at bitly….
Okay. The bottom line is how do you know your efforts on the Internet are effective? The answer is two-fold. The first one being “presence marketing” and anything you do on the Internet is just that. A tweet. A Facebook status. Uploading a pin to Pinterest. Sending an email to a yahoo group with your signature line that has live hyperlinks to your website, blog, etc. is all presence marketing to increase discoverability. But how do we know that people are actually clicking on those links once they have found us?
One thing you can use is something called bitly (http://bitly.com). Its very easy to use. So easy, that Tweetdeck does it automatically for you if you tell it to, but that doesn’t give you access to the information. So, I suggest you use bitly yourself. Its easy, just copy the url you want to shorten, then put it in the big blue box on the bitly homepage and bam, you’ve got a shortened URL you can track.
I made a couple of links this week for us to use. On Tuesday we had 127 clicks through 5 bitly links I created. However, here is the negative. If I click on the link, then I’m counted as unique visitor/click, so don’t click on your own links other than to check to make sure they work.
I can hear Bob asking “but what does this tell me? What does it mean?” He always wants to what the numbers mean. Number of sales to dollar amount is easy, but what do the clicks in and out mean? To answer his question it means that two links were clicked on regularly on the Write It Forward blog on Tuesday that directed people to the free eBooks on Amazon. Did they download? I don’t know. I just know how many times the link was used in a 5-hour time frame. But if they took the time to click on the link, they might have been more invested in the possibility of the one click free purchase.
This is where you have to have a plan for these shortened URL’s and as we’ve learned, use them sparingly and with specific purpose. Go crazy, creating a million different bitly’s without having a plan will just give you a headache, trust me on this. I think I gave Bob one yesterday.
Here is one good example for Bitly. We are putting the bitly links as hyperlinks in the end matter of our books. What will this tell us? Do our readers actually click on our buy links when finishing the book? If they don’t, will we stop putting them in there? No. Why? Back to presence marketing. Its all circular and organic, but by using Bitly I can see what is happening and perhaps make a plan on how to improve possible click throughs.
This is just one of many tools you can use to measure certain things you do on the Internet. Its good practice to use some of the tools, but don’t get too caught up in the analytics of all of it. Remember, everything you do increases your discoverability quotient, and that really is the purpose more than anything else because if your readers can’t find you, you don’t exist.