Data Collection and Audience Measurement


Data Collection and Audience Measurement

One of the things that makes content marketing more scientific than traditional marketing is the fact that it provides a mountain of data. Most of this data can be obtained at low to no cost. Google Analytics is one of the best tracking platforms for your online efforts to find out how well your content attracts traffic. Various other tracking services can help you gauge your performance. Studying this data will help you determine your strengths and weaknesses at content marketing.

Google Analytics

There are many different services that offer audience measurement for websites, but Google Analytics isHands hold tablet PC with graphs by far the most popular and it’s well respected due to its comprehensive detail. Analytics tell you how much traffic you’re getting, where it comes from and how visitors behave on your site. The research is designed for marketers and is divided into free and premium services. The basic free package tells you how many visits your site got in a given day, week or month, along with average session time and bounce rate, which reveals the percentage of visitors who exit the site after viewing one page.

One of the helpful indicators that Google Analytics provides is how users found your websites. Referrers such as search engines, social networks and websites are listed as sources that brought you traffic. You can use this information to share with referrers to let them know they provide you value. Another use of Analytics is finding out which geographic locations bring you the most traffic, which can help you determine if your branding messages need to be more universal or focused on certain regions. The main limitation of Google Analytics is that users can disable cookies in their browsers, which blocks data collection on how they use your site.


You can help improve your conversion rate by analyzing why people leave your site with Crazy Egg heat maps. The software shows you specific locations on web pages that visitors clicked before exiting. A scroll map shows how far visitors scrolled on pages, which helps you determine which parts of pages are most and least effective at holding people’s attention. The Confetti tool within the software helps you learn search terms that were used by people to find your site.

Alexa and Quantcast

Two audience measurement sites that can teach you a lot about web popularity are Alexa and Quantcast. Both sites rank millions of websites, using separate methodologies to measure web traffic. Unlike ComScore and Nielsen, Alexa and Quantcast publish their rankings for the public. You can even use them for free to find out how your website compares with competitors in traffic rankings. If you sign up for either service and paste their code on your web pages you can get much more detailed statistics.

Alexa, owned by Amazon, tells you how your site ranks globally as well as in the United States. If your site gets enough traffic it will tell you other interesting information, such as bounce rate, daily pageviews per visitor, daily time on site and heat maps for gender, education level, browsing location (home, school, work) and visitors by country. It will also tell you the percentage of visits that originated from search engines and the top keywords used from search engines. It will also give your site an SEO score on a 0-100 point scale.

Quantcast is useful for looking at income levels and other demographics of your users. Both sites provide much more information if you subscribe.Take the lead in content marketing by utilizing website Analytics, which will help fine tune your understanding of your audience.

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Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

Ian Conklin - President OTR Web

OTR Web is a Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements

Contact OTR Web.


Branding Strategy Blogs


Branding Strategy Blogs

Plan a Series of Stories

One of the most forward thinking branding strategies is to use a calendar to schedule stories about your brand. These stories will appear as blogs, articles or videos on yourbranding strategy blogging website. You may even consider writing eBooks that are also available in print on demand. Instead of waiting for the media to tell your story, tell your own story with all your new media tools. Remember that storytelling is what sells products these days.

Story Ideas

Writing a story about something you created is much easier than writing one about someone else’s creation. The story does not need to follow many rules other than it needs to be appealing and rewarding to your followers. The stories do not have to take the form of a book or a DVD. The most important thing is that they represent an evolution of your brand with a continuous stream of fresh content. Use your imagination – the key to branding strategies – to shape the stories.

One idea to get the project rolling is to use a calendar as your roadmap. The story does not have to have a beginning, middle and ending or have a certain number of chapters. It can just be a series of announcements or a series of events. The calendar will simply assure that you are doing something regularly to update your brand for online users who are always hungry for fresh content. You might plan an exciting event once per month and create 12 chapters for a yearbook that documents your brand’s evolution for the year. The events can be public parties, seminars, webinars, meetings, interviews or messages about product development.

Newsworthy Stories

Ideally, you want to craft newsworthy stories that can become press releases. Planning a year’s worth of stories, whether they are weekly or monthly, will help keep your brand visible in the media without paying a cent. One way to do that is to be involved with charity or public service events. Television stations and newspapers like to cover such events because they raise their own credibility with the community. You may not be able to come up with twelve news stories for the year, but you can probably come up with three or four and simply build the series of stories around those main events.

Many news stories increasingly come from public relations firms who are hired to promote brands. The PR firm might be hired to help a battered company restore its image through a positive news story. Use the same principle to be your own PR firm and craft stories designed to strengthen your brand’s image. One of the most common branding strategies that gets news coverage is when a research firm conducts an interesting study such as a public opinion poll that calls attention to trends that affect certain brands. News outlets like to documents trends, especially those confirmed by studies that produce approval percentages and other statistics.

Focus on Genuine Events

Planning a series of stories to elevate your brand does not mean fabricating truth or trying to create false impressions. That’s the type of thinking that can backfire and become exposed by critics unless there is obvious artistic intent. The newsworthy stories you create should be legitimate events that become part of your brand’s history. What you are really doing is developing your own documentary. It can be dramatic and entertaining but remember that its purpose is to boost credibility and increase interest in the brand. Be careful not to promise what you cannot deliver. By planning ahead you will not have to worry about where your claims will lead.     

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Ian ConklinIan Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.

For all your Inbound Marketing and Website requirements Contact OTR Web.


Responsive Website: The Happy Medium


Responsive Website: The Happy Medium

Not to long ago you could hear the frustration marketing and IT departments around the globe. If their firm was keeping up with the latest technology then they had as many as 3 websites to keep fresh! Updating content was now 3 completely different processes. The desktop update was old hat and not a problem, then came the task of the mobile site and possibly the tablet site!

As the mobile web developed,  it was quickly discovered that browsing on your mobile device was often a frustrating experience.  You often had to scroll horizontally and vertically. As for content it was generally a skeletal version of the desktop site. Time, money, content and ease of use were all being sacrificed! This would have to change. There was a need and it would need to be satisfied.

Web Developers Respond

With  the advent of new advanced coding languages and web browsers web developers quickly filled this void and and created the happy medium, the responsive website. A site that will adapt to whichever device you happen to be using. Now as a consumer you get the same content on any device. This alone reduces bounce rates. The visitor is no longer frustrated and enjoys ease of use. In today’s online world, if it isn’t easy and convenient, then competitors site will win the day. Convenience and ease of use coupled with engaging content are what keep visitors coming back to your site.

How Does This Apply to You?

By developing a responsive website you can reduce the amount of time you spend on SEO by up to 2/3. This means you will have more time to create quality content to provide to your visitors. These visitors will now be more likely to convert to leads and then to customers. At the same time you will be reducing overhead both in finance and time! Let me say that one more time, increase visitors, the quality of the experience and at the same time reduce maintenance cost in both time and money. In today’s competitive business market saving time and money while increasing quality are the golden eggs we all strive to uncover. A properly built, designed and maintained responsive web site can help streamline your business.

The Silver ‘Re’ Cap: The Happy Medium

  • Reduce time and money spent
  • Increase traffic
  • Reduce bounce rate
  • Increase return visits
  • Decrease maintenance
  • Increase quality with time and money saved

Social Media is a Conversation


Colin is the Social Media and Content Marketing guru at OTR Web Solutions a web development & content marketing company since 2000, with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.


Your Website Delivers a Message … for Better or Worse.


How often have you searched for a product or service, and the sites you have come upon speak about themselves, their history and their great products or services? You, the potential client are then left to determine the “if” or even “how” this particular website can meet your businesses specific needs.

The reality is that many of your website visitors will then “bounce” away because they are looking for a solution to their problem and really do not care about you or your products … unless you can portray that your site can meet their needs. The question then is how can this be accomplished effectively?

  1. Determine your specific market. When I was in the life insurance business (a lifetime ago) I was told that if you throw enough mud against the wall … some of it will stick. I suppose there was/is some merit to the comment but I did not like it then and I do not like it today. To my way of thinking it made more sense to make 10 targeted calls and close them than to make 100 mud-on-the-wall calls and hope to close 1 or 2! If for example my target market is “trucking web designers” then we need to build the web pages to attract and qualify within that specific market and not dilute the message and impact by attempting to appeal to a broader market.
  2. Resolve a need. To accomplish this you must be knowledgeable about the market and the specific needs of that industry. Sticking with the transportation industry as our example, determine the needs and relate a story of how you can resolve that need in a manner that the reader can relate with and to for their business. Some of the example transportation needs:
    1. Driver Recruitment and Retention
    2. Market penetration to pre-determined segments
      1. Regional Carrier
      2. Over The Road Carrier – National
      3. Dry Freight – LTL, TL
      4. Refrigerated Freight – LTL, TL
      5. Bulk Carrier
      6. Household Mover – local, regional long distance
      7. 3PL
      8. Brokerage
      9. Warehousing and Storage
    3. Social Media Campaigns
      1. Facebook
      2. LinkedIn
      3. Twitter
      4. Blog
      5. Social Media Console Manager
  3. Tell Your Story. Once the specific market has been determined and the needs of the industry established then it is time to relate a story of how your company can resolve those needs. A short story with images that are relative to that story creates a memorable image within the readers mind and will bring about the all important next step … contact. Again using our example of “trucking web design” we could write about how a client called concerned that one of their customers had been looking for 3PL services in a particular city and when doing a search their trucking company came up … but not relative to 3PL services. Can you get that corrected  for us so that our trucking company shows for 3PL within this city when a prospective client searches for that phrase? A few weeks later comes back the response … that is fantastic, we are on the first page. How do you do that!? Or you can tell a story about Driver Recruitment and how with the new web pages, blog and Facebook we actually have drivers calling us and posting to our Facebook telling us that they are applying. You guys took the time to find out about us and delivered our message.
  4. If you caught my interest I might want to know more about your products or services features … but my first impression had better be about the benefits you bring to me because that is what is going to capture my interest. It might be relevant somewhere that you have been doing this for over 12 years as that shows me you will probably still be around when I need you again, but only if you can show it as a benefit to me.

Professional web development is a team project. In the same manner as truck drivers by themselves do not form a transport company; a web designer cannot make a website development company. It takes a professional team to build an effective website that works. If you are looking for a team approach to your website development then take the time to contact OTR. We are here to build for you … a website that works.

OTR Web Solutions Inc.