I had a call with a prospect this afternoon and got the usual horror story that their current web company has had complete control of their online business data, what I mean by that, is their Google Analytics, Google Adwords and Email Newsletter Statistics, this can also extend to your social media accounts as well amongst many other types of data being gathered.

The real problem here though is that this company is no longer around, so there is no one to call or at least no-one that is answering.

It is vital that you have complete control over this information especially in today’s online world and here is why I think that.

Google Analytics

This information varies and can be vast, but it’s more about the questions you ask which can be as simple as:

How many people visited my site yesterday?

to more detail like:

How many people visited my site yesterday from the UK, that spent more than 1 minute on my site, looked at more than 2 pages and what page did they exit the site from?

or even questions like:

How many people on a mobile phone visited my website from Facebook?

Some of these are examples of the more simpler question types that can be answered, but they can still be very powerful answers that help you to make a good solid and informed decision when it comes to your business.

Google Adwords

The main problem I’ve found with business owners is that internally you’ve probably asked and answered questions like this before, however you just don’t make the connection or even know the data is there to be queried, so for example you may have asked and answered this before:

How many calls did we make to “insert city here” that then converted into a sale?

An equivalent in Google Adwords could be something along the lines of:

How many people clicked on our ad and then went to our contact page/bought a product online from us?

Put that into traditional advertising and it turns into:

How many people called us from the advert we put in the “insert magazine or paper here” and then bought from us?

The difference is that in the middle scenario we can tell you how long on average people spent on the site, if they looked at other pages and if so how many, as well as what page they left the site, that’s just to name a few pieces of additional data that you don’t get from a magazine ad, so it’s very powerful to help gauge your customers.

Email Newsletters

Now take a newsletter scenario that I discussed today with the prospect to help them understand the potential of having access to the old newsletter statistics.

With the company not having access they couldn’t tell who opened the emails, who clicked through to the website, if tied into Google Analytics we can even tell from that how many people potentially went to other related pages on the website.

This would let them know if their email newsletters are even worth spending the time on or if they should change them to see if they can get a better and more profitable reaction/ response.

So what can you do about it?

So here is the scary part, if another company has control over your business data like this and you then decide to leave that company to go to a different one, you could lose all of that data.

Taking into consideration that most companies change their website every 2-3 years, which usually results in a change in company as well (especially with tendering) then you’re losing all that valuable information. Think of these types of simple questions:

Is the new site performing better than the old one and what indicators do we need to measure that?

The old data can also help the new company figure out what might not be working and help you to change direction to a more successful approach, who wouldn’t want to know that??

So if you don’t have control of your business data, take control by requesting the account to be transferred to you.

However unfortunately most cases the other company may have likely set it up in a way that it is tied to their own system/account, so you might not be able to get full control of the data, but they can usually give you some form of admin/access.

I would then recommend looking at setting up new accounts that you completely control from that point on to use. So now you still have access to legacy data, but from that point on you will have control of your own online business data to find out what ever you need to, when you need it.

This type of control is only going to become more important as the internet evolves, so don’t wait, act now before you find out, like my prospect today, that it’s too late, the data has gone or that you can’t get access.

If you’re unsure just get in touch, I’ll be more than happy to point you in the right direction to help protect your online business data.

 

Alan Fair

Contact Online Ltd

Direct Line: 0141 250 7030

Photo credit: Lendingmemo

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