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Screenshot example of Monthly Google Analytic Report

How to Read your Monthly Analytic Report about your Website Traffic

If I am the person you call to make changes on your website, you might have noticed a new report in your email the past few months. The report is sent the first week of each month. We now send out monthly reports about your website traffic. Look for an email with the subject: “(Your store name) Website Report”. If you can’t find one you might also try looking in your spam folder or search for “From” noreply-analytics@google.com. Attached to this email you should find an attached .pdf file: “Analytics All Web Site Data (your store name) Website Report (beginning and end dates).pdf”. If you can’t find this report and would like to see it, shoot me a email with the address of where it should be sent or your phone # so I can give you a call. Here are some guidelines to help you read this report: Q: What is a “Session”? A (from Google): A session is a group of user interactions with your website that take place within a given time frame. For example a single…

Less is more graphic using math symbols.

Why Less is best for website page design

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ bottom_margin=”50″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]When a retail member asks me to put up a new slider, I like to follow up with the question, “Which current slider would you like me to take down?” I know, you’re trying to make things happen, and it seems like I’m going the wrong way. So I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know why. We like to set a limit of 4-5 sliders per website. Changing them often is great, but any more sliders and we just don’t think your customers will have the patience to look at more. I read this article that does a great job of explaining why less is more: Choice Paralysis: 3 Ways the Number of Choices Impacts Conversions It’s called “Choice Paralysis” and as a consumer, I can totally relate.  It’s a situation where a customer can’t make a decision on a purchase because they are faced with so many choices that they end up paralyzed. I’m sure you’ve seen this; a…

Photo of two old Mac Quadra towers to make a bench.

Ambient Computing and the Future

We haven’t seen much new tech in about 10 years. Sure, many items have improved over time but not much,”Wow! What’s that?” kind of innovation. You want to know why? New tech is working hard to integrate into our lives by injecting tech into products we already know. Many everyday products now include some sort of artificial intelligence, augmented and/or virtual reality; robotics and some can even be worn. “This is ambient computing, the transformation of the environment all around us with intelligence and capabilities that don’t seem to be there at all.” – Walt Mossberg Turning off my brain when I’m trying to sleep can be a challenge. Especially when I’m working on a project I’m excited about. When I was working in Social Media my thoughts would frequently be in the form of a short 48-character post. “I almost brushed my teeth with body lotion”, and “Women walk into rooms and forget what they are looking for 3 out of 5 times a day”. Facebook announced they are working on a way to use the brain to type which…

Graphic for Wordcamp Kansas City 2017 event.

Website DIY

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]I attended a conference last weekend called WordCamp KC. I learned about plugins used to help keep track of your site’s SEO, tips to increase your sites speed, and do’s and don’ts for easy to understand navigation. New tools were presented to help organize new sites, tips for giving presentations website related, how to debug for problems that arise, ways to optimize images, I even learned a little bit about plug in development. While looking over my notes I’m asking myself, “How is this info I learned going to help an AWG retail member?” So I want to step back from the details and look at a bigger picture. Maybe not as bad as a doctor, but when people I talk to find out I’m a Web Designer, I get lots of questions. Mostly, “How much does a website cost?” Where is the best place to buy a domain name? Most of these questions are backed by a personal story. Some people are thinking about starting a business, others already own a business and…

Graphic for Adobe Webinar

Selling an Experience vs. Products

I attended a webinar prepared for Adobe by James L. McQuivey, Ph.D. who is VP, Principal Analyst for Forrester. Forrester is an American market research company that provides advice on existing and potential impact of technology, to its clients and the public. Long story short the presentation was trying to point out why Web Designers should only use Adobe products. Since I didn’t sign up for that, I’d like to put our Digital Marketing department in the shoes of Adobe for the time being. The whole point of this blog post is to share what I took away from this webinar with retailers. Try not to focus so much on selling products, but instead focus on selling an experience. This webinar was more about how companies are changing. I realize James was talking about big companies like Tesla, and Amazon who own lots of smaller companies. I’d like to point out a similarity to a Grocery Retailer though. Both Amazon and Grocery Stores want you to opt into more than one product. Both want to provide a convenient experience. This webinar…

Package wrapped in brown paper with bundle on tag.

We need more “food bundles”.

I get overwhelmed when grocery shopping. There are so many options and choices I get overloaded with details like flavor choices, quantities, is it healthy? Will it go to waste? The list of decisions is endless. I recently had a stomach bug and stayed home a few days. We didn’t have any of the basics, Seven Up, Saltines, chicken broth to fight this illness. I sent a family member to the store then realized after the trip was made how much I had forgotten to put on the list. It wasn’t detailed enough, because I didn’t feel good when I made the list and they were in a hurry. I would have given my right arm for a grocery store who offered a “Care Package” delivered to my home. I’m talking about an order online “Care Package” that shows a list of popular items and remedies when you’re sick. It would have been nice if the package were a type of “Pick 5 for $19.99” deal where you can choose five items out of 20 for example. However, the customer should…

Millennials Celebrate Valentine’s Day a Little Different

For me (Generation X) Valentine’s Day could have a lot of pressure, especially at school. Some girls needed help getting all their flowers home while others snuck out the back door. While I was Googling my typical “go to” Valentine’s Day content (the meaning of different rose colors) I got distracted by this article, “Millennials and Valentine’s Day”. After reading the article I thought, “Those millennials have it going on… AGAIN!” According to a survey of 13-32 year olds, more than half think Valentine’s Day is over-rated and don’t care about the holiday, but more than half admitted to celebrating the holiday, so what gives? Most of this generation grew up where giving out valentines in school meant you had to give one to everybody in your class. So what better excuse do you need to throw a party for everyone? About half planned to get something for a significant other, but almost everyone in that group planned to get a gift for a family member or friend. Have you heard of Galentine’s Day? About a quarter of these millennial’s planned to…

Photo of several light bulbs in a pile.

List of January content ideas to attract customers to your website by using keywords

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default”][vc_column_text] Do you watch the AWG Freshen Up Videos? Great seasonal content ideas for your website is just waiting to be discovered using the information mentioned on this January Merchandising Video. Review the custom pages on your website to see if you can add/change content to a page already created. For each page ask yourself if your inventory matches items in these 4 categories: Soup Ingredients, Fighting the Flu Season, Eating Healthy, and Snacks for Game Day. Here are some keywords to use and links for ideas: MEAT DEPARTMENT – Eat Healthy: Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, 96% vs. 80% lean ground beef http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/nutrition.aspx http://www.porkbeinspired.com/nutrition/ Game day: Make your own Chicken Wing Personality Test DELI DEPARTMENT – Eat Healthy: Rotisserie Chicken Game Day: Summer Sausage, Cheese, Deli Salads, And Party Trays GROCERY: Game Day: Chips, Pretzels, Popcorn, Nuts, Rotel, Velveeta, and Crackers Healthy: Croutons, Salad Dressing Flu Season: Hot Beverages FROZEN: Taquitos, Pizza, Meatballs, Little Smokies SEAFOOD DEPARTMENT: What are the healthiest seafoods you can buy? Game Day: Shredded and Chunk Cheeses Healthy: Veggie Dips PRODUCE: Items that go in a soup: Brussels…

Sharlyn’s 2016 Web Content Awards

The holidays are over and it’s January. Not much to look forward to until the awards shows… but hey! I’m currently working on converting two websites from nine years ago to our new website platforms. Nine years ago we didn’t have fancy shopping lists that truly integrated with weekly ads, recipes, locations, social media and email marketing that tracks which links go where. We had to create CUSTOM CONTENT that related to each store. Just because you can throw up a website with little to no custom pages doesn’t mean you should. Creative content is what gets Google’s attention. If Google thinks your content is unique enough then more traffic will be sent to your website. Having the same recipe on 150 different websites doesn’t impress Google’s algorithms much. I have found looking at examples of custom content on other sites gets my brain fired up to write something new. So I looked at page view stats and measured how many times each page got viewed. I only measured pages on websites that I currently work on for AWG retailers. I only selected custom pages, so no ad pages,…