A quick click takes the guesswork out of the game
Imagine if a typical Orchard Road store could change its shopfront for every person who walked past. Or the same store could understand how every single customer moved around the shop floor in real-time or find out exactly which parts of the store people liked and which parts turned them off.
It’s hard to imagine how this scenario could work in the offline world, but it’s happening for Singapore businesses every day online.
According to a recent study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Google, the internet is the first port of call for more than 60% of Singaporeans when they are looking for new products.
Singapore’s most successful businesses are meeting them there. They are measuring their success with scientific data, rather than guesswork, to constantly improve their online presence.
For example, Swissotel, using web analytics for one of its Singapore properties, found UK visitors to its website spent more time viewing rooms and restaurants, while Australians favoured promotions. After tailoring its creative accordingly, Swissotel more than doubled its visits to this property from its UK campaign.
Using data to help you draw actionable insights on the web sounds a bit like rocket science, but a number of free and easy-to-use online tools can help. Here are a few ideas.
Understand your website
Find out what parts of your site customers like – and what parts send them packing.
With free analytics tools, you can understand where your visitors are from, how they are finding your site and what pages they are visiting the most.
You can also improve your website’s page design with applications that test variations of headlines, images and text to identify the combination that works best.
Measure your ad campaigns
One of the real benefits of advertising online is that you can get almost instantaneous feedback on how well your ads are performing and you can use this data to make ads more effective.
Imagine you’re a car rental company trying to decide on three different keywords for ads to match the three types of cars you rent – “economy cars”, “full size cars” and “luxury cars.” With search advertising, you can get real-time feedback about which terms attract the most clicks and use that data to improve your marketing.
Anticipate global trends
The web isn’t a crystal ball, but a number of free online tools can help tap into global trends and identify new sources of demand for your products and services.
If you’re a Singapore hotel chain, you can use tools such as “insights” for search to see where in the world people search for “trips to Singapore” or “luxury accommodation Singapore”. With this insight, you can tailor marketing campaigns and websites to attract new customers.
John Wanamaker, often considered the father of modern advertising, famously said: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; trouble is I don’t know which half.”
On the web, you’ll never face the same problem. Using the power of data to strip the guesswork out of advertising has never been easier. Taking advantage of the tools is up to you.
Julian Persaud is the managing director of Southeast Asia, Google
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