Below is a picture of the tabs of my browser session right now. As you can see, I have our SmallBusiness2.0 blog up; Technorati up to see who is linking to us and what our rank is; FeedBurner up to look at the number of people "subscribing" to the RSS feed; Google analytics to see how many visitors we are getting and from what geography; and Alexa up to see how we are doing relative to every other website/blog on the planet. I tend to go through the exercise of looking at all of these tools once a week prior to our weekly meeting to update the team on how the top of our funnel looks relative to previous weeks/months and I also tend look at this information during the day that I post a meaningful blog article that I think should get traction.
I think all these tools are great if you are a professional blogger or are a dedicated full-time marketing analytics person, but it is pretty cumbersome to track all this stuff if it's not a fulltime job. This is especially true for a small business where everyone in the company wears multiple hats.
For those of you who have day jobs beyond report creation out there, do you feel like I do?
Not Real-time Enough
The other thing that frustrates me about all these tools is how they are not "real-time" enough for me. I wish Technorati updated the inbound links more often and had more real-time rankings. I wish FeedBurner showed you what was happening at the very moment versus just a daily snapshot and I also wish they updated their data at 12:01am for the previous day. I wish Google would stop the sandboxing process for new domains and I wish they would update their PageRank information (shown in the Google toolbar) more often. I wish Alexa would show better data on what is happening in the last week and rankings in real-time for smaller sites.
For those of you who use these tools, do you have the same wish-list as I do?
GoogleTrends for My Small Business
I'm not sure if you have had a chance to check out Google Trends, but I think it is rather addictive. My only issue with it is it does not work at a company level (unless you are a massive company) and it does not allow you to put in custom events to show how your marketing activities correlate with traffic.
For those of you addicted to GoogleTrends, do you agree?
-- Brian Halligan
Originally published Oct 6, 2006 3:25:00 PM, updated October 20 2016