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Traffic and Measurement
(March 10, 2006)
The essence of good business is repeatability. Business involves clarity and effectiveness. The idea is that you learn how to do something in a way that makes it cheaper to do each time you do it. Competitive advantage goes to the people who perfect these things. The laggards and "featherbedders" wait until someone else shows them how to do it.
It's the difference between McDonald's and the rest of the fast food industry. McDonald's embraces uncertainty, quantifies it, experiments, fails and eventually figures it out. The other guys copy McDonald's.
Smart recruiters and their management are reading Manpower's Talent Shortage surveys (see below or today's Bugler). Their goals include securing an adequate supply of the right kinds of workers for their companies. They do not ambiguously wander around asserting that they are doing the right thing. They proactively define the upcoming challenges and then demonstrably (that means measurement) navigate their way through the challenge. Chewing bon-bons while pontificating (one of our favorite sports) is a guilty pleasure and not a raison d'etre.
So let's think a little about traffic and measurement.
First of all, if you do not have your blog on a server that you control, you can not see it very well. The server logs (the foundation for most traffic measurements) belong to the company that hosts the blog. Depending on your relationship with them, you may or may not be able to see all of the detail in those logs. You really want to be familiar with the lowest level of detail.
So, what do you want to see and measure?
Here's a scenario. You work for a big software company. You're writing a recruiting blog with three purposes: a) to improve/soften the employment brand of your firm (which is known for its cut-throat work environment) b) to reach college students who might want entry level jobs and, c) to reach seasoned professionals who would make good employees (passive candidates). Sound familiar?
Certainly, you would want to be looking at the domain names of the visitors to your blog. If you were attracting visitors from the Engineering Departments of Ivy league colleges (yes, you could see that) but not their business schools, you might wish to change the focus of your content. You might experiment with what would raise those numbers. You might consider taking out Google ads and watching the impact on college audiences. (You might ask Joel Cheesman to help you construct a page and content that targeted the right audiences through the Search Engines).
You'd also want to be looking at the dot com visitors. If you were getting lots of visits from Ford.com or Uhaul.com and relatively few from Oracle, Microsoft and Apple, you'd definitely want to change your content. By using the web server log data, you can begin to develop a baseline. From there, you can experiment to see whether your content increases or decreases the flow of traffic from your target audiences.
More traffic and measurement to come.
* From the Bugler:
Confronting the Coming Talent Crunch: What's Next?
Talent Shortage Survey
- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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