Imagine learning jiu jitsu with no feedback — with no way to learn what you are doing well and what you aren’t.  No coach. No knowledgeable teammates or drilling/sparring partners. No video. Talk about flying blind. How good do you think you’d be?

Every single day I see business owners & website owners doing just that.  They have a website, but they have no mechanism to get feedback on how well that site is working.  How many people visit it? How long do the stay? Who are they? What are their demographic or psychographic profiles?  What pages do they visit? What buttons do they click? How far do they scroll down the page? What engages them and what doesn’t?  Without any way to objectively determine how well a website is working, they are left to guess or maybe ask a friend, who also just provides an opinion which may or may not be in line with those who actually use the site.

The good news is that it’s pretty simple to fix – and it’s free.  Here are 2 free tools that you should be using, and an optional 3rd.

Every public page on your website should have the (1) Google Analytics tag and (2) Facebook pixel installed (and both should probably be installed via Google Tag Manager).  These little snippets of javascript provide invaluable insights about your site and the visitors on it.  They give you geographic, demographic, and behavioral information, and they also allow you to send targeted ads to people who have visited or performed a specific action on your website.  Facebook (and Instagram, which they own) and Google will be among the most effective ways to reach new students, and Google Analytics is the most important tool to understand the traffic to your website and identify opportunities to improve its design and marketing features.

Unfortunately, even businesses who do try to install them do it wrong.  We tested 50 academy website (that are not our clients) and found that 96% of them either had a missing or incorrectly installed/configured tag.  That means only 2 out of 50 websites had correctly installed tags.  Not good.

These two great Chrome extensions will help you assess if you have them installed correctly (or at all): The Facebook Pixel Helper and Google Tag Assistant.  Google Tag Assistant not only allows you to verify your tag but also to troubleshoot installation and configuration issues real-time.

Even if you don’t know how to use the pixel or tag, or have no budget for advertising, get them installed now!  They are free, and they only track information prospectively – so get them installed so the information you’ll accumulate will be available when you are ready to leverage its power.  In fact, we’ll install these pixels (or check your installation) for you — for free.  Why?  Because if you decide to work with us one day (and we hope you will), we will want to use the information they provide in order to maximize your success.

Bonus: The 3rd tool is Hotjar which we use with all of our clients’ websites.  You may benefit from using it, too. Hotjar allows us to heatmap site visitors’ mouse movement and even to watch recorded sessions of individual users’ visits to your site. This gives us real information on what parts of a site are engaging and what parts are not, and it helps us make meaningful improvements to the website experience that would be impossible otherwise.  Here’s a 60 second overview video about it.

So get your Google Analytics tag and Facebook pixel installed now – or make sure they are installed correctly.  Even easier – contact us and let us do it for you — for free and correctly.