This post highlights what I have learned from Dr. Theresa Clarke’s MKTG 470 course at JMU. This reflection is important, because it gives me the opportunity to utilize tools I’ve learned about and used over the semester and to share the knowledge I’ve gained.
Analyzing Google Analytics
Google Analytics has been a great online tool for tracking how well my site has been doing. Using Google Analytics, I can see that the number of site visits throughout this semester was quite scattered; it is possible that I had more visits whenever I posted a new blog and less visits when I lacked blog activity. In total, I had 160 visitors, with 128 of them being unique visitors (unduplicated visitors who are only counted once). My homepage received the most page views (178), while my “JMU Experience” page received the second most (140). I was glad to see that my “JMU Experience” page received the second most views, because I was trying to optimize that page in order to increase its rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). I also discovered that 42 of my page visits were acquired from paid search, 27 of my page visits were acquired from organic search, and 24 were from social media. It is clear to see that my PPC efforts had more success than my organic search, which doesn’t surprise me.
Mastering Google Webmaster
Another great tool to utilize is Google Webmaster Tools. This tool is useful, because it gives you better insight on how well your website is doing and what improvements can be made. There are many tabs/components of Webmaster Tools that help a site owner evaluate and analyze their site’s performance, but for length’s purposes, I’ll only list a few that I have found useful.
One thing I learned from the search queries tab is that the phrase “jmu experience” was the top search query for which my site appeared in search results. The search queries tab is beneficial because site owners can see what words and phrases people are searching for and then appropriately add or subtract any key words/phrases from their ad groups. From the HTML improvements tab, I learned that I could improve my HTML, because I have repeated title tags and non-informative title tags. This HTML improvements tab is very helpful for site owners because they can see how to fix their HTML, which will look better to Google. Webmaster Tools also informed me that I have 4 links to my site; this is useful so that site owners can see how well they are connected to other sites, because these connections will improve traffic.
My Overall Experience in MKTG 470
Taking MKTG 470 at James Madison University has been an interesting and informative learning experience that can be useful at any company. My favorite part of the course was using Google AdWords, because it showcases just how far marketing has come and how much it is continuing to grow. Google AdWords has helped advance marketing, because it shows evidence of a site’s success and its strong points or shows evidence of a site’s failure points. With all of the information Google AdWords provides, people and companies can reconstruct, build, and improve their sites in order to drive more traffic and gain loyal customers/readers.
Another part of MKTG 470 that I have enjoyed is building my own blog site. I have learned how to construct and maintain a site, which was an fun and interesting experience. I liked learning how to properly set up a website and learning how to bring in readers and keeping them interested.
My Future With Internet Marketing
After taking this class, I have come to realize just how little knowledge I had pertaining to Internet marketing. I know I have only scratched the surface with Internet marketing, even after this class, because it is a much more in depth science than people may realize. This class has left me more intrigued and interested in this field, proving to me that having skills in Internet marketing can be applicable and helpful in any career. I love using the Internet and learning more about what it has to offer, but I’m not sure if I would want a career solely based on Internet marketing. I would definitely enjoy a career where Internet marketing is part of my job, but not my only or main job.
Although I have enjoyed creating my blog site, the fate of my site looks a bit grim. I do not plan to continue my site, because it is targeted to current JMU students, which I will no longer be after next spring. I know that if I were to have a site, I would want it to be up to my standards, which I would set very high since people would be reading it; I don’t feel as if I will have time to update my site next semester, thus it wouldn’t be up to par.
Once the semester ends, I intend to keep up to date on Internet and social media trends. I have a separate marketing-related Twitter account now, which I can use to stay up-to-date. I know that Internet marketing is an endlessly growing field, where people will continue to come up with new and creative ways to reach others through the Internet.