How Silver Beacon Marketing uses Statcounter to help small businesses build audiences.
We spoke with George Bounacos, co-founder and COO of Silver Beacon Marketing about his approach to digital marketing and how he uses Statcounter to help nonprofits and small businesses build their audiences online.
"It's such a robust solution when you drill into it. It tells us almost everything we need to know."
Co-founder and COO, Silver Beacon Marketing
George founded Silver Beacon Marketing in 2008. Based in Chantilly, Virginia, just outside Washington D.C., the boutique marketing agency helps nonprofits and small businesses in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area to promote their message and build their audiences online using data-informed digital strategy.
Previously George has been involved in helping a number of startups accelerate growth, leading to four successful acquisitions. However, seeking a change of pace from the growth-acquisition treadmill, his current role as COO affords him the opportunity to get hands-on with data and build lasting relationships with clients.
When I set up Silver Beacon, I decided I didn't want to growth to be our be-all and end-all. My previous ventures were all grow, get acquired, do something big. I had some things that I wanted to do in my life, both personally and professionally, so I wanted to build a nice stable business where I could still be a practitioner, where I didn't have to lead directors and managers and VPs. A place where I could actually still get my hands dirty because that's where I excel.
Silver Beacon's holistic approach to digital marketing ensures the right mix of Content Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media and Online Advertising can be tailored for each individual client depending on where the data points them.
While small businesses and nonprofits recognize the need to promote their message online to grow their audience, they are often at the size where they lack the luxury of an in-house digital marketer. Silver Beacon help fill that gap by providing digital marketing services at the fraction of the cost of a full-time employee.
In some cases, they supplement an existing marketing team that isn't quite ready to expand.
We have a few clients who use us only for running and monitoring paid advertising campaigns. They've got people in-house but they just overwhelmed. They're too busy. These are the folks who need one and a half marketers. They haven't quite grown to need two yet or three. And we're a lovely little solution for them at that point.
One of the primary tasks George uses Statcounter for is to monitor for exceptions — either positive or negative spikes in visitor data. He accomplishes this by configuring Statcounter email reports to receive a daily status update for each of his clients’ websites. The email reports act as an early warning system of potential website issues.
Statcounter’s Daily Email Report (source: Statcounter)
A client will run a job ad and we’ll see traffic explode on pages that never show up like About Us or Contact. Or every so often, a client ends up with a link that goes live suddenly that causes a spike.
Because we have the daily analytics reports being emailed to us, it's our queue to go in and see what's happening. Exceptions pop up immediately. And then we have the tools to drill right in and say, "Where are these people coming from? What's their Geo? What IP are they coming from?" It's such a robust solution when you drill into it. It tells us almost everything we need to know.
George also uses Statcounter to take advantage of the forensic level of detail available for each visitor in the real–time Recent Activity feeds. The Visitor Paths and Visitor Activity feeds help him make important decisions about content strategy to help conversions.
At this level, when you're counting visits in dozens and hundreds per day, really what you need to do is get in there and roll around in the data and start making decisions. We've done that in terms of content by saying, "Here are the search trends people are using for internal search." We know what they're looking for.
So much of the content splits into understanding visitor paths. No matter how I come to a solution or a potential solution, I'm always going to dig into the visitor paths. It's just so well presented. It's better than anything else out there.