|Copyright 2005 Chris Stirling
You have built a great website and have started to see your traffic counter spinning up rapidly. This is good news right? Maybe it is, maybe not. You need to look deeper than just the number of visitors to your site. You need to analyze the stats for a number of different reasons. But before you dive deep into the analysis and make full use of this information, you need to understand how to interpret the data.
Your web hosting company probably provides you with basic web traffic information. The data you receive from your host company can be overwhelming if you don't understand how to apply it to your particular business and website. There are two main stats you will notice; visits and hits.
The visit figures are the most accurate measure of your website's activity. Hits simply means the number of information requests received by the server. If you think about the fact that a hit can simply equate to the number of graphics per page, you will get an idea of how overblown the concept of hits can be. For example, if your homepage has 15 graphics on it, the server records this as 15 hits, when in reality we are talking about a single visitor checking out a single page on your site. As you can see, hits are not useful in analyzing your website traffic.
So it would appear on the surface that the more visits you see recorded, the better you can assume your website is doing, but this is an inaccurate perception. You must also look at the behavior of your visitors once they come to your website to accurately gauge the effectiveness of your site.
The aim when analysing your web site statistics is to figure out how well or how poorly your site is working for your visitors. One way to determine this is to find out how long on average your visitors spend on your site. If the time spent is relatively brief, it usually indicates an underlying problem. Then the challenge is to figure out what that problem is.
It could be that your keywords are directing the wrong type of visitors to your website, or that your graphics are confusing or intimidating, causing the visitor to exit rapidly. Use the knowledge of how much time visitors are spending on your site to pinpoint specific problems, and after you fix those problems, continue to use time spent as a gauge of how effective your fix has been.
Another excellent stat is the exit page stat. This stat will show you which page your visitors are exiting your website from. This stat can help you determine effective and ineffective areas of your website. If you have what you think is a great entry page and from there you expect visitors to move onto different pages of your site you would expect the exit page stats to show this. But if you have a high exit page statistics from your entry page then you know that visitors are not navigating your entry page. This will tell you you need to adjust your entry page.
As you can see, these statistics will reveal vital information about the effectiveness of individual pages, and visitor habits and motivation. This is essential information to any successful Internet marketing campaign.
After you have analyzed your visitor statistics, it's time to turn to your keywords and phrases. Notice if particular keywords are directing a specific type of visitor to your site. The more targeted the visitor - meaning that they find what they are looking for on your site, and even better, fill out your contact form or make a purchase - the more valuable that keyword is.
However, if you find a large number of visitors are being directed - or should I say misdirected - to your site by a particular keyword or phrase, that keyword demands adjustment. Keywords are vital to bringing quality visitors to your site who are ready to do business with you. Close analysis of the keywords your visitors are using to find your site will give you a vital understanding of your visitor's needs and motivations.
Finally, if you notice that users are finding your website by typing in your company name, break open the champagne! It means you have achieved a significant level of brand recognition, and this is a sure sign of burgeoning success.
As you can see keeping a close eye on your website traffic statistics will turn your average website into a visitor friendly site. Happy site visitors means sales!
About the author:
Chris Stirling's website is geared for people who are interested in finding an online work at home opportunity or starting a low cost or free Home Based Business. If you would like to learn more visit his website at: http://www.stirls.com
For his Top Picks Home Business Newsletter visit http://www.stirls.com/bizopps-newsletter.html
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