So, you think you’re off to a good start because you finally got your new Web site up and running. You even have one of those counters at the bottom of your homepage so you know exactly how many people visit your site. Done patting yourself on the back yet? When you are, it’s time to move your site to the next level. It’s time for Web Analytics.
Web Analytics may sound like some sort of complex configuration for your web site, but for amateur Web page developer and internet retailers, Web Analytics is actually an incredibly useful, and easy, tool. In one fell swoop, Web analytics can help you figure out all the important information about people who visit your site. Put simply, it’s a way to study who visits your site, what they do while they are there, and why they leave. We’re talking about, all the Whos, Whats, Wheres, Whens, and Whys.
If you’re looking to sell something on your site, Web analytics can tell you what product pages are attracting the most viewers, which ones the least. The tool can even tell you what parts of your site are confusing to your visitors. And it can tell you where your biggest customers are coming from.
If you’re looking to market yourself on search engines, there’s no better way than Web Analytics. The tool allows you to figure out which keywords work best to drive traffic to your site. It can help you figure out how many hits you’re receiving from your advertising campaigns. That way, you can build your Web content to focus on those keywords and campaigns, and to drive even more traffic to your site.
The benefits of Web analytics are many, so here is just a short list of the main ones.
Web Analytics can:
• provide a traffic count. But unlike those basic counters on the bottom of a homepage, Web Analytics can breakdown your visitors by how many are new, or “unique,” visitors, and how many are repeat visitors, along with what pages, and how many pages, they viewed.
• track down the IP address of your visitors, which is like their numerical address on the Web where the visitors are coming from. Not only that, you can track them down to their geographical, real-world location, too, as well as the time of day that they came.
• breakdown individual visits by the entry page, where the person first landed at your site, and the exit page, the last page they visited before they left. Entry pages generally show that the visitor may have bookmarked your site on that page, probably because of its valuable content. Exit pages, on the other hand, could be your site’s most boring content.
• count the total time that visitors spent on your site, and exactly what path they took through the site. This can give you the better idea about how well-designed your Web page is, so you can learn how to better design your site’s navigation to direct visitors where you want them to go, and get them to stick around your site longer.
• trace your visitors back to the links that brought them to your site. The more links other Web sites have to your pages, the better. On the other hand, visitors may have come straight to your site, which is also not too shabby. It could mean that word-of-mouth on your site is working.
• weigh the value of search engine keywords in your Web content. You could find out what search terms visitors are using at your site. And you could also analyze which terms people are using at search engines to find your site. Either way, it’s a great way to optimize your content to what your visitors are looking for.
The ultimate benefit of Web Analytics is to make your site more worthwhile to its visitors. But of course, you want to make it more worthwhile to you too.