Analysing website analytics is a crucial first step in the optimization or your website traffic. Do you know the page on your website with the highest bounce rate? Which landing page converts best?
You will probably get some web site statistics on visitors from your web host – maybe in the form of an incomprehensible log file. If you’re lucky you might get a rough analysis showing how often individual pages have been viewed.
Defining What to Measure and What to Analyze: KPI
If this is as much as you do with the data, you’re definitely missing out on a lot of vital information which can really help you to fine-tune your site, steering visitors to thoseareas which you want them to visit – like your order page? Every web site has Key Performance Indicators, or KPI’s. A KPI is a measurement of what you want people to do on your web site.
Defining the KPI for a web page can be hard, but is extremely important for measuring how efficient your web site really is.
The Web Stats Program
After having defined your KPIs, how do you measure it? You need a Web Site Stat program, and these come in many, many flavours – from the simplest and most dreadful web based ones, like Webalizer, to simple, yet useful and free web stats like AWStats. If your budget allows it, you can go for the more advanced solutions, like ClickTracks, Omniture SiteCatalyst or Deepmetrix Live stats.
Whatever web stat solution you choose, they must be able to show you the following information:
- Number of visitors
Simply the number of visitors you get. One visitor may visit your site more than once, so you need:
- Number of unique visitors
The number of unique visitors.
- Visits per user
This number tells you how many times each visitor visits your web site
- Time spent on site per user Also referred to as “stickiness”. What this number basically mean is how long the visitors stay on your site.
- Most popular pages
Which pages does your visitors like? Which pages does not get a lot of traffic? Extremely useful information, and you can use these numbers to determine many things such as what kind of content does your visitors like? Which pages rank well in search engines? Which pages does not rank well in search engines? Most popular pages, Search Engines and Keywords & Key Phrases gives you the most important information about how well you perform in the Search Engines and how you can drive traffic to your site via SE’s
From which country or state does your visitors come from?
- Days of month and Days of week
This tells you on which day of the week you get the most visits. These and Time of day are very important numbers. If you’re a B2B company, and you get most of your visits in the weekends and after 5 in the afternoon, your web site is probably targeting the wrong visitors, because they are browsing from home.
Referring sites can be very useful. Is there a particular site that send you a lot of traffic? Maybe you should consider buying advertisement on that site.
- Search Engines
Simply an overview of which search engines are sending you the most traffic and how much. This is usually Google.
- Search Key Phrases and Key Words
An overview of which keywords drive traffic to your website via search engines such as Google, MSN and Yahoo!
Traffic vs. Sales Performance
Sheer bulk of traffic is always good, as long as it’s targeted, but how can you convert your visitors into customers? How do you optimize your content to make it more selling? With more advanced site statistics tools such as index tools (now Yahoo Analytics) you can analyze user paths, track the movement of your visitors throughout the site, and by doing so, get a better picture how they behave – and better yet, control how they behave and make them do what you want them to do.
Web Site Trend Analysis
By following the trends over time, you get a better overview of what’s going on. On your site, and on the internet. I can tell you that most of the web sites I’ve been involved in to date gets the most traffic on a Monday. It doesn’t matter what month or what year. Monday is traffic day. Of course it depends on what business you are in, but I am confident this applies for most business sites.
By looking at your web site statistics and by analyzing your target audience, I can tweak the performance of your web site. It doesn’t matter if you are a one man company, a mid size corporation or a Fortune 500 Company I can increase web site performance and revenue by analyzing your web site stats and applying the proper strategy accordingly.