It is amazing that so many business owners, marketing managers, and web designers consider doing site redesigns, or some type of Internet Marketing, without taking advantage of an essential, powerful, and vital tool like Web analytics. It is like a doctor that skips diagnosing or examining the patient and just starts writing prescriptions for what he or she assumes is the patient’s ailment. This is not like regular marketing with promotional gifts, brochures, and trade shows.
This is a new way of marketing that should be done in conjunction with traditional marketing. People are throwing away insightful and even lucrative opportunities because they don’t focus on learning more about how their website is performing or about whom their visitors and potential customers are.
Conversion is the term used for the ultimate online goal – enticing visitors to do what you want them to do on your site. Conversion is relevant for all site types, whether the site is an ecommerce one meant for purchasing or an informational one where you want visitors to download brochures or documents. Through monitoring site analytics, it is possible to identify what visitors are doing, what pages they are seeing, and what actions they are (or are not) taking. It is amazing how minor adjustments to a site can increase conversion by a huge percentage. Now that is real power!
It is crucial to determine your site goals and to have a clear overall strategy that makes sense for your business. You can use various analytical tools to see if you are achieving your objectives and based on your observations, you will be able to see what corrections and changes you need to make. For example, an online gift shop could see how many people click on the link to buy executive gifts, and how many visitors actually bought them.
A hit is actually a request from a server for every item that is located on a certain page. That includes animations, images, and things you can download. A visit is defined as a person who gets to a page of your site, navigates to other pages, and then leaves when they’re done. This entire process is counted as one complete visit. It makes sense to track, report, and analyze how many visitors you get to your site and how many items the server requested from each page. You can also track new visitors and visitors that return to your site, so that you can see the ratio of new visitors to returning visitors.
Conversions tell you the number of visitors who completed a pre-determined goal or action. If you sell promotional gift items on your site, then your site conversions would be the number of visitors who bought an item (and therefore became customers).
This is the most important metric to know because it shows you the amount of value and benefit your site is bringing.
Hopefully those that have websites and want to increase sales, revenue, and customers, will discover what a Web analytics strategy can offer. Tracking these metrics can teach you a ton about your visitors actions, so that necessary corrections can be made to increase customers, pages views, and time spent on the site. The basics of Web analytics should gear you on the right path towards success!
By Vanessa Brown