6 Tips to Analyze Website Traffic and Visitor Behavior
Most web hosting companies will provide you with basic web traffic information that you then have to interpret and make pertinent use of. However, 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. Let’s start by examining the most basic data – the average visitors to your site on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
These figures are the most accurate measure of your website’s activity. It would appear on the surface that the more traffic 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.
Does “Hit” Really Matter?
There is often a great misconception about what is commonly known as “hits” and what is really effective, quality traffic to your site. 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.
More Web Traffic for Better Visitor Behavior Analysis
The more visitors that come to your website, the more accurate your interpretation will become. The greater the traffic is to your website, the more precise your analysis will be of overall trends in visitor behavior. The smaller the number of visitors, the more a few anomalous visitors can distort the analysis.
Use Visitor Time Spent as a Gauge
The aim is to use the web traffic statistics 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.
Determine Your Website Area’s Effectiveness
Additionally, web traffic stats can help you determine effective and ineffective areas of your website. If you have a page that you believe is important, but visitors are exiting it rapidly, that page needs attention. You could, for example, consider improving the link to this page by making the link more noticeable and enticing, or you could improve the look of the page or the ease that your visitors can access the necessary information on that page.
If, on the other hand, you notice that visitors are spending a lot of time on pages that you think are less important, you might consider moving some of your sales copy and marketing focus to that particular 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.
Examine Your Website’s Exit Pages
Your website undoubtedly has exit pages, such as a final order or contact form. This is a page you can expect your visitor to exit rapidly. However, not every visitor to your site is going to find exactly what he or she is looking for, so statistics may show you a number of different exit pages. This is normal unless you notice a exit trend on a particular page that is not intended as an exit page. In the case that a significant percentage of visitors are exiting your website on a page not designed for that purpose, you must closely examine that particular page to discern what the problem is. Once you pinpoint potential weaknesses on that page, minor modifications in content or graphic may have a significant impact on the keeping visitors moving through your site instead of exiting at the wrong page.
Choose the Right Keywords and Phrases
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.
13 Tips To Make Your Website More Successful
I was looking around at some websites to see what things I liked and disliked about them. There is no doubt that there are things that attract people and there are things that totally turn people off.
I have made a list of 13 tips that can help make your website more successful. Most of them are simple but quite effective at making your site more user friendly.
1. Make your site simple
With all of the bells and whistles available, too many people are trying to see how impressive they can make their websites. They may be attractive but unless your goal is to win a contest for best site, impressing people with glitter will not make sales.
2. Make sure your site loads quickly
You do not have long to grab your customer’s attention. Make sure that you at least get a fair shot at grabbing his attention. If your site takes too long to load, you will lose a lot of potential customers without even giving your site a chance.
3. Don’t have too many items on one page
You do not want to confuse your visitors. You want to make sure that they understand th purpose of your site. Too many items on one page can make this difficult for some. Don’t take the chance. Make all of your pages simple.
4. Make sure every page links to home page
It is much easier for your visitors to navigate if all of your pages link back to the home page. You will not lose as many potential customers if you make your site easier to navigate.
5. Get your own domain name
Free servers are great for some things but trying to gain credibility in a business is not one of them. It is well worth the price to get your own domain.
6. Make sure your hosting service offers full support
You want your service to have CGI access and offer secure ordering. This is a place that you don’t want to go for cheap. Make sure your service offers the things you need before you choose and save a lot of headaches down the road.
7. Offer as many options for ordering as possible
The more options you provide for ordering, the fewer customers you will lose. You should have a secure order form on your site. Offering the options to order by phone, fax and by regular mail can also increase the number who will order.
8. Make sure you accept credit cards
If you don’t accept credit cards, you are making a huge mistake. The biggest percent of your customers will pay this way if the option is available. Don’t take the chance that they will choose another method if credit cards are not a possibility.
9. Offer free information on your site
You will want to offer some type of free material on your site. Free material such as courses are a very good way to build yourself as an expert in the eyes of your visitor. Free ebooks are another good thing to offer. Make sure these freebies are good solid information that can help your visitors.
10. Get your visitor’s email address
You can accomplish this in quite a few different ways. Giving away the courses or ebooks is one great way. You can publish a newsletter or ezine that your visitors can sign up for on your site.
11. Make sure to build your site with purpose in mind
If you are trying to sell a product on your site, then sell that product. If you are just trying to get addresses and make the sale later, then make that your purpose when building your site.
12. Encourage feedback
Make your visitor feel like his opinion is important. Offer him the chance to provide you with feedback. Don’t be too proud to make changes if you start hearing some of the same things from your visitors.
13. Remember that you are building this site for your customers
This is not a site to fulfill some fantasy of yours. Remember the purpose of your site. Keep your customers wants and needs in your mind as you design it.
Your website is one of those things that will determine if you are a marketing success. Make sure that you make your website user friendly. Also make sure that you don’t lose sight of the purpose of your site. If your site does not come across direct to your visitor, you are going to lose many visitors before you can even make a pitch.