Use Your Web Traffic Statistics
By Ray Herold
A good statistics package will also tell you whether potential customers are just coming to your site and then leaving from your homepage, or if they are drilling down further into your site. Having people visit your site is meaningless if they aren't following the links to your sales pages. This can be particularily important if you are paying to use facilities such as traffic exchanges. The TEs will get you a boatload of "hits", but those hits don't mean a thing if they aren't converting to sales.
The same principle applies to how long people stay on your site. If a large number of your visitors only stay for a few seconds then they are obviously not bothering to obtain additional information abour your products or services. Again, this becomes a factor when using facilities such as TEs with their 20-30 timers. If those people are only waiting for the timer to count down to zero so they can move to the next site it doesn't really help your sales. If it isn't costing you anything then there's no loss. But if you are paying for these services you need to know if they are delivering the goods.
Your ability to draw in potential new customers is limited. Use your statistics to determine what is working and what isn't. Find out where potential customers that view more than just your homepage are coming from, and then maximize those facilities. A careful analysis of your site statistics may help you identify seldom accessed pages. That, in turn, may indicate a problem with your navigation scheme. Too many people don't understand that using your statistics can actually help you improve your site.
You won't be successful just by hoping for the best. A good businessperson continually evaluates his/her promotion strategies. Web site statistics offer a wealth of information when it comes to online business. Not using that information reminds me of the old Yogi Berra quip: "You have to be careful if you don't know where you are going because you might not get there."
It all boils down to a simple question: are you trying to obtain as many "hits" as you can to your site, or are you trying to increase sales. They are not the same thing.
About the Author
Ray has a 30+ career in the Computer Information Technology (IT) field. He has been a Systems Analyst, Database and Network Administrator, Website Manager, IT Architect and Director of IT. He has owned several successful online businesses. He is also the author of several books related to technology and business.
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