If you want your business to succeed online, it is important to pay close attention to visitor statistics. Stats can provide insightful information about a website, including the areas that are functioning well, and those that need further improvement. Keeping a close eye on proceedings can really help you understand your visitors, enabling you to make decisions and increase sales.
Website statistics have advanced massively over the years. Gone are the basic counters that only tracked the number of visitors. Instead, we have a range of advanced, multi-function tracking options to select from. The most popular is Analytics – a free of charge service from search giant, Google.
Statistical packages can provide a wealth of data about visitors and websites, helping you identify problems, analyse trends and measure how effective promotional campaigns are. Like with any marketing effort, it is important to measure how cost effective your campaigns are. Without this knowledge, there is no way of calculating Return On Investment (ROI).
Analytics is particularly effective at monitoring ROI of AdWords (paid search) campaigns and can also help improve website conversion rates – a measurement of how effective pages are at converting new leads. There are many more benefits of using Analytics, but some of the most popular things to track can be found below.
The number of visitors: Probably the first thing people want to know is the number of people visiting the site. The vast majority of tracking software is able to calculate this figure and differentiate between unique visitors and pageviews.
The most-visited pages: After establishing how many visitors a website has, it is useful to know which pages are receiving the most traffic. This information can be used in a variety of ways, such as enabling you to continue to improve the popular pages, or work to increase traffic to quieter pages.
Your best traffic sources: How people are finding your website is a vital piece of information. Are visitors arriving directly? Or are they locating pages via the search engines? Most tracking software can also identify referrals (websites that link and send traffic your way).
Type of device: Nowadays, people will attempt to visit your site on a variety of devices, including mobiles. Tracking tools can help identify the percentage of people using smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. This information can be particularly useful, helping you to ensure your site is visible to the widest audience possible. For example, if your pages are not mobile friendly, but the site receives 50% of smartphone users, this could potentially alienate 1 in 2 visitors.
The most effective pages: Using a tracking tool, there are many ways to establish how effective a page is. This could include how long a visitor spends on a particular page, whether they explore other areas of the site, or how frequently they return.
Conversion rate optimisation: Tracking software can aid in conversion rate optimisation, providing the data and analytical insights that can help improve websites and increase sales.
As you can see, website statistics offer a vast amount of details on prospective customers, but those discussed are only the tip of the iceberg. By using this information wisely, it is possible to make necessary improvements to a website, thereby increasing its potential and ability to attract new sales.