Website analytics and performance management

Do you want to know how effective your website is? To find out, you need to know how visitors reach your website, what they do there and how often they visit. When running an online marketing campaign or evaluating the usability of your website, it is important to gain insight into your website's traffic statistics. You may even want to analyze visits to each individual webpage.

Throughout marketing campaigns and when evaluating your website, you'll also want to know the following details:

  • The number of visitors per day and the times at which they arrive
  • Where your visitors came from (another website or page, search tool or the direct URL)
  • What browser they use
  • What page they landed on
  • The length of time spent on your website
  • Which are your most popular pages

Track various marketing elements

You can collect more data for specific marketing campaigns or for improving your website's design. A banner ad campaign or a social media marketing campaign often have more than one type of creative concept or headline. The campaign may have three or four varieties of images or headlines. You will want to track the performance of each element separately and then adjust them accordingly or increase the use of the most effective ones. The same principles apply for the actual message, wording, and overall offer or promotion. Tracking of such performance is often called web analytics.

Pinpoint the origin of traffic

You can further measure the performance of an ad by creating a webpage specifically for that ad campaign. For example, one click on a banner ad could take a prospective customer to this customized or designated page rather than to your regular homepage. When analyzing visitor traffic for your specific campaign webpage, it will become clear how many visits were the result of the campaign or promotion. Similarly, tracking tools can help you understand the traffic and navigational tendencies customers have on your website.

Understand where customers leave your website

When you want customers to make a purchase through your website, or perform some other sort of action, you will want to get conversion rates and reports on the conversion funnel. In other words, you want to see where customers get lost on your website since there may be a technical or conceptual problem with a given webpage.

Find the right analyzing software

Collecting data on your website's traffic is one step; you will also want to make sure the data helps your marketing and business decisions. Do you offer applications for mobile devices? Is your business on social media sites? If so, you can invest in web analytics software or services that integrate data from a number of your online activities. If your needs are minimal, there are also free web analytics tools online.

Make sure you can be found

Most people expect immediate results from their searches. To ensure your website and content can be found, you may want to look into search engine optimization. Often called SEO, the optimization is meant to get your website to rank high in popular search engines.

Optimization techniques include using the right words in your title, text, keywords and metadata. Another technique is to link strategically to and from other sites to increase your search engine ranking. Search engine optimization tools and services are available for free and for a fee, to help you improve your visibility on the Internet.

Keep in mind

Web analytics are only one way of measuring the success of your ad campaigns and the performance of your website. For example, customers may see an ad and remember it three months down the road, then visit your website or business location at that time. You might never know that their visit was a result of your website or marketing campaigns.

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