The Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of Web Analytics: A Primer on Visitor Traffic Statistics

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We can all agree that the number of people who visit a website is fundamental to its success. You cannot tell if people are interested in your site, product, or service until you track your page views. No one in the world of e-commerce can afford to take a chance on the success of their advertising, content, message, or website design.

It’s ideal to track which pages visitors view, how long they spend on each page, and which pages they go on. In addition, knowing the search terms people used to find you or the referral link they used to get to your site is invaluable for improving search engine optimization. You can attribute this to Web analytics. To maximize your site’s traffic and user engagement, you must have a firm grasp of site statistics. After reading this, you’ll be prepared to search for a reliable visitor traffic reporting service, locate the most beneficial options within your budget, and improve your site’s performance.

Just who are those people that keep showing up at your door?

You put spent a lot of time researching your ideal customer. You can invest even more time (and money) in optimizing your keywords, search indexing, and content for this audience using SEO. With one goal in mind—to attract new customers or clients—you dedicate yourself to finding the most suitable audience members by considering factors like location, niche, demographics, and more.

Once you have identified your target audience, you must determine the success of your campaign. You may achieve this by keeping tabs on how many people visit your site. Web analytics examine the volume of visitors to your site and organizes the results into meaningful reports. For the most accurate tracking, you’ll need information like the number of total visits (“hits” on your site pages or the total number of views by all visitors), the number of unique page views (views of any particular page by the same visitor), and the location of your unique visitors. Tracking a visitor’s origins is a significant benefit of geolocation services. DogWidgets.com (a fictitious firm) started selling to a particular area in the United States, but it soon began receiving visitors from as far away as Canada and Germany. The business owner recognized the importance of targeting local customers with their advertising.

Find out what people are looking for on your site.

This area of analytics offers a great chance to improve your search engine optimization and hone your keyword tactics. A decent tracking service will provide a report detailing the search terms people use to find your website. In other words, the information will display a breakdown of the search terms and search engines visitors used to reach you. This data is priceless since it shows you exactly what your visitors are looking for, how well your keywords are doing, and in which search engines your site appears. If your selected provider offers this feature, you can check your current page rank in that search engine by clicking the report link. The clickstream data a competent analytics site provides will reveal your visitors’ specific path as they navigate your site. You can’t afford to miss out on using this information in your site and product promotion. For example, the proprietor of DogWidget.com has been debating where to direct his efforts. The keyword report shows the Owner that interest in his dog widgets is widespread and covers many topics. Focus is lacking. The owner needs a plan to attract customers searching for particular dog gadgets.

When do they often go to my site?

Peak traffic times are something else you should keep an eye on. A solid analytics report makes this a breeze. The more information you can glean from your words, the better. Visitation statistics should be available by year, month, week, day, and even hour. While it’s valuable data, you need something more specific than just “visitor totals.”
Look for a breakdown of this period by page views (the number of times each page on your site was viewed) and unique visitors (the number of times each visitor viewed a page). Take our dog-widget-site example to see why this is so crucial:

DogWidget.com offers numerous colorful widgets for canines. The owner learns through analytics that Friday mornings see a spike in interest in the Outdoor widgets. It appears that most customers are drawn to the order page through the Outdoor page. No one is interested enough in the Rainy Day widgets to proceed to the purchase page. With this new knowledge in hand, the Owner may reevaluate the efficacy of the Rainy Day page and shift her marketing efforts to target outdoor-related subjects, businesses, and consumers.

From where are people visiting this site?

Banner and link swaps, classified ads, posting articles, press releases, and pay-per-click advertising are great ways to promote your site, but knowing which ones bring in the most visitors and waste time is essential. You can narrow this down by using referral link reports to determine what live links on the Internet are being used to attract people to your site.

Take our devoted dog widget owner, for example; how have they been promoting their product? On a tight budget, the owner tried search engine optimization and weekly press releases. Several major search engines have crawled DogWidget.com, and thanks to the keyword usage reports, the site’s keywords have been fine-tuned. Using the data from the referral statistics, the Owner can see that the SEO is progressing favorably and even gaining some traction.

The press announcements have begun. The owner has issued a fresh press release every week for two months. The owner would have no idea if the links on the layoffs were being used unless they employed a paid distribution service (and even then, only for one release on that site).

The owner could track which websites picked up his free press releases by clicking on the referral report’s contact links. So, our press release about the Vacation dog widgets was well received. Time well spent, indeed. Therefore, the Owner can alter their attention to better focus their efforts.

What makes this matter so much?

To appropriately respond to this inquiry, I need to ask you: are you aware of your site’s performance as of late? You can’t tell how well your site is doing if you don’t have reports that offer you the real-time traffic information you need to measure visitor performance. Do you believe that a reasonable amount of sales represents success?

Or maybe it’s OK because you’ve had some positive reviews? If that’s the case, you’re accepting mediocracy. A website is a business, so this is not an effective management strategy. Why settle for mediocrity when you can boost your site’s performance using relatively cheap tools? With hard work, some Web analytics, and many doggie fans, we think our owner can make a living off of DogWidgets.com and quit his day job. If you can help it, don’t settle for “ok.” Enhance the functionality of your site. The key is to have accurate data to work with. Knowledgeable visitors equal successful websites, to paraphrase an adage.

What do they do on my site, exactly?

Visitors to your site are precious. Customers are the lifeblood of any business and cannot be measured in monetary terms. You care about their satisfaction because you want them to return. You’d prefer it if they told others about you, too. Yes, this is another area where Web analytics can be helpful. You may learn a lot about your site’s users and how they behave by seeing which pages they visit, how long they spend on those sites, which pages convince them to keep exploring the area (clickstream), and which pages they use to depart your site (exit page). To revert to our dog widget website as an example.

The proprietor has noticed that more time is spent on the Uses for Widgets page than any other. It’s funny and fresh looking, and it was written with a light touch. What a fantastic article! But the Rainy Day Widget displays as a main leaving page. Not a good runner; it seems to be reducing site traffic. It’s been brought to Owner’s attention that the Rainy Day page urgently requires updating and rebuilding.

Don’t be a rainy-day widget and let your website languish. Like any other business, a website needs constant promotion and fine-tuning to stay sharp and effective. Maintaining awareness of your markets, publishing new and engaging material regularly, and keeping your website accessible to customers are essential. To thrive online, you need to attract users who actively seek out what you have to offer. You can reach your target audience, boost your return on investment, and dominate the web with the help of Web analytics. I mean, this is the whole point.

VisiStat.com’s Cherie Davidson handles marketing and content creation. VisiStat is a comprehensive, real-time, user-friendly report solution for site traffic and Web analytics. The purpose of VisiStat is to serve as a veritable “goldmine” for marketers, assisting site owners in getting the most out of their SEO and promotional initiatives. Visit http://www.visistat.com/ or contact Cherie’ by email to find out more.

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