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How Web Analytics Can Help You Monitor Activity on Your Web Site

Web analytics concerns itself with the particulars of a single Web site, instead of the entire Web. Using Web analytics means looking beyond just finding out where you rank or how many people clicked over from your search engine listing, and actually checking to see how many visitors came to your site and provided you a conversion. Visitors who convert do whatever your Web site is asking of them: make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, watch your videos, and so on.

Your first step with Web analytics should be to determine what your visitors do and what they should be doing when they arrive on your Web site. Where do they go on your site? Do your visitors drill down to the product information? Do they put things in their shopping carts? Are they less costly customers because they use the online customer care tools and services? Do they leave your site right away or do they stay a while?

You can measure whether your Web site design and development are worth the effort you’ve put into it by using software and systems that gather, crunch, and report on data from server logs, cookie data, JavaScript, or even e-commerce information.

Without Web analytics, search marketers would be obsessed only with achieving a high ranking. If they're a little more on the ball, they focus instead on generating as much traffic as they can. Unfortunately, high ranking and high traffic are only part of running a successful site.

If you are getting high volumes of traffic but your visitors aren’t doing what you want them to do (for instance, no one is asking for you to customize their classic cars), all that high traffic is just going to cost you money.

Your server is now handling more non-converting traffic, your pay-per-click campaigns are being clicked on with no return on investment, and even the time you spent on optimizing your site to rank organically is time that could have been spent making money. Traffic is only worth it if it provides return on investment.

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