Cheat Sheet

Small Business IT For Dummies (Australian Edition)

Web analytics allow you to dig deeper and look at statistics that can give you greater insight into how visitors are using your website. After all, being able to measure how people are using your site can highlight what is working, what is not and ultimately help you to improve your site for a greater return on investment.

Analysing Your Website's Click Paths

Path Analysis allows you to see how visitors are moving through your website, which pages they enter and exit by and which are the most common pathways through your site. Some things to look for when performing path analysis:

  • Do a lot of your visitors arrive on your home page and then not go any further?

  • Do most visitors enter your site via the home page but instead arrive on a specific product or service page?

Being able to monitor whether visitors are finding the pages you want them to or taking the actions you want them to take, such as subscribing to a newsletter or purchasing a product is very useful.

For example, perhaps you’re launching a new product and have placed ads on other websites or on Google AdWords. Hopefully, you’re directing people straight to the page about this new product and not to your home page. Then, to judge the effectiveness of your copy and online advertising, measuring how many people are entering your website via this new page is important.

Measure How Long Visitors Stay on Your Website

Measuring the amount of time visitors spend on your website provides important insight. You can figure out whether visitors are taking a quick look, then leaving, or whether they’re hanging around a bit longer and actually reading your online material with the view to possibly taking action.

If the majority of your website visitors aren’t staying long, review your site content and look at ways to attract and hold visitors’ attention. Search engines, such as Google, also measure the amount of time visitors spend on your site and this information contributes to where your site is placed in their rankings.

For search engines, this measure is called stickiness and is calculated according to the time that elapses between a user clicking on your link on the search engine’s results page and returning to click on the next link in the search listing.

Track Visitors' Actions on Your Website

Converting your website visitors from casual browsers to clients or customers is the way to make money online. A conversion is when a visitor to your site takes a desired action. So, how do you track whether people are taking action?

  • If you have a fill-in inquiry form, you’re able to measure how many people visit this page compared to how many people fill it out.

  • If lots of people are arriving at your inquiry page but not going any further, perhaps the form is too difficult to understand or requires too many details. Review your form and then test the results.

  • If you have an online ordering system, check how many people are visiting a product page, viewing details and even adding the product to the shopping cart but then not checking out. This stat can give you some clues into where you may need to simplify the ordering process.

Identifying Website Trends in Visitor Traffic

Monthly History graphs allow you to review website visitor data over time. Analyzing the trends can help you identify your ability to attract visitors and grow your website traffic based on your promotional activities or seasonal factors in your industry.

Your overall aim should be to see a gain in visitors over time. These graphs allow you to compare this month to last month as well as June this year with June last year, to measure whether growth is being achieved.

Reviewing Days of the Month graphs may show patterns of usage. For example, a business-related website ordinarily has higher traffic during the week with less traffic over weekends and holidays. But leisure and entertainment sites may find the opposite.

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