Fundaments of Website Statistics
By: Thomas Young, MBA
Web stats are an essential part of a winning Web strategy. Yet, it is still very common for most marketing professionals to not have a clue about their Web visitor stats. As a rule of thumb, you should be watching your Web stats weekly or at a minimum monthly. This is the case for any Website.
Which Stats Are Important?
There are only a handful of stats that should be watched on a regular basis. These are stats that establish trends and provide critical information about not only the direction of the Website, but your business in general. Web stats provide an insight into your target market’s mindset about your business. Stats can tell you what is of interest and what is not as well as what type of images or content is most important. Here are the key stats to keep an eye on:
- Unique Visitors: This is the actual number of visitors that come to the site. This is a key indicator of the site overall popularity.
- Referrers: This report shows you where visitors come from or how they find your site. Two of the most common referrers are search engines and what is called “no referrer.” A visitor that comes to your site from a “no referrer” either typed the domain name in the browser or clicked from an email link or bookmarked the site. Other Websites also send traffic and show up on this report.
- Page Visits and User Activities: These stats show you where visitors stopped on your Website and how long they were there. It also shows you where they entered the site and where they leave. You can also measure what links they clicked on and how much time they spent on each page.
- Search Engines: A decent Web stats package will include great amounts of data on search engines and how they send traffic to your site. This helps you understand the effectiveness of search engine marketing programs and also gain an understanding of how people search for you and find your site on Google and other search engines.
Measuring ROI (Return on Investment) with Web Stats
The key to measuring the ROI of your Website is Web stats. You can measure the effectiveness of leads and sales conversions through Web stats and understand the path the visitor took on your site. In fact, stats programs now enable you to see how different user groups use the site and when they buy based on the key words they searched to find the site.
Options for Reporting
We currently recommend ClickTracks for your Web stats. It is a comprehensive log file analyzer that provides a tremendous amount of marketing data. A log file analyzer reads the raw technical data from the site and converts into an easy to read format with graphics and percentages. Take ClickTracks for a test drive and see what a comprehensive stats package can tell you about your Website and your business. See www.ClickTracks.com.
Contact your Webmaster today and have easy to read Web stats delivered to you on a regular basis. This will help you better understand customer behavior, improve Website ROI and grow your business.
Thomas Young is CEO and President of Intuitive Websites, a Colorado Springs based Internet marketing, Website design and usability firm. To learn more about Intuitive Websites contact Tom at 719-481-4040 or tom@IntuitiveWebsites.com.