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Visitor Traffic Statistics 101, or, The Who, What, When, Where, Why & How of Web Analytics
As we all know, visitor traffic is crucial to the success of every Website. If you do not know how many views your pages get, how can you know if anyone is seeing your site, product or service? With an online business, you can not afford to guess at how effective your marketing, content, message or website design is.
Ideally, you need to know what pages are viewed, how long the visitor stays on any given page and what page they click to next. Also, if you can see the keywords they used to search for you, or see what link they clicked to get to your site (referral link), you have great information for SEO (search engine optimization) of your site content and keywords. This is all part of Web analytics. The more you know about site analytics, the better prepared you will be to get the most out of your site traffic and visitor usage. Read through these basics and you will be ready to go look for an effective visitor traffic reporting service, find the best features for the price, and boost your site's effectiveness.
Who are your visitors?
You spend many hours identifying your target market. Through SEO, you spend even more time, and often money, to focus your keywords, search indexing and content for this market. You devote yourself to find the optimal visitors by geography, interest, demographics and other important criteria, all for one purpose ... to get the attention of potential customers or clients.
Once you know your target market, you need to know if your efforts are effective. You do that by tracking your site visitor statistics. Web analytics analyze your site traffic and break down the data into usable information reports. Visitor stats you need for the best tracking include how many total visits ("hits" on your site pages, which means the total number of views by everyone who visits your site), unique page views (views of any given page by the same visitor), and geographic location of your unique visitors. The advantage of geographic location is that you can monitor where your visitors are coming from. For instance, DogWidgets.com (note: fictional company) began by selling to one region in the US but was getting traffic from Canada and Germany. Owner saw that marketing focus was needed for a more specific geographic area.
What are your visitors searching for?
This area of analytics is a terrific opportunity for SEO and refinement of your keyword strategies. With a good tracking service, you will be able to get a report on search engine keyword usage and clickstream (click path) data. In other words, the report will show a breakdown of the keywords your visitors used to find you as well as the search engine they used. This information is invaluable as it spells out exactly what your visitors are looking for, how effective your keywords are, and lets you know what search engines have you listed. If your chosen service provides it, you can click the report link to see what your page rank is for that engine, in real-time. A good analytics site will also provide the clickstream data, which will show you the path your visitor's took inside your site, from page to page. This data is invaluable for marketing your site and product or service. To demonstrate, the owner of DogWidget.com has been trying to decide what areas to focus on. Owner's dog widgets have a wide variety of applications, and Owner sees through the keyword report that the search terms are all over the spectrum. There is no focus. This tells Owner that a marketing strategy is needed to grab visitors that want specific dog widgets.
When do they visit my site?
You will also want to monitor your peak traffic hours. This is very easy with a good analytics report. The more detail your reports show, the more information you have to work with. You should be able to have the data on your site visits broken down by year, month, week, day and hour. This is important information, but you really need more than just "visitor totals." You should look for this time breakdown by page views (total views of every page on your site) and by unique visitors (pages viewed by each individual visitor). To show the importance, let's consider our dog widget site scenario:
DogWidget.com sells a variety of multi-colored widgets for dogs. Owner notices through tracking reports that there is a much higher page view of the Outdoor widgets on Friday mornings. The Outdoor page seems to compel the highest number of clicks to the order page. No one clicks from the Rainy Day widgets page to the order page. So now Owner has the information to rethink the Rainy Day page, and to begin focusing more advertising to Outdoor topics, advertisers and markets.
Where are visitors coming from?
When you begin marketing your site, whether it is banner and link exchanges, classified ads, posting articles, press releases or pay per click advertising, you need to know what is working for you and what is wasting your time. Referral link reports help narrow this down and allow you to see what active links on the Internet are being used to bring site visitors.
For instance, let's see how our enthusiastic and dedicated dog widget owner has been advertising. Being on a shoestring, Owner decided to try SEO and send out weekly press releases. DogWidget.com has been indexed by several major search engines, keywords have been refined thanks to the keyword usage reports. Using the referral reports Owner sees that the SEO is beginning to roll along nicely and is even picking up a little momentum.
Now for the press releases. Owner sends out a new press release each week for two months. Without the referral link report, Owner would be in the dark as to whether the links on the releases were being used, unless it was a paid distribution service (and that info is only for one release on that one site).
With the referral report, Owner was able to send out press releases at no cost, and see what sites picked them up and posted them through the clicks on the contact links. So the press release about Vacation dog widgets got a lot of attention, excellent. That was time well spent. So now, Owner focus can shift so efforts are optimized.
Why is all this so important?
I must answer this question with a question: do you know how your site has been doing? If you do not have reports to give you the real-time traffic information necessary to gauge visitor performance, how can you know how your site is really doing? Are you thinking some decent sales is doing well?
Or because you get nice feedback, the site is ok? If this is the case, you are settling for inferior results. This is not a solid way to manage any business, and a Website is business. Why would you want to settle for "ok" when you can get the tools at little expense that can make your site soar? Our Owner wanted to quit the "day job" and make a real living from DogWidgets.com, and with diligence and Web analytics, there is a good chance Owner will succeed, and make a lot of dogs happy at the same time! Please don't settle for "ok." Take your site to the next level. All it takes is having the right information to work with. To paraphrase an old idiom, Visitor Knowledge is Site Success.
How do they use my Website?
Your visitors are valuable. The visitors that buy your product or service are priceless; they are the key element to success. You want to make them happy and keep them coming back. You also want them to spread the word about you. And yes, Web analytics can improve this as well. By knowing how visitors are actually using your site, which pages they visit, how long they view the pages they visit, what pages compel them to continue inside the site (clickstream), and what pages they use to leave your site (exit page) will tell you a great deal. For instance, back to our dog widget site. Owner sees that the Uses for Widgets page seems to hold the visitor longer than other information pages. It was written with humor and has a fun, clean look. Wow, a winner page. However, Rainy Day Widget shows as a big exit page. Not a good page, it appears to kill the site visits. Ok, Owner knows that Rainy Day page needs some redesign and rewriting fast.
Don't let your Website stall like a rainy day widget. As with any business, a Website is needing continual marketing and refinement to stay focused and on target. You need to keep on top of your markets, keep fresh, interesting and compelling content, keep your site available to those who want your product or service. Staying alive on the Web means you need visitors ... visitors who are looking for what you have to offer. With good Web analytics you have the tools you need to put your site in front of your target market, increase your ROI and find success on the Internet. And isn't this why you have a Website?
Cherie' Davidson is content and marketing manager for VisiStat.com. VisiStat is a detailed, real- time site traffic and Web analytics report service that is focused on ease of use and user-friendliness. VisiStat's goal is to help site entrepreneurs make the most of their site marketing and search engine optimization efforts - to be a virtual "goldmine" for marketing. Learn more at http://www.visistat.com or write Cherie' at email@example.com
A Frugal Internet Marketing Strategy That Works!
So you finally created the website that your business or brand needs to market globally, but nobody is clicking on your site and the phone never rings. It seems that you have immediately become fodder for those other marketers to sell you their manuals about web marketing, but you might as well have spent your website development money on a gym membership.
Target Practice And The Internet Entrepreneur
Internet marketing, a lot of the time really is hit and miss. Always keep in mind that when you promote your site you are, in effect trying to get the word out to the whole world. Not an easy task! How can there NOT be variables when you are advertising to billions? It isn't always where you advertise that makes the difference; it's HOW.
9 Pointers for Evaluating a Business Proposal
Finding a business opportunity on the net is easy. But evaluating the right one for you, takes a little knowledge. With so many scams, takers and failed ventures you need a little more than the, "highest dollar for the least amount of work" approach. So what should you look for when evaluating an opportunity? Here are 9 pointers.
Profiting From Your Online Business
Creating a lucrative online business is not an easy task. Ask any successful web entrepreneur, and chances are you will receive the same response. While some only intend to use the profits from their Internet ventures to supplement a current income, others aspire to eventually produce a full-time cash flow. Although those striving for a full income through an online business do have quite a tedious road ahead, it can be accomplished. With research, time, and patience, your business can prosper and produce the returns you are aiming for.
E-marketplace ? Facts and Fictions
Not long ago, industry pundits were touting B2B marketplaces or exchanges as Internet era panacea for productivity and cost-cutting problems of corporate world. Buoyed by excessive investor interest and driven by a desire to cash in on the enormous dot-com valuations of late 90s, marketplaces were sprouting like autumn mushrooms. With the collapse of stock market, it did not take much time for burgeoning B2B marketplaces to come to a screeching halt!
How to Use Tracking to Keep Income Incoming
The use of tracking links in the following scenario puts you in complete control when someone else makes a change that affects your webpages, your links on other peoples' sites, or your links in ebooks or ecourses already in circulation. Additionally, the potential time savings in editing the pages that are within your control can add up to hours and hours saved for you.
How A 7 Year Old Boy Discovered The Secret To Niche Marketing Success
Niche marketing enthusiast...
A Simple 8 Step Formula For Testing Your Headlines
I am going to let you in on a secret? The successful entrepreneurs are not successful because they know things that you don't know. They are successful because they TEST every advertising campaign they embark on first before they start spending "big" money on effective forms of newsletter and ezine ads.
Blog and Ping ? A Search Engine Traffic Bonanza
Everyone is talking about blogs these days as the magic money-making marketing tool. Some of the hype may actually be true, but I suggest you cut through most of what you read about blogs just long enough to understand why every business needs a blog.
How To Increase Your Online Sales Anytime
Hold a discount sale on your web site. Use the sale to get rid of excess inventory, gain new or repeat customers, and increase your sales. Most businesses pick a theme for their sale, like a Halloween Sale. Below are six unique sales themes you could use:
Getting Some Good Ol Internet Real Estate
Real estate has made many people large amounts of money in the offline world, no doubt. But is there a way we can utilize the same concepts from the offline world and bring them online?
Building An Effective Banner Campaign
Banner advertising can dramatically help you increase traffic to your web site. Banner advertising can be a very cost effective marketing solution and can help you to gain access to millions of internet users. It can also prove to be a huge waste of time, even creating a net loss rather than increasing your bottom line. So we'll try to guide you onto the path to true results and a very successful Internet Marketing campaign using banner ads. First things first: What's it going to cost you? Assuming you're going to design and building your own banners, you can still loose money on the cost of advertising if you're not careful. Work out the estimated cost of each banner advertising campaign: Cost-per-Visitor: If you pay $10 per thousand impressions ($10/CPM), and you get a 2.0% click-through (20 visitors), your cost-per-visitor is $.50 ($10 per 20 visitors). Cost-per-Sale: Now you know about what you're going to pay per visitor. So what does that amount to per sale? Well, if 1 in every 20 visitors buys your product, your cost per sale is $10.00. Total Sale Amount : $9.95 USD Paypal's Fee Amount : -$0.59 USD Net Profit Amount : $9.36 USD So if each sale of your product produces a gross profit of $9.36, then your net profit per-sale will be -$.64 ($9.36 gross profit - $10 cost-per-sale). This campaign is not profitable! As you can see, something has to change in order to make a profit. That's why it's important to track and calculate every campaign. So what went wrong with this example? -Paying too much for the banner space? -Need a better click-through rate? -Need to charge more for your product? The truth is that only you have the information required to decide but at least at this point you're in a better position to make a qualified decision. Return on Investment Ratios: Your return-on-investment (ROI), before non-marketing expenses, is 0.0% ($0.00 total net profits with a $10 investment). Experiment by advertising on multiple sites or using different banners if your budget will allow it. Find the perfect campaigns that yield the highest ROI. A few terms to know: » CPM - Cost Per Impressions (The "M" comes from the Roman numeral for 1,000). So $20 CPM represents $20 per 1,000 displays of a banner). An Impressions is simply each time your banner is shown. » CPC - Cost Per Click. You pay an agreed amount for each click-through to your site. » Click-Through (CT) - A click on an ad which takes the viewer to another site. » Click-Through Rate (CTR) - This is the number of people who click on an ad (banner or text link) divided by the number of displays of the ad, represented in percentages. Example: 500 people click on an ad that has been shown 10,000 times, which works out at: 500/10,000 X 100% = 5%. » Run Of Site (ROS) - This means your banner will be displayed on all or most pages of the site. Buying or Creating your own banners: You can find a graphic designer to create your banner or you can simply learn to design and build you own. We have done both on this site and our research shows almost equal results when using identical conditions. We're not going to give tutorials on banner design but we will offer a few tips to help get you started. If you decide to purchase your banners: Do your research. There are many so called ' graphic designers' that have very little training or experience with any type of graphics much less internet marketing or banner advertising. Get any promises or guarantees in writing. Keep in mind that anyone can setup shop online and many have no idea what they're doing to say the least. Do it yourself banners: There are several options when it comes to creating your own banners. Again, we're not here to teach you how to design and build your own, just to guide you in the right direction. Here are a few things to consider: » Think through your design. » Decide on a format. » Flash or Animated. » Image or HTML. » The best banner size. » Image load times. Image or HTML? Well, most of the banners we see are image based, whether .gif, .jpg of flash. But there is another very simple alternative. The HTML banner. You can even combine images and HTML to create incredible banners. A couple benefits of using a HTML banner are: » HTML banner will normally load faster. » On a HTML banner, you can promote many links. Banners sizes: 468 x 60.....Full banner 234 x 60.....Half banner 392 x 72.....Full banner with vertical navigation bar 120 x 240...Vertical banner 125 x 125...Square button 120 x 90.....Button #1 120 x 60.....Button #2 88 x 31.......Micro button A few tips: Use attractive and attention grabbing images. Keep your text short and simple. Use proven key words like "free" and "now". "Free" is a very powerful incentive for the viewer to click on the button. Even the words "Click Here" can increase your click-through rate. Use a large font size for your message text. Create different versions of the banner. Test different banners to improve your click-through rate. Animate your banner, but use as few frames as possible to keep the file size to a quick loading minimum. Test new banners with a Pay Per Click network, before you use them in Pay Per Impression campaigns. Many sites display two different banners on each page, while others display the same banner at the top "top fold" and bottom "bottom fold" of each page. When given a choice, it's usually best to choose the top fold of page because the viewer is more likely to see your banner. You can expect to pay a lot less for "bottom fold" of page banner spaces. Brian Hawkins - Entrepreneur, Internet Marketer, Online business consultant, Author. Site owner and administrator of several sites including: http://www.extremesitepromotions.com/ and http://www.csc4u.com/
Think Outside The Box: Home Internet Business Ideas
Imagine never having to leave your home to work. Not having to deal with traffic, office politics, annoying co-workers, or pretentious bosses make excellent arguments to working out of the comfort of your own home. Additionally, you can create your own schedule and work around your responsibilities currently in your life. Whatever your needs, starting a business is a monumental task and you should carefully weigh all your home business idea's. There are a great many options for an entrepreneur to consider when developing a home business, so choose an option that fits into your passions, experiences, and lifestyle.
Marketing Your Networking Group
Several months ago I went on the cruise from hell. It wasn't advertised as a cruise from hell, but instead as an opportunity to check out a networking club, to have fun, to see what this particular group had to offer . . . but make no mistake, it was the cruise from hell.
Want To Make Money Online? You Need To Sell What People Are Buying
For several years now, enterprising individuals like you have been trying to make money on the Internet. It's flexible, low-cost, and if you do it right, can be extremely profitable. If you're among those who have tried to succeed and have not yet found that magic formula, you may just need to re-evaluate what you're trying to sell.
Make Your Internet Marketing Easier With Niche Marketing Keywords
If your home based business depends on niche marketing, keywords are your best friends. If your answer to the first sentence was no, you are missing out on a lot of potential business. This is because keywords are what people search for on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Excite, and if the keyword being searched on matches keywords provided on your Web site then your web page will be returned as a result.
Is Internet Marketing Saturated?
Is internet marketing and the potential for it saturated? I have wondered this many times but pure logic wins me over. It has at many times caused me to give up on an idea or marketing plan based on the belief that there were so many other people doing it my offer would never be considered. But after reading the following article you can get an idea that the internet is like a new city that crops up everyday, under a new sun, with all kinds of possibilities before you. You just need to see them and then take the reins and hold on.
Constant Change Is The Only Certainty In Online Marketing
This old saying which addresses the variability of the weather in Montana is also applicable to the volatile market dynamics for an online business. If there is one thing that is certain about the future of online marketing, it is that it will continue to constantly change.
10 Marketing Tips for Entrepreneurs
Nothing happens in business until a sale is made. Marketing is simply about getting new customers and keeping them. If you're not doing something everyday to market and promote your business, your competitors are. Here are ten easy-to-implement tips to effectively market and grow your business:
How to Turn Freebies in to Sales
You can increase sales and profits by offering freebies to people who buy your main product or service. They increase the over all value of your main offer and in return people feel they're getting more for less.
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