Who comes to your site and why?

One of the perceived problems with marketing through the web is the fact that you can’t see your customer.

For example, a business might spend a significant amount to put up a website, and even more resources in time to write articles as well as referring people to their site, never to know if that last customer was a result of their now increased web presence or if they simply looked them up in the yellow pages. Unfortunately for many this encourages a ‘blind faith’ in your website, and those of us who run businesses know that blind faith won’t get you far, facts and data are what make conversions.

Enter ‘analytics’.
For those unfamiliar with the term, analytics are research and statistics reporting tools that tell you everything about the people that visit your site including (but not limited to) their geographical location, whether or not they are a return visitor, which pages they visit, where they come from, and how long they stay. Now that we can watch what our visitors do on our websites we can design it to ensure maximum usability and sales.

An example of this could be an alternative medicine clinic and online store. While they have been making a reasonable amount of online sales, it seems to be random chance that determines whether they have a great sales week or bad one. What we know for sure, however, is that nothing is random. They have been handing out flyers and writing articles on their site consistently but don’t know which of these methods to concentrate on. With the installation of analytics the store could discover that majority of their traffic isn’t in fact coming through their articles, one’s on back pain in particular. Even more so, the people who come through the articles may be three times more likely to make a purchase than those who began at their front page (presumably visiting because of the flyers). It immediately becomes obvious that back pain is an issue that people are searching for online, and therefore one which is delivering the highest quality traffic to their site. They could then focus their time writing articles on that subject in particular, focussing in and making their marketing campaign more effective. Business managers and entrepreneurs have been doing this offline as far back as we can remember, and now online managers can do it with even more precision.

Most people who have heard about this technology tend to think that it is a tool only available in the highest end of websites, those that can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Once again, this isn’t true, it is simply that the best web designers are the ones who implement it correctly and the best managers who use it. The tool is in fact available free of charge through Google, and once set up is surprisingly user friendly.

There really isn’t any good reason not to implement some kind of analytics on your site, whether it be full conversion tracking or simply a head count to see which is your best quality traffic. As a rule we include it in every system that produce for a client and make sure they know how to harness the power of these statistics to use in their favour. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll never go back to the ‘dark ages’ of and guess work with internet business. It doesn’t have to be a black art. Welcome to a new market.

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