Use web analytics to understand your site visitors.

Measuring results is important in everything we do in business and is one of the keys to constant improvement; so once you have your site up and running, what website analytics tools do you use to monitor its performance?

There are five key areas we have identified that you can focus your attention on – not only to point out weaknesses of your site, but to see what’s working well.

1. Number Of Visitors

The number of visitors you get is one determining factor of how successful your online business will ultimately be, as site traffic means leads – it’s the equivalent of people passing your high street shop.

Seeing an incremental increase with some welcome spikes in numbers now and again should mean that you are doing the right things, though obviously it’s difficult to be specific with numbers; if you are operating in a small niche you may be after smaller numbers of highly qualified traffic rather than mass numbers.

2. Who Are The Referrers?

Installing Google Analytics allows you to see where your visitors are coming from – who the referral sites are.

This is important as it can help you to identify where your optimization efforts are working best. For example you may see that most of your traffic comes from YouTube or Google organic searches; rather than focus on getting traffic from other sources, you may like to focus future marketing efforts on developing these traffic sources, encouraging even more traffic to click through from those referrers.

Often website owners spend too much time worrying about “plugging holes” and finding out where they are weak rather than using the areas where they are particularly strong to their full advantage.

3. Bounce Rate

This site analytics tool is a measure of the visitors who come to your site and then move quickly on, either finding it’s not what they’re after or clicking through by mistake. Essentially they may land on your page and then hit the “Back” button within seconds.

As a general guideline, if you are finding a bounce rate of over 40% then perhaps you need to be thinking about engaging your visitors more; you are not grabbing their attention and getting them to “stick” to your page.

4. Time On Page

This is also a good measure of how engaging your page is to your visitors. If the time is less than a minute then it’s not usually enough time to absorb your message; nowadays using video is a great way to grab attention and engage your visitor sufficiently so that you can drive the average time spent on your page upwards. Make sure your copy is sharp and compelling too – average online attention spans are short and getting shorter!

5. Conversions

Check conversion rates – both for opt-ins to your free reports/newsletters etc and for actual sales.

Think of ways you can increase conversion rates by improving copy/videos to make your message more compelling; a guideline target for opt-ins would be somewhere between 15-25% and for conversion to sales might be around 2%, but it really depends on your business and where your traffic is coming from/how prequalified it is.

As you can see from the above, website analytics can be used to closely monitor site performance and can help you fine-tune your site and marketing approaches for better results.

The Competition Crusher workshop is full of advice and tips like this for creating successful start-up online businesses. Just click here to watch it for free.

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