Step 12 - Visitor Analysis
get intimated by these jargons: "visitor analytics,” "referrers,”
and “conversions.” Although these words may seem to come out of a "techno
bible,” the truth is, the concepts of measuring who is visiting your site
are very similar to measuring the results of any direct marketing campaign.
When you spend a great deal of time and effort selecting your keywords,
optimizing your pages, and building links to your site, you don't want
to be left in the dark about how your search engine optimization campaign
is progressing. Running ranking reports can alert you to any new algorithm
changes and can give you a good idea about your competitors' strengths;
however, the ranking reports will not tell you anything about who is visiting
While monitoring your search engine ranking
is very important to stay up-to-date on any fluctuations in your site's
ranking, it's only one half of the story. The other half of the story
is what happens after someone clicks on your URLs in the search results.
If you don't know the answer, you owe it to yourself to invest in a server
log or tag based visitor statistics tool that can give you powerful insights
into your online marketing campaigns' performance.
The advantages of visitor analysis tools
don't use some type of web visitors’ analytics tool, you are most likely
to have no idea how many visitors come to your site and which search engines
referred those visitors. Without these vital statistics, how can you effectively
improve your website's ranking and profitability?
Today's modern web analytic tools can provide
a wealth of valuable information that can not only report basic user,
referrer, and site usage information, but it can also report specific
actions users have taken on your site.
Moreover, visitor statistics tools can
even tell you if a "conversion" has resulted from a specific
search query used to send a visitor to your site from the search engines.
You are probably already familiar with the word "conversion,” but
in the context of visitor statistics, it may mean something completely
different from what you think. A "conversion" is any action
a user takes on a website. Actions can range from signing up for a newsletter,
downloading, or completing a purchase on the site. Conversion improvements
are one of the fundamental goals of visitor statistics tools.
We can break down the advantages of visitor
statistics tools into these important categories:
Basic website statistics,
including the number of unique and returning visitors to your site by
hours, day, month or year. This is
the minimum requirement for any serious visitor statistics systems. Accurate
numbers on visitor traffic volumes is key to your optimization efforts
and can set a baseline for targeting new keywords or launching other web
Gathers referrer data
of every visitor, and further breaks down the reports by search engines
and keywords used. This is probably
the single most used report by search engine marketers. It's a wonderful
feeling to see your optimization efforts paying off by seeing hard evidence,
your site is being found on the search engines using your target keywords.
provides answer to the question, "where are my visitors coming
from?" The website visitors can
literally leave a trail of evidence behind them about their location and
their PC's configuration. A good analytics package should be able to report
not only the IP address of the visitors accessing your site, but the actual
location, down to the city and state level.
Live reporting of visitors
on your site. It's not an absolute
requirement, but if you are investing in pay-per-click campaign and testing
new keywords, it's essential to get an immediate picture of how well your
PPC campaigns are doing. You can analyze in real time how different groups
of visitors respond to your campaign landing pages, page layouts, offers
Reports page views,
bounce rates and visitor click paths.
Increasing your website's "stickiness" is achieved through improved
usability and publishing great content. The more pages your visitors "see,”
the higher the page views score will be. The bounce rate is the measure
of a single page load. This could be the home page or any other page on
your site. A bounce is said to occur when a visitor exits you site from
the same page he entered on. Higher bounce rate means, the site has some
navigational flaws or doesn't have the right appeal to get visitors to
click through to other pages.
The click paths can pinpoint confusing page layouts and unappealing
content pages. Determining which pages on your site help your bottom line
and which ones hurt your profitability is very important. By studying
the most common exit paths from your site, you can quickly discover which
pages are driving people away from your site.
helps to continually improve search engine marketing and increase your
bottom line. Web statistics systems
should be able to monitor both organic and PPC referrer results and separate
them into drill down reports. A further segmentation of the organic and
PPC results is necessary by search engine and keyword to get a complete
picture of your search engine marketing ROI breakdown. Getting a glimpse
into which campaigns are successful and which aren't, from email and online
advertising to affiliate and partner programs, is also an important consideration.
You can achieve substantial increase in web site conversion by finding
out the conversion rates for each page, path, and conversion scenario.
There is a wealth of information buried
in your web server logs about your visitors and their navigational patterns.
Most importantly, you want to identify trends in your website's traffic
which can be traced back to your search engine optimization campaigns.
This is important because optimizing your site for the right keywords
can make all the difference in your website's success. The higher your
site ranks for well targeted keyword phrases the higher your website traffic
will climb. Remember, traffic alone is nothing without persuading your
visitors to take some favorable action on your site with well laid out
design and clear compelling content.
For more information on visitor analysis
tools, please visit this list of commercial
log analysis products. The Google directory category covers most of
the popular visitor statistics tools that are available for tracking your
visitors. Google also offers its own visitor tracking solution for free
called Google Analytics. It's a very well designed
package and recent improvements had made it an almost unbeatable option
for visitor analysis. The only drawback is the delay in reporting is over
24 hours, which makes real-time analysis impossible. If you need a live
visitor statistics program without any reporting delay, you may want invest
in a top-notch visitor statistics program such as web-stat.com.
You can even use both tools side-by-side giving you the ultimate tool
in website traffic analysis.