Whether you are operating a Web business, or just using the Web as an online brochure for your brick and mortar business, it is important to look at the numbers behind your website. The Web has become an integral medium for any business today that it is important to understand how your web site is contributing to your overall goals. If your site is not using any web analytics software – whether the free Google Analytics or the pricier WebTrends – you need to install one as soon as possible.
If you have a web analytics software installed, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have goals set up with your analytics? Whether you are selling products on the Web or collecting leads from your site, your analytics software should be able to tell you how well (or poorly) your site is able to direct your visitors toward the goals. If they are not buying or signing up for your newsletter, you need to know why.
- What is the best way to get visitors to your site? Is your site too dependent on a single biggest traffic source (e.g. 85% of your traffic is from Google), and if so, what happens if that referrer stops bringing traffic to your site? Are there areas where you can improve – e.g. increase direct traffic or increase referral traffic?
- What topics and pages attract the most traffic?
- How long are visitors staying in your site? If you are running an ad-supported web site, you may not mind that users are visiting only one page and then leaving your site by clicking on an ad. But if you’ve got an online store, you may have to examine why visitors are only checking one page and leaving without buying anything.
- How is the social media bringing traffic and contributing to the attainment of your goals?