Five Quick Ways to Get More From Your Web Stats
Five Quick Ways to Get More From Your Web Stats
Two things: First, if you're not reading your Web reports, you can admit it, and you’re not alone. After some informal surveys we found less than half of the people who are in charge of their company’s Web site read their Web reports with any regularity. When we asked those same people how many of them actually used their Web reports to change their site according to the results, the number shrunk almost into the single digits.
Second, perhaps obviously: You should not only be reading your reports every week, you should be devouring them, tearing into them and extracting and ingesting as much information as you can from them, and using that information to make your site and your marketing communications efforts work to their fullest potential.
If you have a Web site, chances are you have some sort of Web tracking software. It may be bundled with your Web development tools, or it may have been sold to you as a separate, proprietary package. Web tracking and reporting software is available that offers results from the most rudimentary to the most highly sophisticated and detailed. Whether you’re a big company prepared to spend big money, or you just want the basics, the Web is quickly becoming the most important marketing communications tool for businesses both large and small, and any information you can get from your reports about your customer’s behavior and about your visitors’ habits is information essential to maintaining the best possible relationship between you and your audience.
The software we use at CCI and that we provide for our Web clients offers detailed information about who visits a site, what pages users visited, what they downloaded (if the site offers downloads), and where the most frequent links come from. If you have banner ads elsewhere on the Web, your Web tracking software should be able to tell you with pinpoint accuracy if it is working.
When you read your reports, you may find that your readers’ habits differ from what you originally expected. For example, most organizations have a page that features its most important information or service. But when reviewing your stats, you may find that readers are not finding this page; this should immediately prompt you to change or move that page somewhere to feature it more prominently on your site. Similarly, your Web stats can provide in depth analysis of the route that most users take, page by page. Is this the same route you would like them to take? Can they draw the conclusion you would like them to draw based on what most of them are reading?
Depending on the amount of sophistication a potential client is looking for from their Web site, CCI can set up multiple sections of a site that require a log-in, which provides useful information on your visitors. By offering incentives to provide data, you can capture more details about your users and, in turn, provide them better information and services, and a better overall user experience.
By looking at the statistics generated from your Web tracking software, you can see what is working for you, what isn't, and make adjustments accordingly. Your Web site should provide your sales and marketing team with access to a highly sophisticated means of precisely-targeted and cost-effective sales, lead generation and customer relationship tools—you can adjust your sales efforts according to the story your statistics tell. For example, a particular Web client of ours is often tipped off to a potential sale because they know exactly when a buyer is looking at their site by the sudden influx of traffic from a single company and/or domain. They use that knowledge to promote their product to that company with an all out blitz, and it has become their number one lead generation tool. And because the leads are extremely targeted, more often than not, they are leads that result in closed business.
Unfortunately, many companies not only do not rethink their communications efforts according to what their Web site is telling them, but many do not even know what their site is doing. If you spend money on an advertising campaign, you wouldn’t consider not tracking those dollars to see if they’re effective; however, many organization have a Web site, hoping that it’s performing and never really knowing. For the success of your business, it is vital that you ensure that your Web site is doing all that it can and should. If you have the tools, it is imperative that you utilize them. If you don’t have this information at your fingertips, give us a call and we'll help you achieve it.
Five Ways to Using Your Web Stats
- Watch traffic flow closely—it can offer the most targeted leads to new business available to your organization.
- Make sure your viewers are finding the most important information and services your organization has to offer.
- Give users incentives to provide you with data that you can use to improve your site, for both you and your users.
- Know the sites that are linking to your site successfully, and, conversely, know the links that don’t work.
- Most importantly: use your stats to change your site to provide the best experience possible for your users.