Using Statistics to Improve Site Conversions
Keeping a consistent and comprehensive record of monthly website statistics is essential to understanding where to focus your marketing strategy and if new techniques have worked or not. Statistics programs can vary hugely in quality and complexity, but even the most basic should be able to provide you with quantifiable data, a summary and monthly history for your Web site’s performance.
What Your Web Site Statistics Show
From your statistics you should be able to view information on:
- Unique visitors – Each different IP address visiting your site.
- Pages – The number of times a Web page is viewed.
- Hits – The number of times a file on a Web site is called up by a Web browser. This should not be mistaken for the number of visitors to your site.
- Visits – The number of accesses made by the same visitor (e.g. if one unique IP / visitor views more than one Web page in an hour, all pages are viewed as part of one visit).
- Time periods – Typically these show you when the site was visited, how many pages were viewed and how many hits were made.
- Visitors’ origins – If enabled, this tells you where visitors come from, from which host addresses your site has been viewed and which robots have crawled your Web site.
- Visitors’ behaviour – You may also be able to find out how long each visit lasted, which pages were most visited and where visitors entered and exited your Web site.
- Search engine performance – The words or phrases people have used to reach your Web site and which search engines and Web sites delivered the most traffic.
One of the keys to successfully getting people to take action on your Web site is by providing highly persuasive content (this being the aim of marketers in every medium). However, before you begin the challenge of creating content, you first have to understand the way in which people use your Web site.
Different people visit your Web site for different reasons. Some will be fact-finding, some may be window-shopping and others may be deciding whom to do business with. It’s almost impossible to discern people’s intentions from their on-site behaviour, but you can use your site statistics to find out which specific pages of your site are viewed most and how long people are staying on your site.
Even with this basic information, you can begin to formulate a strategic approach to the content on your Web site. If you want to get more information about your Web site visitors, we highly recommend using Google Analytics. It’s free to use and designed to help you learn even more about where your visitors come from and how they interact with your site.
Getting the Most Out of Commonly Viewed Pages
If you find from your statistics that particular Web pages are attracting more visitors, pay these pages particular attention. By tracking conversions on these pages and by editing the text and images regularly, you can build up a picture of what content is working best.
Once you know what works, you can apply the same content principles to other pages of your Web site. By tracking the time people spend on your site over a 12 month period for example, you can begin the process of working out which editorial changes are helping you to create sticky content.
This is relatively quick and easy to do, especially if you have a content management system driven Web site.
Top 10 Tips For Improving Your Conversion Ratio
- Check the optimisation of your page so you can see whether people have reached you from search engines (from natural or paid listings).
- Make sure you monitor conversions from commonly viewed pages.
- Decide on what specific conversion you wish to track (such as making an enquiry, a sale or signing up for a newsletter).
- Create a page that is viewed after the conversion (action) is taken (this can be a thank you or receipt page).
- Add conversion script (e.g. from your Web developer, Google Analytics or Adwords).
- Change the wording of your heading from time to time – the heading and sub-headings need to be some of the most attention grabbing elements on the page.
- Change the wording of your main page text – are you really ‘selling’ your service or your product? (Don’t be afraid of experimenting with your language!)
- Make sure you highlight any benefits of a service / product offering.
- Check that calls to action are clearly viewable, quick and easy to use.
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If you host your Web site with Avatar, view more information on how to access your Web statistics.
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