One of the main goals of most websites is to have good traffic levels. That is, a large number of people visiting your website, and visiting multiple times if that’s appropriate for the type of site you operate. For other websites, the most important metric may be “conversions” –of all the people who come to your website, what percentage of them actually “convert” into customers or members by taking whatever action you want them to.
Of all the people who come to your website, what percentage of them actually “convert” into customers or members by taking whatever action you want them to?
It’s therefore important to work to improve your traffic and conversion numbers. But in order to do this, you need to know what your current levels are (so you have a baseline upon which to improve), and you need to be able to measure how your various promotional activities and initiatives are affecting your traffic and conversion numbers.
In order to do any tracking, you’ll need a technical method for doing so. Your website might have a built-in statistics or analytics package, but it might not provide you with the level of detail that you need. If you don’t currently use analytics software, consider the free Google Analytics solution; it’s easy to install, and very powerful. While there are many different types of data to collect, at a minimum you should be tracking the following:
The first set of data to analyze is the sources of your website traffic. Google Analytics breaks this down a number of different ways, so that you can see what percentage of your traffic types your web address into their browser, what percentage came from another site’s link (and what those links are) and how many visitors came by finding your website on a search engine. You can use this data to either try to gain traffic from additional sources, or to focus your efforts on the sources that are already proving to be successful.
Search Engine Keywords
When you examine the traffic that came to your site from a search engine, you’ll also be able to see what keyword or keyword phrase led someone to your site. You can use this information to try to improve your website’s standing for that keyword or keyword phrase (by using proper SEO techniques, for example). You can also use the best keyword or keyword phrase as a potential basis for web advertising.
Advertising Clicks and Conversion Rates
Tracking clicks and conversions can be very beneficial in determining if what you are doing is successful. If you use different links for each advertisement, you’ll also be able to identify which advertisements or content lead to a higher percentage, as well as a higher number, of conversions. For example Google’s AdWords program makes it easy to identify which of your advertisements are giving you the most clicks and conversions.
It’s not essential that you know exactly what metrics are going to be most important to you when you start gathering the data. The important thing is to start the gathering process now, so that you’ll have more data available as you learn what measurements are most important to your website.