Your traffic statistics provide insights that can help strategise the future development of your site, as well as your overall business and marketing plan. Understanding your website’s traffic patterns is an essential component of your marketing mix. The information in these logs is collected as visitors find and move around your site at their own volition.
Making informed business decisions
The details of your site’s activity can help your organisation make informed business decisions – like whether to carry or discontinue a product, or how to make the site more attractive and efficient for your internal users and clients. This level of knowledge requires analyzing your web logs manually, with commercial web analysis tool or with help from a commercial service. However, some website administrators are wary of information overload from web logs and of the difficulty in deciphering log data.
How web analytics helps businesses
Despite the tedious task of sifting through countless information, web analysis can pay off. For instance, a midsize electronics distributor that had been analysing its web traffic for several months noticed increased interest in its security products, such as smart cards. This led the company to launch a marketing campaign for its security offerings, and within a couple of months saw a significant rise in revenue.
The golden rule
Most log-analysis products come with some path-analysis report that can be used to decide which areas of the site needs revision. A good rule of thumb to follow is: If more than 5 percent of visitors to a website enter on a particular page — from the products page, for example– that page should get as much priority as the home page. You might consider spicing it up with dynamic content, advertisements, and special promotions. The 5 percent rule can also be applied to exit pages to keep users on your website longer and entice them to make more purchases or seek additional information.
The reality is that most of your visitors only stay a few minutes and rarely purchase products. Review the exit-page statistics of your site to determine where visitors are leaving the website. If it’s not from a page considered a destination, such as a page that lists the categories of products but doesn’t show any products, chances are you can reroute them by changing the architecture or content of pages. Check if the content on the exit page is too long or too short, or it might not be appealing to your target audience. Perhaps there’s a broken link or an image that takes too long to load.
Take the time and effort to tap this gold mine of information and you just might strike it rich.