May 14, 2009

Introduction to Web Analytics


Hostway Team

You've got a stunning Web site, you're promoting it brilliantly, and yet, your conversion rate sits stubbornly at 3% or less. Or worse — you don't even know what your conversion rate is. Web analytics can help you find your conversion rate and the reason it's lower than you'd like it to be.

It's All About the Visitor

To engage in Web analytics is to piece together and observe the user experience as presented in data from your Web analytic software. It's about discovering who visited your Web site, what they did there, when and why they left. Armed with this information, you can create a better user experience, engage visitors and make it easy for them to convert.

How to Get Started

Web analytic software is easy to come by. You can get simplified versions for free online or included in some Web hosting accounts. More advanced applications are widely available for a price. Unless you have an unusually large or complex site, the free programs are probably enough to get you started.

Find Your Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is the percentage of Web site visitors who completed the action you requested on a given Web page. It could be that they made a purchase, filled out a form or signed up for an email list. You already have one piece of the information you need — the number of people who converted. Your Web analytics software will give you the other piece, and this is where Web analytics gets fun.

Five Numbers to Check Each Week

If you’re just looking for an overall snapshot of your Web site’s success without getting too deep into the numbers, take a look at the five traffic reports worth reading every week. We’ve pulled together a guided tour of the most important analytics that tell you how successful your Web site is and how to interpret them.

To help you out, let's take a look at some of the numbers you'll find in your Web analytics program and what they mean.

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