Archive for July, 2010


Analyze This

   Posted by: Gary Wagnon    in search engine optimization, web design

So you have a website, but is it performing?  You monitor your advertising efforts, you may even ask customers that call where they found you.  And you may even be gratified when they say they found you online.

But are you really getting the most out of your web site?  An analysis of your web statistics can provide you a wealth of information.  Most web hosting companies can provide you with stats on your site.  Another option is adding Google Analytics to your site.  (Google Analytics may be the easiest if you don’t have access to your web server’s control panel.)

One common question I get is “What do all these mean?”  Even though the categories are self-explanatory, what do they REALLY mean?

The first stat is unique visitors vs (total) visitors.  So what is the difference?  When a browser comes to your site the first time, they are counted as in the unique visitor and in the visitor total.  The second time (and beyond) they are counted only in the visitor total.  Are you providing current information that draws visitors back?  If you business is a one time sale, then unique visitors are the most important stat of the 2.  But even if that is the nature of your business, providing relevant content of value, even your old customers, can result in referrals and possibly repeat business.

The next stat to analyze is time spent on the site.  Sadly, by far the largest time block is less than 30 seconds for most web sites.  That means that most browsers spend less than 30 seconds before leaving your site and going to the next one.  Why?  Some factors that effect the “stickiness” of your site are:

  • Lack of Content
  • Poorly Organized Content
  • Difficult to Navigate
  • Overall Site Appearance
  • Out of Date Information

Very few businesses have a monopoly on the web today.  The competition is fierce and you must be equally aggressive if you want to claim your piece of the pie.

Bounce rate is another factor related to time spent.  The bounce rate refers to the percentage of single page visits in which a browser left your site from the entrance page.  High bounce rates can be the result of ineffective headlines, poor keyword choices or poorly worded ad campaigns.

Another stat to pay particular attention to is the keywords section.  Most web site owners look at the keywords with an eye to which keyword brings in the most visitors.  But an equally critical piece is what keywords are NOT there.  When you did your keyword analysis, you should have identified the keywords that best matched your business.  If some of those keywords do not show up in your stats, it may be time to evaluate your content and have some additional search engine optimization (SEO) done.

Finally, review the referrers section.  For years this section was a measure of SEO efforts.  And while that is still true, with the importance of social media, this stat has become a measure for your return on engagement in social media.  The importance of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and especially you blog in your SEO plan have been well documented.  A successful social media plan will result in driving traffic to your web site.  The referrer stat helps you document the traffic that is coming from the various social media and identify weak areas.

If you have gone to the effort of creating a web site, doesn’t it make sense to get the most from your site?  Use your stats as a guide to maximize your traffic and your revenue.

Gary Wagnon and is a specialist in search engine optimization, web site design and social media marketing.  If you would like a free, no obligation SEO analysis, feel free to contact 800biz.


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