Tracking and Analytics

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Tracking and Analytics

It’s impossible to know how well your website is performing without implementing some form of tracking and analytics. An analytics package is a small piece of code that you place on your website that tracks all activity on the site – for example it will tell you how much traffic you are getting and where your visitors came from.

You can find out if they were sent by social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook, or whether they were referred to you by the search engines or even from a link on another blog. If your visitors came from the search engines, your analytics package should be able to tell you which country they came from and which keywords were used to perform the search that led to your website.

You can then use this information to tweak your search engine optimisation so that you increase your traffic further. For example you may notice from your analytics that you have gained visitors for a keyword that your content is not optimised for. On checking the search results for this keyword, you find you are listed on page three, which means that the visitors found the first two pages of results unsuitable for their needs and kept searching till they found you. This is an opportunity – if you optimise your content for this keyword, you can rank on the first page, and as a result get more traffic.

You should also be able to use analytics packages to pinpoint which pages on your site are the most popular. This then allows you to target and focus your monetisation efforts on those particular pages rather than waste time on the non-performing parts of your site.

Your tracking and analytics package should also be able to tell you whether your site gets return visitors or new visitors (important as the strategy for monetising return visitors is usually different to that of new visitors), as well as how willing the site’s visitors are to perform certain actions, such as loading the shopping cart or subscribing to your newsletter. The most sophisticated packages have software that allows you to set and analyze conversion goals so that you can assess which page layout results in the most sales.

Analytics reports also perform as an early warning system, when your website is about to get into land in trouble. For example if the statistics show a sudden drop in traffic, you can then investigate the cause – perhaps your hosting has gone down or perhaps the site has been hacked and the search engines have removed it from their listings. In absense of an alert from your statistics however, this error could have persisted for weeks before you even found out there was a problem.

There are several different types of tracking and analytics packages available, the most popular of which is the free Google Analytics. However some web masters prefer to use other packages such as Clicky as they do not wish to provide Google with too much information about their site performance.

To get the most out of your website, we can advise you which package to choose, how to install it and how to analyse the statistics generated to improve traffic and sales.

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