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Web Site Traffic Analysis - Critical for your Online Success

Harness Your Site's Stats to Measure Your Success

One thing all successful businesses have in common is that they
test everything, and assume nothing. But in order to test, you
have to be able to measure results.

After all, if you don't know your site's vital statistics --
also called metrics -- you won't see the danger signs until it's
too late. Plus, if you're not measuring the numbers that matter
most to your business, you could be missing huge opportunities
to improve.

The good news is that, with e-businesses, tracking results is a
snap. But there's a lot of conflicting and confusing information
out there about web site statistics, so in this issue, I'm going
to give you a primer on keeping a finger on the pulse of your
venture.

To really know where your business is and track its health, you
need three sets of information:

Your sales figures, Your subscriber and customer statistics, and
Usage details from your web site. I'll assume you already have
your sales, customer, and subscriber info handy, so that leaves
us with web site usage details.

Every time someone requests one of your web pages and the files associated with it (i.e. graphics, audio, banner ads, buttons, etc.) from the server that hosts your web site, these details are recorded in a file called a server log.

You should be able to access these files from your web host,
either through their own reporting system or as raw data that
you can then analyze using your own software.

Here are just a few of the things your web logs can tell you:

1. Which search engines bring your site the most visitors.
2. What keywords visitors are using in the search engines to find your site.
3. Which linking partners and ads are bringing you the most
traffic.
4. How long your visitors are staying on your site and on
individual pages.
5. Which pages your visitors are most interested in.
6. Where visitors are entering -- and exiting -- your site.
7. But the truth is, some of these numbers are meaningless on their own. After all, there are plenty of dot-coms out there who get loads of traffic but still don't see many sales!

Frankly, it's combining your site stats with your existing sales
and subscriber information that makes these metrics powerful.

Critical Stats You Should Be Tracking

In general, the most important statistics are called "conversion
rates." These are ways of measuring how successfully you are
achieving the goals of your site, such as converting curious
browsers into buyers or converting first-time buyers into repeat
customers.

You'll likely have several conversion rates to focus on as you
guide your customers through the sales cycle, but here are some
key formulas:

1. How many visitors are you converting into customers?

Your Visitor-to-Customer Conversion Rate is one of the easiest
stats to gather, but also one of the most powerful. It's a quick
indication of how effectively you're convincing visitors to buy
from you.

# of sales
# of visitors x 100 = Visitor-to-Customer Conversion Rate

So if you get 10,000 visitors a month and 472 of them become
customers, then your conversion rate is 4.7%.

472
10,000 x 100 = 4.7%

2. How many visitors are signing up for your newsletter?

Known as the Visitor-to-Subscriber Conversion Rate, this metric
tells you how attractive your subscription offer is. Keep an eye
on this figure as you test different positions and copy for your
sign-up form.

# of subscribers
# of visitors x 100 = Visitor-to-Subscriber Conversion Rate

If you get 10,000 new visitors to your site in a week and 2,730
of them subscribe to your free newsletter, then your conversion
rate is 27%.

2,730
10,000 x 100 = 27%

3. How many of your newsletter subscribers are becoming
customers?

Your Subscriber-to-Customer Conversion Rate is a good test of
how effective a sales tool your newsletter is. This is
especially important if your main product is a paid newsletter.

# of customers
# of subscribers x 100 = Subscriber-to-Customer Conversion Rate

If 120 of your 2,730 subscribers end up buying something from
you, then your subscriber-to-customer conversion Rate is 4.4%.

120
2,730 x 100 = 4.4%

4. How much revenue are you making from each visitor?

Very simply, this Revenue per Visitor stat shows how much you're
earning from your average visitor. This is particularly valuable
since this number helps determine how much you can spend to
acquire a new visitor while still earning a profit.

sales
# of visitors = Revenue per Visitor

If you sold $6,000 worth of inventory this month and had 39,000
visitors to your site, you would know your revenue per visitor
is about $0.15.

$6,000
39,000 = $0.15

5. How many people are clicking where you want them to click?

Your Click-through Rate shows the percentage of people who
"click through" from your salesletter to your order form (or any
other link you want to measure).

clicks on link x
# of visitors to page with link x x 100 = Click-through Rate

For example, if you get 10,000 visitors to your salesletter, and
650 click on the link to your order form, then your salesletter
has a click-through rate of 6.5%.

650
10,000 x 100 = 6.5%

Advanced Stats You Should Be Tracking

Beyond the basic metrics I've covered above, there are some more
advanced measurements you should be aware of. This powerful
information will give you even more insight into your business
and ways you can bring it to the next level.

1. How are your customers moving through your site?

For any site that has more than a page or two, this is a crucial
-- but often ignored -- set of metrics, referred to as
Clickstream. It basically involves tracking how visitors move
through your site, including where they enter, where they exit,
and what pages they view along the way.

Included in this category are stats like your homepage "bounce"
rate: How many visitors to your homepage leave (or "bounce")
without going any deeper into the site. If 75% of your visitors
don't click a single link off of your main entry page, you'll
need to find out why, or you're wasting valuable traffic.

The clickstream will also show which pages people are leaving
your site from. For example, if more people leave the site from
your order form than any other page, you might need to assess
how "user friendly" this form is. This can be a crucial way of
seeing how effectively your navigation system is guiding your
visitors toward your products.


2. How much is it costing you to attract new visitors to your
site?

The Cost per Visitor (CPV) stat tells you how much it costs, on
average, to get a visitor to your site. If you're using paid
advertising, this can be a particularly valuable figure. Just
compare your cost per visitor to your revenue per visitor, and
you'll know whether or not your advertising is profitable.

Marketing Costs
# of visitors x 100 = Cost per Visitor

If you spent $1,200 on a campaign and it brought 2,700 new
visitors, then your cost per visitor is $0.44.

$1,200
2,700 x 100 = $0.44

3. How much are you paying to gain each new customer?

This Cost per Customer (CPC) is a key number to track to make
sure you aren't paying more to attract each customer than you
make in profit from each sale.

Marketing Costs
# of customers x 100 = Cost per Customer

If you spent $1,200 on a campaign and it brought 327 new
customers, then your cost per customer is $3.67.

$1,200
327 x 100 = $3.67

Quick Tip: Unless you have a custom-built system, you won't be
able to view all of your stats in one place, so I recommend
setting up a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel, where you can plug
key sales numbers and stats into one "dashboard" to track all of
your key metrics over time. Once you figure out all of the
formulas, you can just type in your new details each week to
track your progress.

Tools to Analyze Your Site Traffic

There are a few basic tools to help automate how you measure
your site’s performance:

1. Software Solutions:

Obtaining your server logs is a good first step in getting hold
of some of the key information you need to measure your success. Some web hosts already have log analysis software, which makes things really easy. They will import your server logs into their database, and automatically turn all of the numbers into easy-to-read reports, graphs, and charts.

If your web host doesn't offer this service, you need to ask
them for your server logs, which you can download via FTP. In
many cases, what you are going to get is raw log data -- piles
of numbers and symbols that are almost impossible to interpret!
But there are dozens of log analyzing programs out there that
will make sense of this information.

Here are a few of the programs that I'm familiar with:

ClickTracks:
http://www.cooltoolawards.com/software/utilities/clicktrack.htm
Open Web Scope:
http://www.cooltoolawards.com/software/communications/

2. ASP Solutions:

While server logs are rich with information, they have their
limits. They can tell you how many visitors you get in a day,
for instance, but not how many are coming to your site for the
very first time. That's where ASP (application solution
provider) tracking solutions are great.

Using an ASP to measure your stats usually involves pasting a
nugget of HTML code (usually with some JavaScript and an image) onto each of your pages. When a visitor comes to your site for the first time, they may be assigned a "cookie," which is a small text file that records their visit.

The ASP then tracks visitors through your site and provides a
web site where you can check your results. (Note: If you use an ASP solution, check to see if they use cookies to track
visitors, since it may mean altering your privacy policy.)

Here are a few ASPs that offer tracking services. ASPs generally
charge based on the number of page views. Some offer free
versions, but require you to display a banner or small button on
each page, something you should obviously try to avoid if you
can.

Site Meter (http://www.sitemeter.com/)
SiteStats (http://www.sitestats.com/)
HitBox (http://www.hitbox.com/)
IndexTools (http://indextools.com/)
ClickTracks
(http://www.softwarekey.com)

3. Other Tools:

If you are using software like AssocTRAC to track your affiliate
sales, then you may also use it to track the metrics behind
banner ads, text links, buttons, or any type of advertising you
pay for, including PPC campaigns down to individual keywords.

This can be a powerful way to track such vital metrics as Sales
per Visitor and your conversion rates on paid advertising much
more accurately than otherwise possible. You'll be able to track
these statistics for each link into your site by assigning each
a distinct tracking number.

Final Thoughts

Tracking your results is one of the most important things you
can do to ensure that you are always increasing your profits.
After all, if you don't know what the problem is, how on earth
can you expect to fix it?

But make sure the key metrics you're focusing on apply to your
site's specific needs, and continue tracking them as you test
various solutions to the problems you've identified. Of course,
numbers won't always tell you the whole story, so you may want to consider combining these results with other sources, such as usability studies, customer satisfaction surveys, and focus groups.

If you have a custom-built ordering or database system on your
site, it may well produce data of its own, so make sure you can
capture that as well. If you've got technical resources
available to you, a simple customized solution might also
capture the specific metrics that you need to track.

Those businesses that do take the time to carefully track their
results are going to be the most successful, and it's for the
simple reason that they are able to fix problems as soon as they
discover them. If they find that their revenue per customer is
lower than the cost of acquiring those customers, they can
search for less expensive ways of attracting new customers while trying to boost the amount each existing customer spends. If they're getting lots of visits to their salesletter but not converting sales, they can make changes to the copy right away.

This is why marketing over the Internet is so exciting and so
lucrative. It is the only medium where you can measure your
success in real time, and then make changes based on what you've learned -- all within just hours or days!

Track Exactly Where Your Best Customers Are Coming From!

AssocTRAC is a powerful, full-featured affiliate software
solution that gives you the exact tools you need to instantly
harness the true profit-generating power of an affiliate
program. Plus, this powerful software can also be used to
uncover rich metrics you won't find in your server logs!

Track -- to the penny -- exactly how much you're earning for
each customer referred to you, and know instantly who's
delivering the most lucrative traffic. Advertise your business on every corner of the Web -- FREE! With hundreds, even thousands, of affiliates personally recommending your products and services to their subscribers! Never lose money on ineffective advertising -- ever again. You only pay when a sale is made! Track 10,000 affiliates as easily as one affiliate with softwarethat manages everything automatically!

Skyrocket your sales by 400% or more with third-party
recommendations that are far more powerful than you promoting
yourself!

If you want to profit from the awesome power of affiliate
programs while tracking the precise value of every paid link to
your site, go to:

http://www.marketingtips.com/assoctrac/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Corey Rudl is the owner of four highly
successful online businesses that attract more than 1.8 million
visitors per month and generate over $6.6 million each year. He
is also the author of the #1 best-selling Internet Marketing
course online.

To check out his site that's JAM-PACKED WITH THE EXACT
INFORMATION YOU NEED to start, build, and grow your very own
profitable Internet business, I highly recommend visiting

http://www.marketingtips.com

______________________________________________

 


web site traffic increase analysis statistics free targeted building site tool traffic web purchase guaranteed buy does
meter analysis information site traffic web adult drive site traffic web highest traffic web site get free traffic to your
web site enhancement rating site traffic

 

 

 

 

 

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