Your Website Statistics - What Matters Most
There is an awful lot of information to consider when you first begin delving into website statistics. It can be overwhelming when trying to decipher the information you are presented with; The quantity of hits, visits, pages, entry/exit pages or bounces, referrers, search strings, unique visitor, new or repeat visitors, etc. can amount to more data than you know what to do with. So, what is really important and actionable to affect your bottom line?
The Big 5:
- Visits – How many people are visiting your website daily? Does it make a difference if there are 300 or 3000? Sure it does. But it’s not so much about how many come to your site, as it is about tracking the changes in the numbers based on your marketing activities. You should be able to see if your marketing efforts are helpful or not. That way you can maximize your time and effort in the future – did your visits to the website increase with your last email blast? With an announcement of your 95 points in Wine Spectator? What works best to bring you increased traffic?
- Unique Visitors - Your data can tell you how many unique visitors you get per day. This information can help you figure out how well (or not so well) your site is converting browsers to buyers. If you get 1,000 unique visitors per day but only 2 orders per day, perhaps you need to re-evaluate your site and merchandising. This information also tells you if marketing partners and business development opportunities are working to bring new eyes to your website. Make sure the traffic you see is inline with what they have promised.
- Purchase Path - Track what is selling on your website and the path to purchase trends. How is a particular product being sold? What path did the customer take to complete this purchase? Knowing this information can help you adjust the purchase path as needed for a more streamlined path to purchase, which can equate to more sales. It can also help you determine the easiest path for consumers to purchase, and how to better highlight that path for future customers.
- Referrals – Where are your website visitors coming from? It’s important to know what other web entities are sending visitors to your website. The more sites you link in from, the higher relevancy you will have in search engines. Evaluating how many of your visitors come from other websites such as tourist sites, limo companies, travel sites, wine related sites, restaurant sites, etc. will help you figure out where you need to spend time building relationships, and embarking on joint marketing efforts. And don’t forget about Search Engine referrals – what searches are sending people to your site? By knowing the keywords and phrases being searched, you can refine your meta tags and keywords to maximize your exposure to visitors.
- Hot Spots - Track what is popular by ‘page views’, ‘bounces’ and ‘exits’. If you notice some of your pages are receiving more visits than others, or if you want more visits to a page that isn’t getting many visits in comparison, you can affect change by switching content or images on that page. You can also determine which pages are getting the most traffic and put key messages – directing consumers to buy, or submit contact information in these key places.
While much of the information provided by various website analyses is qualified, there are key data sets that when analyzed can positively affect sales. Don’t get lost in the absolute numbers and statistics, but rather focus on how those numbers change and what the trends reflect.