Using Statistics for Website Management
How to get the most out of Opentracker
The question raised an interesting point: the purpose of a website tracking system. The point of using a visitor tracking and website stats program is to aid in the process of website management and decision-making. A good web metrics program should help you to manage and make decisions on a daily basis.
Q: “So I've added my 4 week trial to our web store pages now how do I get the most out of it? Any help would be greatly appreciated.”
A: To get the most out of your trial, and out of a site statistics and tracking program, you need to ask questions. The answers will provide you with a plan of action for your website management and help you to make decisions. The process of asking and answering questions is valuable and informative.
Ask yourself some basic questions about your website. The 3 most important answers will tell you:
- who your visitors are
- how they find you
- what they are doing on your site
The answers will help you to make sure that your visitors find what they want when they arrive. Most importantly, the answers will tell you how to manage your content. Accountability and Decision-Making in Website Management
Since the ‘bubble burst’, IT budgets have been shrinking. It is no longer acceptable to simply put up a website and leave it there. Daily management is necessary. As the old maxim prescribes: ‘prevention is better than cure’. In this case it is better to utilize visitor tracking to anticipate traffic trends and be pro-active, instead of just reacting.
Accountability is important, as measuring results and effectiveness has become commonplace. "Show me the money" has become a part of webmaster vocabulary. The point is that decision-making needs to occur on a daily basis. Decisions need to be based upon what is known, not upon guessing. Updating your site, search engine optimization, and implementing a search engine marketing strategy are continuous activities that require micro-management.
Equally important is accountability from your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising campaigns. Make sure that you are getting what you pay for. If your advertising campaign does not work, look at your data and change your management strategy.
Important questions visitor tracking can answer
Below, we have drawn up a list of what we feel to be 10 important questions that you can answer using your website statistics. The answers will help you to make website content management decisions.
- Where do your visitors come from, where do they go, what do they look at, and what pages do they exit from? What do the clickstreams tell you?
- Where do people start and stop viewing, where do they lose interest?
- How sticky is your site? Overall site and page stickiness is important. Do you have problematic leaks or drop-off points?
- In other words, how good is your site navigability and usability?
- Which referrers and PPC advertising campaigns are the most effective? Are you paying for ineffective traffic? Are you using the best search terms possible? Determine which advertising campaigns are most effective and concentrate your investment strategy there.
- What are your conversion and retention rates?
- When you make changes to your site, what is the effect? If you are trying to get people’s attention, it is good to know how they react.
- What is the best time of week to start an email campaign or newsletter.
- Are your visitors looking for something you don’t sell? Perhaps you should consider selling it!
- Are your customers as satisfied as they can be?
Use your statistics for site management and decision-making
Your statistics are not only numbers. They are numbers that should help you to make actual site management decisions. Make changes to your website where necessary based on what your visitors are doing. If everybody leaves from one page, ask yourself why. If visitors are not surfing to the page you want them to see, make better links.
In conclusion, and to repeat the essential point of this article: the best way to make use of the data is to ask yourself questions about your statistics reports and to answer them. This process itself is valuable because it will tell you what information is being collected and lead you to ask important questions about
a) why the information is collected, and
b) what to do with it
To orient yourself to Opentracker, we recommend taking a look at the forum.