Web Site Analytics

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Web Site Analytics

Web site analysis is the practice of analyzing and optimizing each visitors' experience and overall web site operations. This is an important component of any successful web strategy, whether the site objective is monetary profit or political action. You need to examine visitors' behavior within your site and understand whether individual visitors are responding as predicted and desired.

PIA's Web Hosting accounts come with basic web site traffic analysis software you can use for this purpose. In addition, raw log information can be stored, downloaded, and massaged by other software packages.

To achieve maximum effectiveness in meeting a site's objectives, management must continuously monitor site activity to: 

  •  understand the demographics and psychographics of the current visitors, and the ways they find the site.

  •  determine what promotional efforts are most likely to increase targeted traffic to the site, and compare the cost-effectiveness of such promotional programs in increasing traffic.

  •  continuously optimize the visitor's experience of and affiliation with the site.

  •  continuously optimize the web site's performance in getting visitors to respond as desired, whether the response is to purchase goods or services, or get them engaged in a continuing relationship with the site.  

The usual sequence of events follows this scenario: 

Once a web site is operational, the owner notifies everyone s/he knows, and registers the site URL with as many search engines and directories as s/he can, so people will begin to visit the site.

As traffic begins to build, management should monitor visitor traffic to understand how visitors are finding their site, and whether the visitors they targeted are the visitors showing up.  

Management should then increase promotional activity, as budgets permit, to generate more traffic from the channels where visitor traffic spontaneously occurs, like search sites, major content sites, and large niche sites appealing to the same audience. These efforts should start with Search Engine Optimization, continue with banner and link swaps, and eventually include paid or pay-per-click placements.

At the same time, management should monitor and analyze visitor activity within the site. Development of the site should be based on understanding the needs and desires of visitors rather than by guesstimate and supposition. Following visitors' progress through a site via analysis tells management which areas are being used and appreciated, which are popular, and which may not interest visitors much, even though management thought they would be very interested, and gladly paid for developing that content or service.

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