Starter Insights for Aspiring Enterprise Statisticians
Businesses often question why website traffic is lower than expected, and
what their most effective online marketing efforts are. Without properly examining
website data, however, conclusions are only speculative. It may
seem that this valuable information can only be collected through sophisticated
software solutions by skilled external agencies, but savvy Internet
professionals know to investigate options already available. For example,
marketers can leverage the analytics features that are included by many
Web hosts. Why not start there?
Some of the most valuable questions that such analytics data can answer include: How many visitors the website attracted in a given period, what are the most popular pages, how visitors are finding the site, and which days or times advertising generates the most traffic.
Web developer and game entrepreneur Andrew Slattery of Iron Fist Design learned firsthand how much value website analytics hold for his business by focusing on four areas.
Optimizing for Search
Landing on the first page of search engines’ result
pages is often the ultimate goal for companies,
and formal SEO campaigns are a way to achieve
this. Analytics can reveal how visitors are finding
a site, be it directly, through referrals or from
“We launched a large keyword-based campaign where we would track a visitor's progression from landing page to account registration,” said Slattery. “We were able to narrow down which keywords were generating the best conversion rate and focus only on those terms. By focusing on those specific terms, we generated an average rate of $0.37 per user account. A good portion of this went on to purchase in-game content, making it a very profitable campaign for us.”
Preventing Potential Issues
Technical glitches can affect every website. By
paying close attention to negative metrics (e.g. bounce rates, shopping cart abandonments,
etc.), businesses can identify more substantial
issues that are worth investigating.
“Our company looks to see what pages might be generating errors, not rendering correctly or are just ‘not working’ in terms of content delivery and impact with potential customers,” said Slattery. “The ability to track click-through rates from start to finish and establish goals or potential revenue is an invaluable asset. This is especially true when planning and revising online marketing campaigns we conduct for our clients and ourselves.”
Depending on the enterprise, there may be an unexpected
need for a presence in additional states
or even countries, because the Internet gives any
business the opportunity to have global visibility.
With the capacity to see the different geographic
locations visitors are coming from, businesses are
able to make better marketing decisions.
“The ability to log a visitor's geographic location can prove to be incredibly useful,” said Slattery. “A few years ago, we noticed a large spike in traffic and in-game purchases from the Netherlands. Therefore, to appeal to visitors we would lose due to a low bounce-back rate in that region, we worked with a few volunteers to translate images and core game elements into Dutch. The feedback was immediate and traffic continued to grow.”
Scaling on the Fly
Regularly checking the most important information
about a website’s overall performance is fundamental
to success, from what’s working in a
marketing/advertising campaign to what website
elements need improvement. Properly evaluating
the statistical data and strategically adapting a
company’s online presence based off the numbers
will allow website creators to best position their
sites on the Web.
About the Author: Kelly Meeneghan is a Marketing & Promotions Manager at 1&1 Internet, Inc.
Metrics no longer confine Internet professionals to their desks. Mobile analytics apps make it possible to measure performance metrics (and success) around the clock and on the go. Even a quick glance at one’s smartphone is enough to see if running an advertisement or posting on Facebook directly influences the behavior of website visitors.