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Premier Web Site Traffic Analysis


Analyze Your Web Site Statistics

What Web Stats Reveal about Pages and Paths Taken

Website visitor tracking with your web site traffic analysis software.

The Pages Summary section of your web site statistics can reveal much about what your visitors find interesting as well as what is turning them off. By closely examining entry and exit pages, you can not only increase website traffic, but get more targeted website traffic.

The Pages Summary section of your web stats should provide the following items:

Most Visited Pages
Entry Pages
Exit Pages
Average Time Per Page
Paths Taken

Most Visited Pages (and not)

Which pages get hit the most? Which draw the least web traffic? Most often, the home page is most popular, but not necessarily. On one of my websites, the most popular pages are tutorials. Many people bookmark these pages or post them on forums. I get a lot of traffic that way.

Your web stats should list Most Popular pages in descending order with the hit count for both the current and previous time periods. Look for changes in direction over time. You may just be able to spot changes in visitors’ attitudes by observing shifts in page usage.

If you have made recent changes in a page and its popularity drops, put it back to its original form and see if it recovers. If it has increased in popularity, see if you can apply similar techniques to other pages.

Try to find out why a certain page is popular, or not. Compare the keywords on these two groups and try changing them. Get more links from outside your website to point to less popular pages. This should increase traffic to the weaker pages. Make sure the links themselves entice the visitor to use them. Use keywords in your links everywhere you can.

If you see pages that got no or few hits this period but were popular in the past, it is definitely time to refresh the content. Rework unpopular pages, even if you have to replace them. Poor content is worse than no content.

Entry Pages

Entry and Exit pages can tell you a lot about your visitors’ attitudes. Entry pages are those where the visitor entered your site. This could have been from a search engine, an affiliate, or often a link posted to a forum or other web site

More than likely content was the determining factor on entry pages. You can use these pages as guidelines to enhancing other pages. Make sure all pages have something positive to offer your guests.

Again, watch for shifts in hit count on these pages. Especially comparing the current and previous time periods. If the overall numbers drop, you might have to reevaluate your site content in light of your competition.

If certain pages either drop or improve in popularity, try to chase down the reasons. Links to these pages may have outlived their usefulness, so try to keep your promotional efforts active. Always look for new places to post a link back to some of your pages.

Exit Pages:

Exit pages are those where the visitor decided to leave your site.

In our online business, the only exit page we want to see says: ‘Thank you for your order’. If it does not, then you should try to find out why. After all, we are here to get Sales. Ask yourself: Is there something on the (exit) page that turned off your visitors? Were you offensive in any way? Or was your copy just weak? One of our major problems in developing good sales copy is that we understand our products all too well. Remember that the visitor often has no idea what you are talking about, so try to make it clear and exciting. Rewrite the copy if you think it is needed.

If your visitors consistently exit just before hitting the ‘Buy’ button, you may have a pricing problem. Visit your competition and have a look. Try to add fresh offers and discounts. And don't forget to check out their key words. Just right click and select 'View Source'. Then look at the top of the source code listing for the keywords. Check them out for popularity and see if any of them match your content. Or perhaps you can add some popular ones and then refresh your content to match.

Average Time Per Page

The Visited Pages should also show the average amount of time spent on the page for both the current and previous time periods. Shifts in the Time Per Page can be an early indicator of waning interest in a page, even if it is still popular.

Paths taken

The paths taken can tell you a lot about what your visitors found interesting on your site. If they entered from other than your home page, did they go there? Did they exit immediately or did they continue on to other pages? If so, where did they go and how were these pages related to the entry page? Examine the content of the pages they visited to see if there are clues to what the visitor found interesting.

Perhaps your visitor came in from a search. If they left immediately, it is obvious they didn’t find what they were looking for. More than likely they were looking for something else, as often happens. If this happens often, re-evaluate your keywords and see if you can find words and phrases that will draw people who are looking for your products or services. Remember, we want to attract people who wil buy, not just random visitors. So sometimes fewer visitors can be more profitable than many visitors. Also, examine their search string for clues. We will discuss more on this subject later.

On the other hand, maybe your visitor just hated the look of your site! Or perhaps it was just too difficult to use. If everything else seems to be in order, visit the pages of some of your competition and see if your site compares favorably with eye appeal and quality.

Also, you can offer a survey to get opinions on what people thought of your site. If you decide to do this, keep it simple and easy to use. Don't ask too many detailed questions, but try to construct them to get maximum information.

Time per Page:

Be sure to look at the time spent on each page as well. This is a very important number. If the average time per page is dropping, your visitors are losing interest, or are not well qualified prospects to begin with. If it is increasing, your visitors are finding what they came for.

A Hint:

Read your page copy and time your progress. Do this for each page on your site. Read aloud and slowly, since not all of your visitors use your language as their first language. These numbers can then be used as a baseline to determine how much of your copy is actually being read. If it takes 30 to 45 seconds to absorb the information on a page but your visitors are spending only 3 seconds looking at it, then rework your headlines. Make sure your copy is clear and interesting. The first line of each paragraph should drag the reader into the rest of the text.

Watch your stats to see if these are effective. Again, do this for each page.





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