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Why do some websites do well and others just crest for a while and then sink under the surf? It could be the big picture view. Website statistics can teach you a lot about how your online business is doing. Take a minute and look at those stats.

Getting Set Up

When you roll out your website, it is going to be important to monitor your progress. You can’t visit the site every day. You may want to but there are other tasks to tend to. Besides, if you automate most everything, your site will be able to run itself with very little interference from you except for site upkeep and adding new content and products.

This will require a well thought out plan on your part. Basic to that plan is a way to measure what goes on during the course of a day on your site. People visit, read articles, click on ads, view products and use the shopping cart. Each of these activities will help you to determine how your business will proceed in the months and years ahead.

You can add files to your web page yourself to capture certain stats. An easier step would be to get involved with a website stats program to do the work for you. Choose something like Google Analytics. If you already use other Google services to help promote your business then you are already familiar with the variety of tools they can offer you.

 
Google Analytics lets you analyze several things:
  • Traffic
  • Marketing strategies (ads)
  • Keywords
  • Conversion rates
This is only a sampling. You sign up and the program will walk you through the rest of what you need to get be ready for business.
 
Making Changes
 
Now that you have a way to track changes on your website, it’s time to see how they can help you over not using anything at all.
  • Improve Keyword Optimization – The keywords that you decided to use may all not perform well. Using stats on page views and visitors, you can tell which of your keywords is bringing in the most traffic. For the ones that are not, consider exchanging keywords on that web page and see how that might improve sales.
  • Improve your Content Offerings – The low number of page views for a specific page could signify that people aren’t finding your content on the first page of search engine results. Take another look at your content. Is your keyword density within the right range? Are you using too many? Search engines don’t look kindly to keyword stuffing and will not rank your work favorably. With content, provide useful information using only as many words as you need to get your point across.
What are your site stats telling you? Remember to change one parameter at a time to find the right mix that will help your website succeed.

When you start planning your business, you have a business plan that will help map out where you see your sales going from one year to the next. With online businesses you can do this through website statistics. These are measurements of various activities on your website that directly relate to your business.

Site Statistics
 
One of the things that you want is traffic. Without traffic you won’t get any sales and your business won’t grow. Your marketing plan outlines how you will proceed with getting that traffic. But, it is not foolproof.
 
You won’t know if your efforts are working unless you measure it. That is where statistics come in. What do you measure? Here are a few examples:
  • Unique visitors (how many different people visit your site)
  • Keyword analysis (which keywords bring in traffic and which don’t)
  • Conversion rates (how many visitors go from reading to buying items)
  • Web page analysis (where visitors go when they are on your site)
  • Page views (how many people visit each unique page on your website)
These are just a few of the stats that you will be interested in knowing. When you first begin marketing your site, statistics can help you find out if you are on the right page. Do the keywords you use drive traffic?
 
Statistics are gathered on a monthly basis but it can take a few months to see trends. Trends are a measure of the way that your current plan is taking shape. Because of the lag time, it’s not wise to make changes to your plan for several months to give it time to work or not work. When a business is in start-up mode, it will take that long to get an accurate measure of sales.
 
Site stats give you a starting point. Without some way to measure your business efforts it is like shooting in the dark – you don’t know if you’ve hit or miss. Looking at all the statistics together gives you a better idea of what to change first in an attempt to improve your business.
 
So, if you have not instituted a way to measure vital information pertaining to your website business, it is time to do so. There are software tools (both free and paid) that can help you compile these statistics. You can also hire companies to measure that information for you and analyze the data to anticipate the next more that you need to make. But, for small businesses, using software to compile the data and your own brain to analyze it will suffice.