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Analyzing Web Site Traffic

Posted By admin

  • Search Engine Optimization


I engage with the very vibrant community on Quora and one of the themes that I try to convey to members of this dynamic eclectic group of is how critical analyzing web site traffic is. Whatever the size of your business, from start up to enterprise, your shooting in the dark if you don’t have a good sense of web site traffic metrics. Helpful applications for analyzing web site traffic include:

1) Google Analytics is the de facto industry standard used by hundreds of millions of sites around the world. It’s free, extremely powerful, easy to set up and gets you out in the analytics fast lane quickly.

Google Analytics does require a snipped of code (few lines) installed via your web site. Just set up your account and go to Analytics to cut the code and have a developer install in your HTML code at the bottom of the page.

To be productive with Google Analytics get  familiar with baseline metrics first: Bounce Rates, Time on Site, Entry & Exit Pages, GEO Location of Traffic, Referrers, Keyword Analysis (Standard & Long Tail). Then, move on to more sophisticated capabilities. Note: this earlier blog post Best SEO Tools will give you a deeper dive into applications and processes to help you with overall search engine optimization.

2) Omniture is like Google Analytics on steroids - it’s extremely powerful and has robust features. Typically better suited for an large corporate entity that wants to leverage Omniture’s (now part of Adobe) real time analytics and customization reporting. Cost is prohibitive for most small business, as this can run anywhere from $10-50K per month, depending on usage.

3) Mint is a server based product that must be installed on your server, requiring a little more effort for installation than other products. But, the interface is gorgeous, easy to pull data from and powerful. The cost for Mint is minimal, only a $30 lifetime fee, which is affordable for a small business that wants to keep data in-house and likes Mint’s feature set. Another distinguishing capability for Mint that I like is the plugins that extend Mint’s digital reach.

4) Chartbeat is a different animal from other analytics applications and platforms - it’s primary value versus Google Analytics or Mint is its real time analytics capabilities. The Chartbeat dashboard gives you an immediate snapshot in real time with what’s occurring via your site.

Its a great tool for understanding when/if you are getting traffic spike for your sites, as well as high quality standard analytics. Has built in customizable alerts that can send SMS messages to your smartphone.

5) Quantcast is a free service that aggregates your site visitors with demographics, giving you insight into who is visiting your site and forcing or enabling you to share this data with others. So, if privacy is a concern this product may not be of interest to you. But, it does give you much more insight about your visitors, which can enable you to do much more targeted marketing via your site.

As I convey to clients all the time - analyzing web site traffic is an important component of any kind of social media marketing or advertising campaign. Make sure back end analysis is factored in when you map out marketing campaigns so you’ll know what marketing initiatives are working and how well and what are not!

Author: admin

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