Read these 9 Web Metrics Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Web Traffic tips and hundreds of other topics.
For all of the tactics there are to increase your visibility online, it can be easy to ignore the role of old-fashioned marketing materials. Be sure to include your URL on all of your publications, and integrate the important keywords and messages that you use in your online content in your offline content, as well. Do not send contradictory messages in your online and offline correspondence – use the two to reinforce the same message of value and professionalism. Coordinating your marketing efforts in this way will present a unified corporate message to your audience, and you will be able to get more leverage out of your online efforts, including your web metric analysis, search engine optimization and PPC campaigns.
Most webmasters are very aware of the value of having quality links from relevant, on-topic links from well regarded, high traffic web sites pointing to their own site. To facilitate this, provide linking graphics, instructions and sample text to webmasters willing to link to your site. The text you use in these linking instructions is usually cut and pasted without changes, therefore you actually have a lot of control over creating linking text that will help build link relevancy. Use your web metrics to select your most powerful keywords when creating this text.
Web metrics capture and measure different web site events in order to identify trends. At the most basic level, web metrics are clicks. Depending on your needs and your tools, you can parse and categorize your accounting of clicks to understand all kinds of user activities. This kind of raw data will help you use analytical tools to answer basic questions about your business, such as whether your site is doing better or worse over time. Web Analytics can also help you understand why and how visitors find and use your site so that you can make business decisions to improve your performance.
Using web tracking software, you can generate daily, weekly, and monthly reports and charts that will quickly show whether traffic is increasing or decreasing, and can even show you average pages-per-visitor views over time. Trends such as these are interesting and valuable in analyzing the impact of planned actions - such as the launch of an on-line publicity campaign, the agreement to exchange web links with other sites, or the start of search engine positioning services.
Tracking URLs will help you to maximize your Pay Per Click Return on Investment. Place a code that includes your keyword and the PPC search engine you've used at the end of your URL so that you can track results of your campaign with your web statistics program. This will help you track which keywords and which search engines are generating traffic and sales, information that you can use to drop ineffective keywords or poorly performing engines, allowing you to better allocate your marketing resources and maximize ROI.
Search engines use keywords in the title tag and meta tags as part of their algorithms that calculate a web site ranking. If you are a carpenter in the Boston area, using your name or even just your profession is less effective than using a more targeted keyword phrase. If you are Bob Jones, a carpenter in Boston, you should think carefully about how you create your Title and meta tags to help people find you easily. Unless “Bob Jones Carpentry” is a household name, using that as a keyword in your tags will limit the number of people looking for carpenter who can find you. Using the keyword “carpenter” is too general to be highly ranked by most search engines. However, using the keyword phrase, "carpenter in Boston" will introduce you (through your site) to those people in the Boston area who are looking for carpentry services. Web tracking tools will help you identify the best keywords for your situation.
Evidence shows that one-third of visitors will opt out if a page does not load within 10 seconds. A splash screen or Flash page may look great, but gone are the days that people browse the web to see leading–edge design, and a snazzy look-and-feel does not sell products and services. Visitors, on the whole, are looking for products, services and – most importantly – content that is relevant to them. Also, make sure that your site is compatible with different browsers – including increasingly popular ones, such as Mozilla's FireFox, or new versions of the most popular browsers. Look to your web traffic tracking results for unusual activity by visitors using certain browsers as an indicator of potential problems you might not have caught.
While you should undertake a diversified marketing strategy, it may be unrealistic or inefficient to do it all for all of the time. Use your web tracking tools and tools that are offered by various engines to track individual campaigns. Account for the time and money you spend on each, how many visitors each yields, and how many of those visitors convert to sales, and in how long. This will give you an idea of the value of each campaign. In addition, track the less quantifiable results of the campaign – does a certain campaign clue you into a new customer need? Did you identify new keywords? Have you gained new partners or affiliates? You can then judge which campaigns support your goals and streamline your marketing strategy accordingly.
Some web analysis software will identify the type and version of Internet browser being used by your audience, as well as the type of operating system and screen resolution. While these are primarily technical details, the information could prove very useful for redesigning and/or optimizing your web site. For example, if you know that most of your visitors view your page on a laptop-sized screen, you might want to optimize your graphics and content for a smaller screen. Or, if you know that your visitors prefer Mac to Windows, or vice versa, you can focus more of your design and testing efforts there.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|