(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – If you manage the website for your business, you hopefully have some type of analytics program set up to find out how many visitors stop by each day, week, or month. Are you taking that one step further to see what actions your visitors are making once they reach your website? With an analytics tool, such as Google Analytics, you can (and should) find out more information regarding user behavior. The information you learn can be used to optimize your site to specifically meet the needs of your audience.
To make an accurate assessment, however, you need to continually monitor these tools, rather than just taking a single look at each piece of data. In order to make the ideal adjustments to your website, to create a better experience for your visitors, you must evaluate trends and changes over time to determine what your website’s next steps should be. The results of this analysis can then lead to changes on your website.
What to do with the information
The first thing you should analyze is, over a set period of time, what is the number of pages visited by an average user, and what is the most common path a user takes through your site. This can be broken down even further by asking the following questions:
- How do first-time visitors behave?
- How do returning visitors behave?
- Where do they come from and how long do they stay on the site?
- What are some navigation weaknesses? (pages that receive few clicks, despite good content)
- Are there any dead links?
- Which keywords lead users to your website and which do not?
Check regularly to ensure that any measures you take are successful, and which are in need of improvement. As you adapt your website strategy based on the analytics trends you have discovered, you should continually monitor whether those trends are changing for the better or for the worse. In other words, analytics is not simply something you can “set and forget,” but is an important tool in your marketing plan that should be constantly evaluated.
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