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Measuring More Than Sales

Understanding and using Web site statistics can help you create an online business strategy. Sales figures or number of orders or requests are significant; however, they do not provide the complete picture of how your site is doing.

Web site statistics can help you better understand how your site hinders or benefits the bottom line. You can use Web site statistics to help you better understand what pages your visitors are viewing, how they are navigating through your site, what content they find useful, and how they are finding your site.

BWE provides all of its web-hosting clients with WebTrends. WebTrends is a software package for Web analytics and visitor relationship management. Using the WebTrends information, you can gain insights into visitors' behavior and preferences that translate into stronger business performance and improved visitor-to-customer conversion rates.

Here are a few of the most important statistics to review and understand.

Tracking Visitors to Understanding Traffic
Traffic is a measurement of how often your Web site is accessed. There are several different ways to measure traffic. Tracking the number of visitors is important because it measures how many people have viewed your site. You can gauge the effectiveness of an advertising campaign or sales promotion by determining an increase or decrease in visitor traffic during the promotional period. Visitor sessions are another important statistic. Visitor sessions are hits to your site by a single visitor within a timeframe. A longer visitor session tells you that people are finding the information they need on your site. To view visitor traffic information on your report, go to General Statistics»General Statistics.

Using Popular Pages to Improve Content
Knowing the most popular pages can help you to reorganize content, provide features to visitors that they need, and develop strategies to improve your sites structure. To view the most popular pages on your report, go to Resources Accessed»Most Requested Pages. For instance, you may notice that certain products in your product catalog receive most of the traffic. You may place a promotion on the popular pages to drive traffic to the less popular products. Or, you may have noticed that the job listings for your company are getting a lot of traffic, but are not updated frequently enough. You should probably consider adding a job and resume database so that the job listings can stay current.

Understanding Promotion: How Visitors Find Your Site
If you promote your business by listing it in a search engine or directory, knowing how people found your site can help you gauge the effectiveness of your promotional strategy. Every search engine or directory that refers visitors to your site is tracked. To view the top referring sites on your report, go to Referrers & Keywords»Top Referring Sites. Suppose your paid submission to Yahoo! and LookSmart have both been accepted and you want to determine the effectiveness of advertising in each directory before submitting satellite sites. You can determine which directory and which search terms are most used by each directory by viewing the Referrers & Keywords in the WebTrends report.

This article is a "primer" on the detailed statistics available through WebTrends. If you have questions about statistics or WebTrends, please call us at 1-888-366-6500.

Date: 11.12.2001

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