Some companies improve Web site traffic and search engine marketing by relying on internal brainstorming sessions, intuition and sometimes even the latest fad. A few don’t bother making changes at all.
Truth is, the only reliable method of building a strong online presence is using web analytics to evaluate traffic. Not everyone is aware of the technical advances in web analytics offered by industry leaders such as ClickTracks, Google™ Analytics and Omniture. Your search engine marketing partner can tap into these resources and take the mystery out of web marketing. Using these web analytic tools, here are 10 ways it can help you transform a good website into a great one.
1. What’s working? Knowing what’s right is just as important as knowing what’s wrong. Web analytics tracks how long a visitor stays on a web page. When visitors linger, it’s a good indication they like what they see.
2. What’s not working? By contrast, when users leave in a hurry, it means something is wrong. When users beat a hasty retreat from a landing page or order form, immediate action is needed.
3. Identify contact/order page problems. Interpreting user behavior on these pages often reveals an overlong or overly complex format that drives traffic away.
4. Identify programming glitches. Quick departure from a Web page may also stem from a technical problem that can be fixed easily — if it is recognized.
5. Build better navigation. Web analytics tracks not only user behavior on distinct pages, but behavior around the site. When companies understand how frequently, for how long and in what order pages are viewed, they can reshape site navigation to lead users directly where they want to go.
6. Streamline existing navigation. Even when overall navigation is strong, Web analytics identifies the occasional “weak link” that causes otherwise inexplicable page exiting. A simple tweak might lead to happier users and new business.
7. Learn what your customers want. By tracking internal site search terms, companies learn what users really want out of the site. This, in turn, points the way to stronger, more relevant, more action-triggering content.
8. Enhance pay-per-click, or PPC, campaigns. By analyzing keyword behavior, click-through rates and conversion rates, firms continuously improve existing programs. There is no other way.
9. Craft effective new PPC campaigns. Assessing different keywords, messages and landing pages with traditional A-B split testing takes the guesswork out of launching a new program.
10. Monitor new and existing customers. If there are two things every company wants to track, it’s new business and customer retention. Today’s sophisticated Web analytics tools distinguish between what new and current customers do— and don’t do — when visiting and ordering.