Using Tracking to Make the Most of Your Site Visitor Behaviour
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To keep a leg up on your competitors, you need to know what people are doing on your site.
If you don’t have appropriate tracking in place on your site, now’s the time to get it. Not knowing how visitors are behaving once their visit your site is only going to hurt you. You could be monetizing basic visitor actions that would make you thousands of dollars if you were only paying attention.
Here we’ll discuss a few free, basic analysis programs available for your website, and how you can best utilize the information they can provide.
Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools
Google provides some very useful, and very free tools that could help you make the most out of the various elements on your website.
Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools)
With this powerful tool on your website, you can get an SEO analysis of various page factors, as well as an idea of where you stand in SEO rankings. It’s relatively simple to install on your site and will give you a lot of insight.
This tool is even more useful, in that it will show you how users are interacting with various parts of your website.
Google Analytics is the easy to use, and free option that is worth a look. In fact, it is currently the most popular web analytics tool used according to Wikipedia and is used by some of the most successful websites around to keep track of their online presence.
Using Analytics, you can take a look at how long users stay on a page, what sources are giving you the most clicks, and what pages users are “bouncing” from, or leaving, quickly. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to make changes and improvements to your web page that are consistent with your conversion goals.
Another tool worth looking into is Wassup for WordPress. Wassup is advertised as a “real-time” WordPress plugin, allowing you to take a look at visitor source and the visitor’s path through the website as they browse. Google Analytics and many other analytics tools take a while to process visitor information and display that to you on your dashboard. Wassup claims to take the time out of that process by giving you real-time visitor info.
I Have the Tools – Now What?
If you have Google Analytics or other tracking services in place, your first step is to wait and gather some data. After a few weeks, you should have an idea of how users are behaving once on your site.
Begin by viewing the different reports available in the interface you’re using, and ask yourself what that tells you about your users. Is there a certain page, or a certain part of your conversion process, where you’re losing the most users? Do you find that people spend more time on some pages than others?
All this you can find out through using this tool and understand why it happens and fix the problems.
One of the benefits of Google Analytics is that there are multiple ways to analyze your data. It offers reports that are customizable depending on the type of data you want to know, and how you want it displayed. It is also very functional with other types of software that you may already be using, or that are part of your web host’s control panel; a feature not often found with free analytics tools.
Another feature that makes this an excellent free web traffic tracking option is its ability to not only track direct web traffic, but related traffic, such as hits from social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, as well as through multimedia search for your site’s images and videos, and even more importantly, search engine hit results.
Another great feature of Google Analytics is both the free and paid support options they offer to help maximize your web traffic. Their site has an extensive Help Centre that contains numerous articles and blogs from industry and Google experts that help you use the product. They also have an active User’s Forum where you can write down your questions and receive the answers very quickly.
They also offer email and telephone support if needed; a rare service in the world of free online business. If you require more professional, or intensive help in analyzing your web traffic data, or with your search engine optimization and web marketing strategies, Google Analytics also offers paid services from authorized consultants.
Google Analytics does offer a great product and service; however, there are a few limitations that should be kept in mind, especially if it will be used as your only web analytics tool. Google Analytics can often be easily blocked by privacy software that block or deletes tracking cookies. This, however, is the primary issue with most tracking software available, and it certainly does not affect the overall rating of this web analytics tool in general.
Overall, Google Analytics is a highly useful tool that all webmasters and web marketing professionals should seriously consider.
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