Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

How Well Is Your Website Doing?

Mon, Aug 2nd 2010 08:55 am

For any answer you might give to this question, the follow up question will always be the same: how do you know?  If you do not know your site statistics, the truth is you are simply guessing.

Two extremely common (and scary) misconceptions about having a website are: 1.) People are visiting it, and 2.) People are navigating through the site once on it.  The belief is that once your site is up on the web and publicly available, people will easily be able to find you through a search engine and will automatically be interested in viewing all the site has to offer.  When you consider the fact that there are over 10 billion pages of content on the web, you can easily understand that each site is a very small fish in a very, very, very big sea.  In other words, your site may or may not be receiving the traffic you think.

The truth of the matter is if you don't know what is happening on your site, you will not be able to see what needs to be done to increase its effectiveness. Even if your site is "successful", you need know what the trends are so you can continue and increase its success.  So if this is common knowledge, why aren't site statistics being reviewed regularly?  In my experience, the following are typical reasons why.

Nobody is responsible

There should be at least one person who is responsible for reviewing the site analytics on a monthly basis at the very least.  The only way to know for sure that the investment of both time and money you are spending on specific areas of your site are worth it is by seeing what type of traffic you are getting and where it's coming from.

Too Difficult to Understand

You don't need to be a statistician or have an advanced Mathematics degree to interpret the analytics.  While most applications do have a lot of information, you can usually get at the most important details very easily.  You should be able to quickly see how many unique visitors came to your site over the last couple of months, what pages they are primarily navigating too, and how long they are spending on your site.  With just this information, you can easily decide what's working, what's not, and then decide what changes may need to be made.

No Analytics Application Is Set Up

The cardinal sin.  Most applications are available for free or with a minimal set up fees for installation.  There is absolutely no limiting factor that would keep you from having basic statistic reports for your site.  If this is you, stop reading right now and call your web provider right now.  If your site operates on the Fission Web System, then you have traffic reports built into your administrative panel. 

This is one of the highest returns on investment for your site.  All you have to do is dedicate a small amount of time each month to see what is happening with the traffic to your site.  Focus on the simple stats to start: How many unique visitors do you have each month?  Where are they coming from?  Is there a certain time of the day (or month, or year) that they visit?  What pages are they navigating to?

Armed with this information you can make educated decisions on what to do to increase traffic to your site and study the effects of what you are currently doing.  Also remember, statistics are relative to what your goals are for your site and achievement of those goals, and not necessarily how many people are coming in.  Use them as a tool to help you find out what's going on and what needs to be done to help you get your site to achieve the goals you set for it, whatever those might be.

For more information on how to access your site traffic reports, contact your account manager today.