Friday, August 25, 2006

Website Traffic Analysis for Small Business

Most people who invest in small business have their own websites to do their marketing strategies with. This is one way of treating marketing campaigns as the major point or reason any small business owner is able to make it. A good example of this is having your own blog site to discuss and promote the website of your business. But what happens is that maintaining this small business that you have people tends to devote so much in marketing strategies and oftentimes forget about or spend little effort to analyzing the return on investment?

Most often, people do not take time or spend even just a little amount of it looking at the traffic trends and web log files which I consider very important. Funny how but even big investments on on-line advertising where we spend so much money, we don’t even bother to put importance to specific requirement for any business to grow and see where it leads. This may be attributed to the fact that most small businesses are relatively new in the web and therefore the owner is not familiar to the ways and means that it works for them.

There are of course some who bother to look at trends but have trouble on interpreting the data as to how to use them to their benefit because of difficulty in understanding on how they are presented and compiled. The barrier that hinders this problem can be of course remedied through different Web Tools that are easy to understand and at the same time affordable for small business owners like you. These web tools are provided to be able to easily understand and analyze your site traffic and hopefully understand also the workflow and relation of the said data to your business.

Try Microsoft’s FastCounter Pro, a web based tool used to monitor the site traffic in real time and help you improve design and efficiency of your website. Of course there are other tools for the same purpose available in the web, but it’s all up to you to explore and get one. I’m sure you will find out that it is necessary and would do you favors unimaginably great and convincing as you go along with your business. This tool will not only help you keep track of the your site’s traffic but also assess the types of visitors who visit including their behaviors which will lately help you make the necessary changes to your business site whenever it is needed. This certain factor is called “Web Analytics” and most professionals in the Search Engine Marketing Business knows how to just deploy tactics upon seeing your site. If you cannot afford to hire a Professional Search Engine Marketing Consultant, then let me just at least provide you with some basics on how to do it the right way using the right tool and lots of common sense.

Evaluation of Marketing Efforts:
Search Engine Marketing is very vague in nature and so are its processes. If you only have a small business, it would likely make you wonder where to get the right cost-effective service doing the marketing strategies for you. Take note that business owners do spend a great deal of money on ads alone and you’re not planning to become one of them, but the other way around. Web analytics tools lets you see which search engines are actually sending you traffics at all such as Google Web Analytics. Some tools enable you to search for such target keywords which are readily optimized for your pickings to be used in your site like the Google Adwords Selector Tool or the Overture Keyword Selector Tool. It is very critical and important in learning how they can be applied in your small business. If you are not planning to spend on on-line marketing, then, a web monitoring tool will do such as what I have mentioned above. All you need is the right knowledge on how to use them vastly available through help topics in the web. It will show you the gaps and holes in your search engine rankings and results allowing you to at least pool those relative keywords out for use in your submissions and what they call keyword buys.

Checking Traffic Sources:
As they say, “life is a two - way traffic”, this holds true also in having a business and having a web site to promote it. After knowing which keywords to target in promoting your business through a web site, the next step I guess is to check out the traffic sources of your business web site. For the record, there are at the least two distinct ways that traffic is attracted to your web site, one is through search engines and the other is through referrals from other web site that you have virtual links with. Although at some cases which are very rare and very few it comes from direct clicks. Synthesizing it to just two, we concentrate on efforts to generate traffic and new or potential customers and sales leads using what I have mentioned before as FastCounter Pro. This software enables you to keep track of who is sending you the actual traffic through categories such as 1. by specific web page, 2. by domain and 3. by domain type (.ph, .com, .gov, .edu, etc.)

Analyzing Types of Users That Come and Go:

There is of course many other website - monitoring tools available in the vast array in the web that you can choose from, but what is important most of all is that you learn how they can be effectively explored to the maximum and apply them in your business. This way, you can be very effective in your marketing campaign and would therefore give a significant return of investment later on enough to make you earn a living while tasting the fruits of your labor and afford to sit down during the holidays.

Using monitoring tools that enable you to determine and identify which page or pages of your website is most visited by potential customers and which are the entry and exit pages. This is very critical in web site optimization because if you know which page or pages are working well for your business, then you can optimize the site or page to provide more of it. On the other way around, it is also very important to know the exit pages of your web site because it is a good indicator that you might be losing potential customers because of the content or aesthetic aspect of that page that is creating the problem. This way, you can at an instant eliminate the cause of such problem and possibly make it more juicy, interesting, intriguing, or compelling to make visitors stay and possibly convert them into customers.

The “Versus Effect”:
I have mentioned earlier monitoring tools that help you see the entry and exit pages where visitors and potential customers come and go. Also tools that keep you informed on tracking who is sending you the actual traffic through categories by web page, domain, and domain types and how you can achieve optimized keywords to be used in your website through keyword selector tools.

This time, allow me to introduce what I can only describe as the “versus effect”. This effect enables you to know such defects in your site. How? Have you ever heard of a web monitoring tool that helps you see the operating systems and type of browsers that your visitors have? This will help you on your quest to professionally handle the business you have, small or big. Again, FastCounter Pro helps the web masters a great deal when it comes to knowing which percentage of your visitors and customers have Mac systems versus Windows, and browsers like Internet Explorer versus Netscape. These descripancies causes a bad image on your website if it hasn’t occurred to you. What I’m talking about is the 404 error pages. These pages provide a negative image to your business site and worse, they become identical to your business as a bad reflection making potential customers and visitors draw conclusions related to the kind of customer service that you provide. This tool enable you to see the details on customers who attempt to link or view 404 pages. Quite convincing, it is because if you loose customers this way, you can be sure they’ll never come back again for another visit or second thought and you very well know that “whatever works for customers works for your business as well”.
Understanding Customers:
I have finished discussing technical ways and means of tracking website traffic and provided some tips for you to observe in managing your small business (or big business). Assessing overall, the importance of this post, let me generalize it in terms of customers.

All this is actually about and how these customers that we call behave in the internet and gives life to the business as a whole process spoken of. It is of course up to you to make your own choices and considerations on how you could provide a better customer satisfaction, be it through the products that you sell or services you render. By reading this post I hope you have become smarter in terms of handling your business because there are lots of other possibilities and ways in the on-line world especially today.


Although I have discussed plainly what I know about web monitoring tools that you can use in improving the overall sales and revenue of your business, I cannot of course set aside the fact that not all available web monitoring tools are as effective as you believe. This is just in attempt to make clear that there are of course some rare cases that some data are hard to analyze like the humongous amounts of numbers and coded words used to describe data in some web monitoring tools available for free in the web. Special thanks to Microsoft’s “Small Business Center” that I have explored in this post as basis.

Nevertheless, I believe in the saying that “it only takes the right tool for the right job and the right knowledge for the right information for webmasters to overwhelmingly soar sky high in the on-line business world” (by: Sam Casuncad – SEO).


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