Monitoring website traffic with a web traffic analyzer is vitally important to understanding where your traffic comes from and how your visitors behave when they get to your site.
This is crucial information because it tells you which of your keywords bring in traffic, where you should be focusing your attention to increase traffic, and, most importantly, which sources of traffic best convert to sales.
If you don't track website traffic already, you are not effectively in control of your online business. Tracking your traffic flow with web traffic software is essential to understanding problems in your site - pages where people are leaving too quickly, pages that are generating the most sales, and so on.
Without a good web traffic analyzer, you are essentially blind to which parts of your website are working as they should and which aren't. This means that you have no idea what you need to change and what you need to leave alone - and you can't afford to guess when it comes to your business.
One of the best methods of monitoring website traffic is using the free Google Analytics system. To use it you simply sign up, then place a code on every page of your website where you want to track user behavior.
Google Analytics not only records the number of visitors to your site, it also lets you know which pages are most popular, what keywords your site is found for most often, the overall bounce rate of your site (ie the percentage of visitors who view one page and then "bounce" back to the search engine), and other valuable information.
One of the most useful features of Google Analytics is the conversion tracking option. This is why of the most important pieces of data to look at when tracking website traffic.
You put a particular piece of code on a page that relates to a conversion - a sale, visit to an order form, or newsletter sign-up, for instance - to help you work out your conversion rates by comparing the number of visitors compared to the number of sales or form submissions.
Another useful aspect of monitoring website traffic is that you can identify the sources of your traffic. For instance, you might find that much of your traffic comes from marketing you do on blogs and forums, or social media site, but a relatively small percentage comes from the search engines.
In this case, you could identify opportunities to increase targeted web site traffic by starting a new search engine optimization campaign for your site.
As an alternative to Google Analytics, you can also use the free web traffic software from Statcounter for tracking website traffic. Statcounter is fairly similar to Google Analytics.
It's a little better for tracking the paths visitors take through your site to determine how they come in from a search engine and move through to a sales page, for instance.
Google Analytics is better for those who like to see statistics displayed visually. There are other alternatives, but these two are free and give you virtually anything you might want to know about the behavior of visitors on your site.
Now, be aware that you shouldn't get too obsessed with monitoring website traffic. Some site owners end up wasting a lot of time overanalyzing the data - don't make that mistake. This information is there purely so you can draw conclusions from it about where to best focus your efforts - stat analysis should not become a job in itself.
Remember, focus on the bottom line - don't let number-crunching get in the way of activities that could more effectively lead toward real increases your cashflow and revenue.
Author: Tom McSherry
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