Using Website Analytics to Understand your Customers

How many times have you visited web marketing forums and come across people boasting how their website gets tons of traffic from the Internet. Sadly, some of these people can invariably be found complaining in another discussion thread about their traffic not converting. What gives? The troubling truth is that many website owners still subscribe to the outdated idea that ‘more is better’ when it comes to Internet traffic. The problem with this assumption is that if your website gets millions of the wrong kind of traffic, you won’t make a single dime. For example, you have a site that seeks to sell expensive gadgets to Americans with deep pockets but you get tons of foreign users. See what’s wrong with this picture? This post will walk you through how to fix the all too common problem of creating a website that targets the wrong users.
Targeting “assumed” customers instead of “actual” customers

One of the biggest problems website managers and owners face is that their sites target customers they assumed would buy from them, click on their ads, or leave them email addresses. The problem with this approach is that you come to the project of building a website with assumptions that might not match reality. Too many websites are built with untested assumptions. I can’t fault people for doing this since many don’t have much information to work with when they were building their sites. However, they are no longer blameless once the site has been around a few months and have little to show for itself or only producing mediocre results. If you feel that your site is not living up to its full potential, it might be a good idea to look at your assumptions regarding your target audience and see if your website actually caters to these individual’s needs. Study all your pages and see if you are sending out the right signals to readers. Next, review your traffic statistics and see if the pages you are using to target your assumed customers are doing their job.

Look at your statistics to see bottlenecks

The best way to see if your site is not attracting enough of the right audience is to look at your statistics. Your stats might already be screaming at you and frantically pointing to your real customers but you keep ignoring it. Your stats will tell you where your users are coming from. Figure out these places and see if the people from those places (for example: forums and chatrooms) fit your particular target demographics and audience. Second, see how people are finding you from search engines. What do their search queries reveal about their needs? Build pages that cater to these needs. Third, figure out which pages are very popular and which pages repel the most visitors. By ‘repel’, I mean people search for a term, land on your page, and click the back button. Figure out your pages’ bounce rates and keep tweaking them to see if they retain the traffic.

Sculpt your site around your actual visitors

If you have gone through the analytical steps above, you know which pages get the most traffic and which elements work. Your next objective should be to reform your site so that it is composed only of pages that work and appeal to your actual visitors. Moreover, work on linking your pages better so traffic flows from one section of your website to another more efficiently. The good news is that if you invest enough time in tweaking your website, you can boost its income potential. It is not a question of sucking up a huge volume of traffic from the search engines but effectively marketing to the right traffic. Even if you don’t get much traffic, if your pages hit your visitors the right way, you’ll make more money.

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