3rd Quarter 2002
How is your website performing?
This issue we'll continue the explanation of your website statistics we began last month. If you missed that issue you can find it at www.citycent.com/archives/4-2002.htm
In this issue we are going to continue talking about judging your website's effectiveness using statistics. We will discuss what some of the major statistics are and how to calculate your site's effectiveness.
Finally, at the end of this newsletter we will have a special announcement.
Enough introduction, lets start with some basic definitions.
Hit: is defined as a request for an individual file. Now a web page is composed of several individual files. Each image on the page is a file, the page itself is a file, if you have a "visitors" counter that would be an additional file, etc. One page could have anywhere from 1 to 100+ files connected to it. A good example is http://www.citycent.com, our home page. It contains its text (1 hit) and 72 images (72 hits) for a total of 73 hits every time someone looks at it. Other pages on our site give more, or less hits when viewed. Our Web Design page generates 17 hits. Therefore it is impossible to know how many people actually came to our site by just hits as it depends totally on what pages they went to; one person going to the home page gives the same hits as four people going to the web design page. So unless you know exactly which pages are visited and exactly how many files it calls up, hits is a meaningless number.
A better statistic is: Unique visitors: This number tells you how many people actually came to your site in the given time period. (Statistics are usually given by calendar month but some programs let you change the date range. It is important, when comparing statistics, that you compare comparable periods, week vs. week, or month vs. month.) This statistic helps you judge whether the site is doing its job. Are people seeing it? How many? Is it getting more popular month to month? It is also important when calculating your site's effectiveness.
Referrers/referring sites/referring URLs: This data is found under several different names but boils down to is a list of search engines, or outside sites, which link to your site and that people have used that month to find your website. This area of the report will also usually tell you how many people came to the site from that referrer.
Keywords: Certain statistical programs will give you the top 10 words or phrases people searched on to find your site. This can reveal which of the products and services you promote on your website are of the most interest to the public.
Top Entry pages: This lists which pages of your website the visitors are coming to first. It is not always your home page. This, too, can show you what people are looking for and what areas of the website to beef up.
Top Exit pages: This information can tell you one of two things, either:
- on what page people find what they were searching for and stop as they no longer need to go further,
- or which page on your site has something on it which is throwing people off your site. It could be as simple as a link to another site that should be changed so it opens in a new window leaving the visitor still at your site.
Depth of Visit: How many pages does the average visitor look at? If it is only one or two, and your site effectiveness is low, we need to look at how we can upgrade your site to get better results.
OK, you've now got the basics of a stat report. Now what do you do with it?
Month-to-month comparison. Did the site draw more traffic in July than in June?
- Which page is most popular? Now go look at the page and see if you can see why.
- How are people finding you? Which search engines or other sites are they using?
- Is the site generating business?Lets look at the last one.
Is the site generating business? This, of course, is only important if that is the site's purpose. Some sites are mainly there to give information about the organization so that a staff member isn't having to spend all their time answering phone calls, faxes and letters asking basic questions. The effectiveness of a site like this can be calculated on "phone calls not received". However, if your site is there to get you more business, you need to know how it's doing. Here's how to calculate it.
- Find the number of unique visitors your site had last month (or last week, or last year).
- Find out how many clients contacted you via the website. Hopefully you ask new clients where they heard about you so you know which part of your marketing plan works best.
- Divide the number in two by the number in one. This will give you a percentage of your site's effectiveness. The higher the number the better.
- Now compare this number to the same calculation for your other marketing areas. This will tell you which of your different marketing activities work best and which need improvement or re-evaluation. Remember, of course, that they often work together such as when your newspaper ad gives your web address.
CityCenter Co. is happy to answer any questions on statistics and their use. We are always willing to assist any of our clients to understand the statistics and work with you to improve them..
We hope this helps.
And now for the announcement!
CityCenter is pleased to announce the complete redesign and upgrade of the first site it ever created, PasadenaCityCenter! This site can be found at http://www.PasadenaCityCenter.com and is a comprehensive guide to Pasadena business, dining and entertainment.
The site also allows users to submit calendar items, business listings and restaurants reviews. It also offers Pasadena restaurants and businesses a great opportunity to advertise to directly to people who are interested in visiting and having fun in Pasadena.
- A complete list of Pasadena hotels and motels.Calendars of what's happening around town, movies, theater, art exhibits and much more. We even offer a weekly email newsletter of all the events so you can plan your week, or weekend.
- Over 2,500 shops, businesses and organizations based in Pasadena.
- And lots more...
Missed an issue? Check out the Marketinglist Archives at www.citycent.com/archives.
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