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Poor Return On Investment
Probably most difficult challenge faced by internet marketers is controlling costs. Traffic acquisition can be an expensive proposition, so it is important to get most out of every click.
The best marketing reports reveal where money comes from, who money comes from, and what marketers can do to improve revenues. Marketers can use this information to increase advertisements on sites that reach most interested parties, provide a better selection of products for different types of visitors, or offer better service to their most valuable visitors.
The marketing reports should show sales grouped by campaign or affiliate. At a minimum, they should show units of sales by product and product options, and preferably revenue.
Compare advertising costs with revenues to identify most profitable campaigns. Often marketer will find that one campaign may bring in more visitors, but conversion is low, whereas another might bring in fewer, but more qualified visitors who purchase more.
The use of A/B testing to increase pulling power of ads is vital to keeping ad costs down and attracting qualified visitors. Here, marketer will find it easy to measure changes and evaluate overall performance. Instead of taking months to identify and understand effect of a change, it will often show in hours or a few days. This agility means that even smaller e-commerce sites can succeed on limited budgets.
Path Analysis / Clickstream Analysis – Understanding visitors
Not really a problem, but vital to keeping a healthy web business running smoothly. The marketer is also able to identify new trends and opportunities by evaluating visitors’ interest in various content available on site.
The ideal path through site should go from landing page to products page to orders page, from there to checkout and finally to a ‘Thank You’ page.
Deviations might include paths to tutorials, articles and other information pages, but these should be kept to a minimum and always lead back to main path.
Again, marketer can select a particular visitor, buyer or drop-out and then drill down to detail page to reveal every page visited and path taken, as well as amount of time spent viewing each page. Knowing how long it takes to actually read page will reveal amount of interest in subject matter. Combining this information with keyword searches will reveal how appropriate content of each page is to visitor’s interests. In Summary
The value of analysis far exceeds nominal cost of web analytics service. Indeed, it may spell difference between success and failure. Good web analytics packages can be hard to find, but need not be expensive. Increasingly, more and more comprehensive reports are available at better prices. To be effective, marketer must understand what to look for and how to apply knowledge revealed by analysis. The learning curve is not steep, and rewards can be significant.
WG Moore is a web analytics specialist with over 20 years of hardware, software and web development experience. Visit http://www.webstatsgold.com for more articles and information on web analytics. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org