Question: How can you improve your visitor's experience of your website AND at same time learn how to improve your website (or learn how to increase sales)?
Cookies? Yes. Let me explain...
=> COOKIES EXPLAINED
A "cookie" is simply a small piece of text information which a web server stores temporarily with your web visitor's browser. (Note: cookies are *not* programs.) This means your visitor's browser remembers some specific information which web server can later retrieve.
So cookies simply allow your site to store information on your visitor's computer for later retrieval.
A basic example of a cookie in action can be found here - http://members.rediff.com/lc/cookies.htm
Basically, cookies allow you to improve a site visitor's experience of your website. I've listed a few examples to show how this can be achieved: * Cookies can store visitor preferences. This means you can present customised information to your visitor, as per their own requirements. (This is how portal sites like MSN work.)
* Cookies can pre-fill form fields for your visitor.
* Cookies can automatically login visitors to your site
* Cookies can provide visitor statistics and therefore help you understand your visitor's needs. Cookies can provide site metrics like unique visitors, average number of page-views, percentage of repeat visitors et cetera. And cookie-generated statistics are much more accurate than using log files.
(Do remember though, that people sometimes share computers; some browsers are set to reject cookies; and cookies can be erased.)
So not only are cookies an efficient way of keeping track of information, they also help personalise your site visitor's experience of your site.