Tracking Your SuccessWritten by Bryan Marye
For most of us involved with web building or e-commerce, hit counting is old news. We all have our hit counters so we have an idea what traffic is like at our site on a day to day basis.Some even go as far as to note times and chart responses to promotions. But as our on-line world evolves, so must we.
A new breed of free counters and trackers are making a big splash and for good reason. These counters offer an expanded variety of tracking and counting features that some of your older counters may not. If you look on our front page at http://www.imr-central.com , you can see that we use Aaddzz.com ( at http://www.aaddzz.com/) for our tracking purposes. While Aaddzz is just one of many, they do offer very extensive counting and tracking statistics, and it's all free. Included in features are hourly, daily, weekly and monthly counting, browser identification (do most of our visitors use Netscape or I.E.?), time zone statistics, geographical identification and more.Webstat.com is another company offering similar free services as is Hitbox.com.
Another way to track your visitors is through your advertising. We always recommend targeted advertising, and certain types allow you to track who is visiting you, and more importantly, why. For example, GoTo.com sells keywords to websites, also known as keyword sponsorship. The idea here is that when people run a keyword search (i.e. flowers), you pay "x" amount for your flower site to come up in that search. With your GoTo account management center, you can see exactly which keywords are bringing in most visitors and conversely, which aren't. Of course, this is useful in choosing your keywords at GoTo, but also helpful on a larger scale. These words may provide insight as to what really brings people to your site, therefore helping you narrow your focus to enhancing what is working and either improving or eliminating what isn't.
Tracking Single Page ConversionsWritten by Kim Wingate
For e-commerce sites, it is very important to track and improve conversion ratios. And, in Turning Visits Into Action, many conversion ratio improvement tactics and techniques are explained in detail. But for some e-commerce sites, conversion rates need to be tracked one page at a time.
An overall site conversion ratio may not provide level of detail needed to make greatest possible improvements. An overall conversion ratio would be calculated by taking number of orders generated and dividing it by total number of visitors to arrive at a percentage. But some sites may have traffic coming to many different areas for reasons other than purchasing - content areas of general interest, financial information, job seekers, etc. To really expose specific areas of improvement, it might be necessary to break stats down to further level of detail.
For example, you may want to calculate a conversion ratio based on number of visitors reaching your "shopping cart" page. This way, you can make improvements to your shopping cart page and know that your results aren't being skewed by traffic to other areas of your site. You may have 500 visitors reaching your shopping cart page while at same time you are generating 10 orders. Your conversion ratio is 2% for this comparison. By making improvements to your shopping cart page, you may see this ratio improve to 5% - generating 25 orders for every 500 visitors to this page.
Similarly, you may want calculate a conversion ratio for sales of a specific product based on number of visitors coming to that specific product's information page. You may have 10 Widget orders for every 250 visitors to Widget overview page. This works out to be a conversion ratio of 4% for this comparison. Improvements to Widget overview page may yield 25 Widget orders for every 250 visitors - increasing conversion ratio to 10%.