Any business owner wants his or her company website to be working smoothly and attracting customers at every moment of the day. That’s what makes the time and expense of creating and maintaining a site worth it, right? But just because a site exists doesn’t mean it is working optimally. Fortunately, there are all types of application monitoring software options available to help even the least tech-savvy owners keep tabs on their websites. Because all web hosts should offer some sort of analytics tools, here some basic things that should be on site admins’ radar.
Clearly, a website that is down is not doing any good for anyone. Customers are unhappy, search engines are thwarted and businesses are not making any fans. There are many different online services that offer downtime alerts. These monitoring programs will send a message to admins to second a site goes down, and they often will provide analytics that might indicate where the problem originated. Of course, these monitoring tools are reactionary – there has to be a problem before site admins get an alert.
Another important analytic to monitor is where site visitors are coming from. Do they find the site usually from a search engine? Or are they being redirected from a link on a related website? If the traffic is coming from a search engine, which keywords was the user looking for? Knowing these types of information will allow admins to include information, tags and keywords that match what visitors want to find out. Plus, it likely would be helpful to reach out to more related sites and try to establish a linking relationship.
Once a visitor is on the site, owners want them to click around and view as many pages as possible. If they come to the home page but leave without exploring any internal pages, there likely is something less-than-attractive on the home page such as a lack of information or poor navigation. How often are site visitors using the “contact us” link, or how many times are they viewing specific photo galleries? These are the kinds of stats that allow as website to evolve to meet the needs of customers.
Just as useful as how a visitor got to the website is where the visitor is from. If admins note that all of a sudden a great number of viewers are accessing the site in Japan, for example, it might be beneficial to consider adding a translation widget or including content written in Japanese. Site owners can gain a great deal of useful information by checking geographical statistics. It might prompt a change in the products featured on the home page or the pricing of merchandise for sale on the site.
Finally, the end result most business owners are looking for is conversion. That is, how many people who visit the site eventually become customers? Analytics allow admins to track how many people complete purchases versus how many people put items in their carts but then abandon them before checkout. Knowing the possible barriers to purchase will allow changes to be made to the site to remove those obstacles.