If your home-based business involves selling products on the Web, then you can greatly benefit by periodically reviewing your statistics package. If you’re using the more common ‘out of the box’ web shopping-cart solutions such as Monster Commerce, Yahoo Stores, or Finest Shops you will have a built-in statistics package that can provide this information. If you don’t have a built-in statistics package, Urchin is the current industry favorite. Here are a few important questions you can answer from your statistics package:
Where are the site visitors landing? In a lot of cases, they’ll be landing (starting out) on your home-page. But this won’t always be the case. You may have a pay-per-click campaign going to one of your product pages. Or you may discover pages within your site for which you’ve achieved exposure.
How are your site visitors progressing through the site? Your statistics package should show you what paths your visitors are taking through your site. Sometimes this is known as ‘click paths’.
Where are the site visitors leaving the site? Are your visitors leaving from the same page they started? Is there a certain page which is getting more than its share of exits?
How long are your site visitors spending on each page? Are there certain pages where site visitors linger? Are there others where you feel they should linger, but they tend to click away?
What keywords are site visitors using to find your site? Studying the search terms that people use to find your site will often reveal keywords that you had not thought of.
What search engines are your site visitors coming from? Answering this will help you determine where your best rankings are and can help direct you to work on ranking for search engines that are not producing many visitors.
What is the 404 error page saying? Sooner or later you’ll get broken links on your site. This is especially true if you’re doing a lot of the site maintenance manually. Reviewing the 404 errors can show you where these links are and can help you can take steps to correct them.
Spending some time reviewing your site statistics can provide valuable insight into your site visitors preferences, can help you zero in on some problem areas, and can help you turn more of your site visitors into paying customers.