Any Web junkie has seen thousands of sites that can be categorized in dozens of ways. But for the purpose of talking about Web site traffic analysis, you can sort Web sites into four basic categories, based on the role of the site: customer support/promotional, marketing/lead generation, content/information, and e-commerce. All of these sites will benefit from standard traffic analysis tools like overlays, dashboards, and custom reporting.
For a discussion of more advanced analytics features, see Web Site Analytics Features for Customer Support Sites and Web Site Analytics Features for E-Commerce Sites.
Say you sell a product for which you provide a toll-free customer support line. In order to reduce your call center costs, you’ve published your knowledge base of common questions online. Your site’s primary metrics will be your search analytics, page views for various topics, short session lengths, and, most important, the “conversion” of visitors, in this case, those who have found satisfactory answers. Each visitor who ends up calling the support line after visiting your support center can be considered unconverted, since they have not successfully resolved their problem.
To determine what percent of your site visitors find what they need there, you’ll need an analytics package that includes these features:
- Conversion Funnel and Clickstream Analysis: If you don’t already have it, add a “Do you still need help?” survey at the end of your support content. This will be your “purchase complete” page for the purpose of monitoring conversion rate. If your visitors reach the end of the support page only to continue on to fill out your request form, or if they call in to your support center, then they’ve left the funnel.
- Solutions Integration: The success of your customer support site depends on its ability to provide answers. Since you no doubt have a search engine on your site already, look for Web site traffic analysis software or services that will integrate with your search software, telling you which search terms come up “No results found.” This could tell you what type of content needs to be added. Common search terms may also warrant more prominent placement of the topics that you already cover.