opinion

Learning About Your Site Surfers

Joe D
One of the first steps to success is to learn everything you can about your site’s visitors. It doesn’t matter what type of site you run – be it a service-oriented site such as Web hosting, a product-sales site including toy-sites and DVD-sites, a hub/portal, a pay-subscription site or even a free site – you should find out more about your traffic. You can achieve this in a number of ways, the first of which should always be through good Web statistics.

A good stats program can tell you where your traffic is coming from, what language your visitors speak, what browser and O/S version they are using – even what screen resolution they use for optimum viewing satisfaction. A great stats program will tell you things such as how your site’s visitors found you – either via search engines, link lists or other referring sites – and most will usually even tell you what search terms were used to locate your site. Quite a few excellent stats programs will give you even more information – they can track individual visitors from the entry page to the exit page, and some will even tell you what link or banner ad they clicked when they left your site.

By scrutinizing this statistical information, you can paint a pretty clear picture of what your traffic wants, what they come to your site to find – and even whether they found it or not before they ultimately left. Knowing the search terms/keywords used can help you know more about the niche, product or service your visitors are looking for so you can add the most relevant content, make the path to find the “object of desire” even easier than before – AND better target their needs and interests overall.

You can’t please ALL the surfers ALL the time, but if you regularly check your stats you can spot trends and hot topics early on so you can adapt, make changes and take advantage of them while they're “hot.”

For tips on software and answers to all sorts of questions you've been pondering over, join the discussions at XBIZ.net

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