educational

How Studying a Site’s Traffic Will Help It Grow

Stephen Yagielowicz

If you’ve been running a website for any length of time, you are no doubt familiar with the need to study your stats — either using a server log solution such as AWStats, a hosted third-party service such as Google Analytics, or a self-hosted, open source tool such as PiWik — or even all of the above...

But there are more factors to look at than just the number of visitors your site receives and from where those visitors come — if you do it right, studying your site’s traffic will help it grow.

There are more factors to look at than just the number of visitors your site receives and from where those visitors come — if you do it right, studying your site’s traffic will help it grow.

For example, the following three analytics tools can help you take your business to the next level, and could find a home in your promotional toolbox:

Providing digital insights to drive business forward, Compete (www.compete.com) helps business owners to monitor their online competition, benchmark site performance against its industry averages, and to uncover new business opportunities. The strength of this service lies in its ability to not only tell you more about your own business, but about your competitor’s business and how it compares to yours.

According to the company, Compete provides consumer behavior data enabling marketers to invest their time and budget with confidence, revealing which marketing strategies work best in their industry, which tactics fall flat, and where any untapped opportunities may exist.

Compete allows users to examine traffic, engagement and demographic data for millions of sites, revealing your company’s online market share and identifying both new and proven keywords to help increase their share of that market. The service also provides intelligence on where your competitors are getting their traffic from, and discovers new prospects by compiling lists of the top sites on the web, ranked by any of Compete’s metrics.

Another area where analytics make a difference is for social media management — a consideration given the profusion of platforms that are gaining in popularity and presenting new traffic opportunities.

Calling itself the leading social media dashboard to manage and measure your social networks, HootSuite (www.hootsuite.com) allows users to manage multiple social networks, scheduling tweets and messages in advance, while tracking mentions of your brand on a number of social media channels.

Used by millions of companies and individuals to analyze their social media traffic, HootSuite comes in free, pro and enterprise versions, with a 30-day free trial helping users choose the right version.

According to Red Apple Media CEO and co-founder Steven Daris, data-driven decision-making is the key to success — both online and off.

“You start with an idea, test it and utilize stats programs to either confirm or deny your theory. Otherwise you’ll never really know what works and what doesn’t, and you’ll remain in a constant state of ‘I dunno,’” Daris told XBIZ. “For instance, post a new video or a niche or a new performer to see how your members like it. Stats will show you how many downloads, purchases, streams, etc. each video received in real time, so you can make sure you have more (or less) of that content to keep your current consumers happy and coming back for more.”

But stats can do a whole lot more than just confirm content trends and inspire increased sales, Daris explains, pointing to data offered by Red Apple’s Media Commander control panel that allows online business owners to view each member’s buying, viewing and bandwidth behavior — not only to evaluate business, but also to detect whether or not there’s something fishy going on.

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