Using Web Metrics To Improve Your Site
By Eric Bonnici of Alexander Joseph and
"...Web analytics is becoming one of the hot sectors
in Internet marketing and e-commerce technology.
Increasingly, brand and e-commerce managers -- under
pressure to deliver a return on investment -- are
looking to the technology to help shape and optimize
their Web sites." Internet.com, October 28, 2002
The goal of any web presence should be to improve the
business as a whole and complement its offline
marketing and sales efforts. In other words, to help it
achieve maximum profitability. In order to do this, your
online strategy must:
Drive targeted traffic to your site, persuade site visitors
to take the desired actions you want them to take, and
use Web metrics to analyze and measure user behavior.
Performing these objectives correctly will ensure that
you have an effective marketing campaign and
increased sales for your business. Let's look at each of
these objectives further:
Objective 1: Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Site
Driving targeted traffic begins with a search engine
(SEM) campaign including pay-per-click advertising
(PPC) and a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
It's important to determine which keywords are worth
pursuing in your PPC and SEO efforts. Tools like WordTracker
should be used to generate a list of possible keyword
phrases. Determine how frequently each phrase is
searched for, and evaluate which are feasible enough
to put efforts into by checking how steep the
competition is. Make your selections and test them out
in your PPC and SEO campaigns.
Researching and selecting effective keywords is
extremely important. Be sure to select keywords that
your target market would use to find you. With web
metrics and analysis in place, you will be able to tell
where people are coming from, what keywords they
used to find you, and whether they are taking the
desired actions on your site. If the wrong keywords are
chosen, you may find that you have high rankings, but
the wrong audience is visiting.
Objective 2: Persuade Your Web Site Visitors To
Take the Desired Action
Whether you are selling a product or service, obtaining
newsletter subscribers, or enticing people to download
a software demo, your ultimate goal is getting your site
visitors to take a desired action. In order to do this you
must have a compelling site that draws the visitor in,
and then guides them to the goal.
Design and site architecture factors such as usability,
navigation, content, and ad copy all come into play
here. The key is to monitor how well these factors work
at persuading your visitors into taking action. With web
metrics you can monitor everything and see what's
working and what's not. Armed with this knowledge,
you can make the appropriate changes to your site;
continue your monitoring, and repeat the process until
you get an increase in the desired outcome.
Objective 3: Use Web Metrics To Analyze Visitor
The area of web metrics and analysis is new and
evolving. Compared to traditional offline marketing, the
Internet provides an unparalleled opportunity to
specifically measure how a customer interacts with a
business. Web metrics and analysis will help you to
monitor and improve objectives 1 and 2. This is done by
paying close attention to where visitors are coming
from, learning what keywords were used to find your
site, seeing how they navigated through it, and what
actions they took along the way. This information
becomes a powerful tool in growing your business.
The first web metrics were commonly known as traffic
logs or site statistics. These measured things like
server hits, unique visitors, repeat visitors, entry
pages, exit pages, first page visited, second page
visited, and average time spent on a page or the site.
Today's newer log analysis software can show us more
business-specific web metrics. These include
conversion ratios, browse-to-buy rates and customer-
acquisition costs. As research and development in this
area continues, we will see new metrics appear, along
with improved tools to measure them.
Currently, with the right tools it is possible to monitor
web visitors' behavior such as how and where they
found your site, what pages they landed on, and
whether they took the desired actions you wanted
them to take. For this information to be worthwhile,
however, you need to use it to adjust your SEM
strategies, keyword selection, site architecture and
design as necessary. Basically, you should test and
improve what is working, eliminate what isn't and figure
out new approaches that will work even better. This
process will constantly raise your return on investment
For further details on this subject, including software
and vendors, I recommend reading
"Web Measurement and Analytics"
by Ashley Friedlein. This report goes into great detail on
12 leading web analytics vendors.
About The Author:
Eric Bonnici is the Director of Internet Marketing and
Development at Alexander Joseph and Associates and
has been doing business on the Internet since 1998. To
read more of his articles, visit: Internet Marketing
Articles or Branded Business
Article Copyright (c) 2003, Alexander Joseph and
Associates. All Rights Reserved.
The thing they don't tell you about being pregnant is
that you're hungry ALL the time. Everything revolves
around food. I'm even snacking on my left-over
birthday cake as I write this, so you'll understand if my
introduction to this month's issue seems a bit food
Speaking of birthdays, Google turned five this month,
celebrating their biggest year of growth and popularity
to date. See our story this issue to remember just how
far they've come since operation from a California
And speaking of cakes, this month Verisign tried to
have their cake and eat it too when they decided to
hijack non-valid domain names by having them resolve
to their own search engine, instead of allowing them to
resolve as errors in a searcher's browser. It's a
controversial move by Verisign and has already been
labelled as sabotage and "typo-squatting" by many in
the industry. Controversial or not, the act has seen
Verisign become the 10th most visited web site on the
Internet, according to Alexa.
Moving from cake to humble pie now - that's what
LookSmart have been forced to eat this month, with
the announcement they have decided to settle a class
action lawsuit brought against them on behalf of all
paid submission customers prior to April 2002.
Settlement is expected to cost LookSmart up to USD
850 K - that's one big slice of pie!
Finally, if you're a webmaster, don't miss this month's
article. Our guest columnist is Eric Bonnici and his
article gives an overview of the importance of
understanding exactly what your site visitors are doing
at your site, why you need that information and what
you should do with it.
Enjoy this issue and remember to visit our daily
Engine News Blog for the latest industry news and
Till next time - wishing you high rankings...
|Yahoo Re-Launches Shopping Search|
In an obvious bid to "keep up with the Google's",
launched their own shopping search engine.
Similar to Google's Froogle shopping search, Yahoo's
new toy is directly integrated into Yahoo's main search
engine and features a full range of products from
across the Internet, with search results sorted by
|It's High Five for Google|
Search engine Google turned five
this month and is celebrating by riding high on a wave
of worldwide popularity and financial success.|
The "little engine that could" has come a long way from
the Californian garage it started life in on 7 September
1998. According to founders Stanford University PhD
students Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google was
handling around 10,000 queries per day at that time.
Consider now that Google deals with more than 200
million queries per day, indexes 3.3 billion web pages
and employs 1,000 people worldwide and you start to
understand the phenomenal growth this young firm has
|LookSmart Settles Class Action|
Search company LookSmart Ltd
has decided to settle a class action lawsuit brought
against them on behalf of customers who paid for site
submission before the Directory converted to a paid
listings model in April 2002.|
LookSmart has agreed to provide compensation to
these customers in the form of cash payments and/or
additional paid listings.
|Verisign Hijacks Mistyped Domains|
Domain registrar Verisign has come under intense
criticism this month after resolving requests for non-
existent .COM and .NET domains to an error page
featuring their own search engine, Site Finder.
Normally, these requests would be resolved by the
user's own browser, typically delivering a "page not
found" or DNS error.|
|Google Gets Local|
reports that Google
Labs are testing location search, where you can search
for products and services specific to a geographical
I have no doubt that regional and niche market search
will be the future for this industry and it's exciting to
see Google so far ahead of the pack in the field. You
can test Google's Search By
Location via their Labs, but it is only supporting
U.S. searches at present.
|Amazon Challenges Google With Startup|
Online retail giant Amazon.com is
challenging Google with a new search engine startup
designed to take advantage of the booming online
search market. Amazon has branded their new search
firm "A9" and has set up an office in Palo Alto, not far
from Google's own headquarters in Mountain View,
Unlike Google, A9 will concentrate on product search
rather than general search, tapping into growing
consumer demand for online product research and
review. It is expected A9 will feature sophisticated
comparison shopping technology for license to other
sites and eventually offer sponsored listings to potential
Amazon will launch A9 in October with 30 employees.
Click here for a full text/print version of this newsletter...