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Choosing a Web Analytics Program For Your
Business

Web analytics play a major role in the optimization of your online presence; however, if you are
like most small business owners, you probably have only a vague comprehension of analytics.
You may have heard of website analytics, possibly even attended a class or a seminar about
analytics. However, the options likely sounded overwhelming and technical and a bit too
complex. Even though you had a feeling that web analytics could help your business, the task of
choosing a program and installing the app and maintaining the program just seemed too daunting
to tackle.
Obviously, you always have the option to outsource your website analytics strategy and
execution, but if you're on a strict budget, or in the event that you just wish to give it a shot
yourself, then you're going to need an understanding of web analytics in general in addition to an
understanding of your particular analytics software or service.
To efficiently plan your web analytics execution, first you need to know what analytics is. You
have to identify your overall business goals; you will have to understand the relevance of this
data being provided by your analytics program, and you'll want to consult with the other
members of your staff to make certain that the data being supplied is actually the info that they
require. And lastly, after mapping out your specific inter-dependency requirements, defining

your support frame and installing your own tracking code, then you will need to check your
analytics execution.
Don't worry if that sounds somewhat complex. We'll have a look at each measure separately.
First stop is understanding analytics. Web analytics is all about trend analysis and customer
insight and not only a tool for presenting fiscal sales reports. A web analytics tool allows you to
view and monitor trends like customer preferences, patterns, search phrases, traffic resources,
etc.. Analytics also permit you to track how the changes you make on your website can impact
these key customer metrics.
1 thing I often see small businesses skipping when choosing an analytics package is that the
identification of the targets. It's important that you maintain your general company and web site
aims in mind in order to ensure that the analytics solution that you choose actually addresses
these aims. If your goal is to expand through numerous channels, you will need to make sure
your analytics application thoroughly tracks traffic resources and lets you segment traffic by
specific sources. If your primary objective is to boost your e-commerce, you'll need to locate an
analytics solution that integrates with your shopping cart program. Create a list of major
company goals and set them in priority order; then refer to this list when reviewing different
analytics packages.
When reviewing the numerous analytics packages that are available, you'll want to find a sample
report or dataset so that you may be sure that the information created by the program is really
pertinent to your business and your goals. There's absolutely no point in creating a large number
of information which is irrelevant and unworthy in creating profit-producing decisions.
Analytics accounts can easily become overwhelming and very time consuming. I have worked
with small business owners who have gobs and gobs of analytics information, but they never
refer to it since they just don't know what they're looking at. To avoid falling into this trap, have
a look at sample reports prior to choosing an analytics application, and opt for something easy to
read using a minimalist presentation. Understanding your company goals will be a great help
when outlining the info that you want to see on your analytics accounts. Remember, to
comprehend the significance of your information, you have to be aware of your priorities such as
enhancing page commitments, minimizing bounce prices, and optimizing conversion rates. Don't
overload yourself with too much data; it will only cloud your decision-making abilities.
You will also wish to consult your team members and map out your own inter-dependency
requirements. In case your "IT Guy" is in charge of your advertisement network, let me take a
look at a sample report before deciding on an analytics solution. Find out which type of tracking
information your affiliate manager needs. Or your own accountant. Or your web designer. These
staff members will all need various types of information, and lots of analytics applications enable
you to customize reports to satisfy individual needs. Bear in mind, since analytics can get
overwhelming, you will only want to furnish the person with the data he will actually need to
create business decisions.

When reviewing available analytics options, be certain to check the application requirements.
You don't need to fall in love with a program which needs a Unix host if your website resides on
a Windows platform. If you are taking a look at a hosted service, make certain that the fees fit in
your monthly budget. If you are reviewing a self-hosted package, check out the installation
instructions. Does this seem like something you can handle? Does this require a great deal of
ongoing tweaking and maintenance? Will you need to read binary code to decipher the accounts?
Eventually, they'll need to spend some time testing your analytics execution after it has been set
up. Several analytics applications permit you to set a "testing mode"; others allow you to block
specific IP addresses or particular traffic resources. Know your testing choices before
installation, and understand your service options if the testing period don't produce the data you'd
expect.

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