The Communicator
The Communicator
  August 1, 2004 

Benefits of Web Traffic Reports

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A website traffic report contains information on how your website is being used.  This information includes:

  • the number of visitors to your website
  • how they found your website
  • what pages they visited on your website
  • how long they spent on your website
  • other information, depending on the type of website traffic reporting software used.

First, you should review how many visitors come to your website daily. The number will give you an indication of how aware your audience is of your online presence, and to some extent how effectively it is being found via online searches.  This number can also be used to measure the success of a specific campaign: if your website traffic increases after an ad or direct mail campaign, this suggests that the campaign has been successful in driving people to your website.
 
The traffic report provides information about how people found your website the search word or phrase and where they came from, e.g., Google or an online directory in which your site is listed.  The search words and phrases help you decide what terminology to use when registering your site with search engines.  Or, if people are finding your website via a search word or phrase that is not relevant to your business, this information is an indicator that you need to change your content, tags, or registration.

You can test the effectiveness of online directories by reviewing your traffic reports.  If you are a member of an association or pay for a directory listing, you can review your website traffic report to ascertain whether those affiliations are helping people find you online.  For example, if you are a member of the Health Care Association of New Jersey, and your traffic report shows that people come to your website from their website, that affiliation is helping people locate you online.

How a visitor reacts to your website will help you understand whether your website is meeting the needs of your market. Traffic reports will show you how many pages an average visitor views, how long they spend on your website, and the most popular pages of your website. Visitors should take the time to review a few pages of your website, and spend more than five or ten minutes. These statistics indicate that the content of your website is useful and interesting to your audience. 

Reviewing the pages that are viewed the most often shows you what your audience values most about your site. This could be an online newsletter or calendar, or a service that is more popular than others. Your home page will usually be the most viewed page, but more interesting is where people go next.

Traffic reports are important tools to provide you with a clear and accurate picture of what is happening with your website.  This information will help you understand what is important to your market, or how you need to adjust your strategy to better meet their needs.

Note:  If you have a website, your website hosting company should provide you with traffic reports. If Caresource is your website hosting company, please contact us for information on how to access and read your website traffic reports. Caresource provides its website clients with traffic reports from WebTrends, a powerful real-time traffic reporting software program.

Join us next issue for "How to Read Your Website Traffic Report"!

 


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