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Tracking Your Success



Tracking Your Success


For most of us involved with web building or e-commerce, hit counting is old news. We all have our hit counters so we have an idea what traffic is like at our site on a day to day basis. Some even go as far as to note times and chart responses to promotions. But as our on-line world evolves, so must we.

A new breed of free counters and trackers are making a big splash and for good reason. These counters offer an expanded variety of tracking and counting features that some of your older counters may not. If you look on our front page at http://www.imr-central.com , you can see that we use Aaddzz.com ( at http://www.aaddzz.com/) for our tracking purposes.

While Aaddzz is just one of many, they do offer very extensive counting and tracking statistics, and it's all free. Included in the features are hourly, daily, weekly and monthly counting, browser identification (do most of our visitors use Netscape or I.E.?), time zone statistics, geographical identification and more.Webstat.com is another company offering similar free services as is Hitbox.com.

Another way to track your visitors is through your advertising. We always recommend targeted advertising, and certain types allow you to track who is visiting you, and more importantly, why. For example, GoTo.com sells keywords to websites, also known as keyword sponsorship.

The idea here is that when people run a keyword search (i.e. flowers), you pay "x" amount for your flower site to come up in that search. With your GoTo account management center, you can see exactly which keywords are bringing in the most visitors and conversely, which aren't.

Of course, this is useful in choosing your keywords at GoTo, but also helpful on a larger scale. These words may provide insight as to what really brings people to your site, therefore helping you narrow your focus to enhancing what is working and either improving or eliminating what isn't.

Another often overlooked method of tracking is visitor communication. There are a variety of ways to achieve this goal. One effective method is by the installation of visitor-feedback scripts at your site. You can find a variety of free resources of this kind. ( For starters, check The Javascript Source at: http://javascript.internet.com/ ) Also, don't forget that visitor feedback is not just important as people surf your page, but when they use it as well.

For example, if you sell a product, a simple feedback form at the end of the checkout process can provide insight as to the effectiveness of your checkout system. (i.e. Is it confusing? Is it a detriment to the purchase?)

Finally, good old fashioned e-mail can be a great tracking tool as well. When someone corresponds with you through your site or business, take the time to ask them a very quick question. For example, from time to time when we welcome a new subscriber to our e-zine,
we often write a personal thank you back, and just ask them how they found out about us.

Sometimes we'll even ask what feature about our e-zine was of interest to them. Of course, you can't abuse this practice as you could end up annoying visitors/clients.... not good. But if you are brief and genuine with people, my experience is that they are usually more than willing to help and often even like getting involved. People generally like to have their opinions heard, especially if they think it may make a difference... and in a properly run business, it will.

Tracking is more than numbers and geography. It is about knowing your current user-base and using those facts and figures to grow and expand that base . As webspace and e-commerce competition intensifies, in-depth tracking is another handy tool you may want to consider to keep yourself ahead of the pack.

 


About the Author

Bryan Marye is the publisher of the I_M_R Resourceletter. If you would like to receive articles like this every week from Bryan and other writers. For this and other great promotion tools, visit our home page: http://www.imr-central.com


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