Article #71, July, 2008
Where Did You Come From?
Have you ever gotten a client and they didn't know how they found you? "I think I found your website somehow..."
In order to have the most efficient marketing plan possible, you need to know where all your clients come from, if at all possible. If you are using the internet to promote your business in several ways, it is helpful to know what tactics are working best.
Here are some of the ways you might drive traffic to your main website:
- Social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace
- Publishing articles on article databases and beyond
- inbound links from strategic alliances or partners
- Listings on directories
- Adsense/Adwords ads on google
- Memberships in online clubs/groups
- Mentions on others' blogs/articles
Of course this is not a comprehensive list, but you get the idea. Most of these tactics cost you time, money or both. You cannot afford to waste either, so knowing which of these is working best to bring you clients is important.
One great tool you can use to learn where your website traffic originates is your webstats - website statistics. The company who hosts your website should be compiling these stats for you on an ongoing basis, since the launch of your site.
The main stats I look at regularly include:
- Total *unique* visitors
- Did I have any particularly high volume days?
- Where is my traffic coming from?
- How many people are visiting each page of my site?
The unique visitors number tells me how many people visited my site. I compare these numbers against last month, against this same month last year and year-to-date compared to last year. This tells me how much my traffic is increasing over time. Other numbers could also be helpful, but this is the best judge of incoming traffic.
On any high-volume days, I will research what I was doing to promote my business around that time, both online and offline. I need to know where my traffic is coming from so I can take advantage of whatever is working best.
And finally, by seeing what pages are visited most frequently, I can see what people are liking right now. This is particularly helpful to me because I publish my articles on my website, and I can see the areas of interest of my visitors so I can write more articles on those subjects.
There are other statistics that may be of interest to you - are search engines checking out your site (spiders)? If not, your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts may not be working as well as you want.
What countries are your visitors from? How long are people staying on your site? Don't be surprised if a majority is only staying a short time. That's typical. Also - what keywords are your visitors using to find you? Are you using those keywords in your SEO?
Depending on your hosting company and the webstat service they use, you may get different statistics.
Regardless of the exact stats and the packaging, you should be keeping a close eye on your website statistics. They could really save you time and help you increase your sales!