An interesting, and important, bit of research came to my attention today. It is not that I have been totally unaware of this, but today was the first time in a long time that I have had the 'leisure' to truly investigate. Having conducted my albeit quick investigation, and after gathering web site statistics from several sources, I would like to present my findings.
But first, if you are like many, often you may rely on "outside sources" to track the efficiency and effectiveness of your web page performance. Putting more stock in other people programs and tracking, often people become discouraged that their web site advertising and / or internet marketing is not "paying off." They tend to believe that the big name behind a program must mean they are right and you are wrong. That their tracking is better and more accurate than one's own.
Strangely enough, the truth is often times not the whole truth and nothing but. Take a quick peek at several areas online I use for one of my own domains. Frankly, I use most of them for fun – and I do mean fun – because you are about to discover how very "off" those 'tried and true' sources can be:
11/14/2007 at 12:49 pm
An Analytics Program – 2 visitors
An SEO Program – 51 visitors
A Keyword Tracking Program – 45 visitors
Domain Cpanel Stats – 384 (and the day is only half over)
All of these programs / services are designed to give the website owner additional insight into their traffic and more.
So which am I most likely to believe? You are right, that is a no brainer question. One's cpanel stats are the most, and frankly only, reliable source of information about one's website. Third party systems help give different perspectives on your web advertising and internet marketing, but obviously have limited capabilities. Only your own domain's cpanel (or whatever yours may be called) have the real skinny on how your web site is performing.
Learn to read your own web site's information. It is there for the asking, taking, reading, and analyzing. Then take the information you gather and use it to your best advantage. Discover where your visitors are arriving from, and what page they tend to land on. Figure out how many of those visitors remain on your web site or uncover the points at which they scurry away. Plug the holes and keep them on your web site by playing up your web site's best features. Rearrange your presentation – eliminate "bad pages" if need be. Highlight what others are truly coming to your web site to find and give them a reason to stay.
Stop trusting blindly in "the other guy." Your own domain stats are your only reliable method to analyze and increase your online web site presence. Make your web site advertising and internet marketing even more effective by discovering what draws visitors to your site or what turns them away.
And, here is yet another valid reason why doing business online really means shouldering the responsibility of creating your own virtual real estate; without your own cpanel you may be just second guessing yourself and wasting time and money.
How will you know how well – or poorly – your web site is doing if your tracking is not up to snuff?