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Time is money – right?

Analysing the performance of a website can seem a daunting task. There are just so many numbers to crunch, so much data to evaluate. How can any one person look at all that information and make sense of it well enough to make a difference? Truth is, one person really can’t. Successful mega-websites like Ebay and YouTube have massive teams of analysts scrutinising the data gleaned from web analytics tools, tweaking their sites here and there to make them the highly functioning, user-friendly portals they are known to be. However, your company doesn’t need a horde of worker geeks combing through obscure numbers to develop an online marketing plan that works. In fact, you could probably take a look at your site’s traffic statistics right now and take a pretty good guess as to how it’s performing.

When it comes to analysing web traffic, there are several major performance indicators to consider. Checking the number of visitors to your site might be gratifying, since you will be able to see how many hits your site receives in any given period of time. This statistic really doesn’t tell you all that much about the actual quality of the site itself; rather, it tells you whether or not you’re using the right keywords to get people to your site.

Search Engine Listings and Traffic Benefits from SEO

If you’re using a tool like Google Analytics to measure your site’s performance, you’ll be able to see the average amount of time visitors spend on your site. To many online marketing experts, this is a much better indicator of your site’s efficacy than number of visitors. In general, it’s felt that the more time a visitor spends on your site, the more likely that visitor is to convert. However, not all long visits are a good thing. Example: If a visitor is spending a great deal of time on your site clicking through product descriptions and reviews, that’s a good thing. If they’re spending half an hour reading your ‘About Us’ page, chances are they opened the window, looked at your site for a second, then took a bathroom break, completely forgetting about whatever it is you have to offer. This is not a good thing.

Another example of a not-so-good long visit is when it consistently takes visitors longer than you’d like to fulfill the purpose of a specific page. If it’s taking too long to do something, there’s a good chance that page is either too complicated or doesn’t do whatever it is that visitor thought it was going to do. Taking note of too much time spent on a particular page is a good way to improve the quality of your site and retain visitors for the right reasons.