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Website Statistic Tracking... Do it right or not at all

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By now, the majority of webmasters and netrepreneurs* know that website statistic tracking is a crucial part of an effective web promotion strategy.

With this in mind, many novice web designers will put a basic hit counter on their website(s).

But are these simple hit counters actually of any promotional use?

In their most rudimentary form, these things will merely record the number of times a page has been loaded without gathering any other statistics at all, which is fine for personal websites where webmasters merely wish to keep check whether their site is getting any traffic in the first place.

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This way of Website Statistic Tracking is pointless for online businesses

For a commercial website competing in the global arena, however, something which only keeps track of page-load numbers is actually worse than useless, because it can’t even tell you whether or not your visitors are even human.

The days of merely monitoring the number of clicks to your site are well and truly gone. And if your online enterprise is to be successful in the face of its competitors, you need to gather detailed information about your visitors and their browsing habits, not just blind hit numbers.

A simple counter has no website statistics tracking capabilities, and cannot tell you where your visitors are coming from, whether they’ve used a search engine, what keywords and phrases they searched for to find you, or indeed any other information which would prove valuable to you in your efforts to increase the number of visitors and sales conversions of your online enterprise. Without a tool to carry out proper keyword research, you are effectively flying blind where your website’s search engine promotion is concerned. Let’s face it for a second, if you have an e-business, your ultimate aim is to sell your products or services as effectively as possible, and without a detailed knowledge of your prospective clients, and their search habits you can’t begin to do this.

So how can you gather the required information to find out what improvements are required to boost your website’s performance?

  1. Your ISP’s Statistics Bundle
    The majority of hosting packages these days come ready-equipped with a basic statistics tracker which provides basic information about referrers, keywords & phrases used by visitors, screen resolutions and other valuable information. And although this approach does not provide the sort of in-depth information needed by websites in heavily competed market sectors, it is usually sufficient for smaller websites competing in niche markets.

  2. An Online Keyword Analysis Tool
    There was a time when the use of a competent piece of website statistic tracking software was subject to a monthly or annual subscription fee. These online visitor tracking utilities offered a level of detail not usually found in the information gathered by their free counterparts, thus making them well worth the necessary investment. And given the fact that this investment would normally cost between $ 300 and $400 per year, it was not inconsiderable by online standards.

    But then, in August 2006, Google launched something called Analytics** which was to change the face of website statistic tracking practically overnight. Not only was Analytics as solid as its subscription-based rivals, it also provided a rather unique level of insight into your website’s interaction with the Google search engine. And if that wasn’t enough, it was completely free, which gave it a substantial edge over the competition.

Now, just a little over three years later, Google Analytics rules the website statistic tracking roost, and the vast majority of its competitors have long-since disappeared into obscurity.

But how exactly can this visitor tracking tool be used above and beyond the obvious keyword-research applications by webmasters in their quest for more effective web promotion methods?

And, what’s more, is there some caveat attached to letting the world’s largest online search provider actually keep track of your website’s vital user traffic data?

Click here to find out on page two of this article: ‘Keyword Analysis Tool’.

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* Not a spelling error... A Netrepreneur is someone whose business activities are centered around commercial Internet ventures and websites.

** Have you ever noticed how Google products and services never carry standard dictionary names? Why? Because non-standard names are so much easier to trademark and protect than their more common cousins. You might want to think about that if you're contemplating an online venture.

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