The Numbers Game
Posted 15 October 2012
As Felix Gaumgartner spent his Sunday plummeting through the air at over 800mph, becoming the first skydiver to break the speed of sound, over 8 million of us watched on via a live stream on Youtube. This might not be among the many records that Felix and the Red Bull team were planning to break, but it is a significant record nevertheless. Speed is important, but so are statistics.
Statistics constitute a very valuable part of web design. The use of Google Analytics or a similar package enables you to monitor very closely the traffic arriving at your website. This will include simple details, such as how many hits you’ve picked up and which pages/articles are popular. It will also allow you to gather far more intricate statistics, from the visitor’s country of origin and web browser to the various sources of traffic coming in to your website. You can also work out exactly how your visitors are finding you through search engine keywords, giving you an informed source of data to help improve your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
It might not sound particularly exciting, but this kind of data is absolutely crucial for a business looking to develop and maintain an effective website. If your company is trying to crack the American market, but you find out from Analytics research that all of your online traffic is coming from China, then you either need to find a way to change your audience or you need to change your target market! If you’ve focussed your website design around a couple of key pages but in reality all your traffic is heading straight to your infrequently updated “about us” page then you will be able to respond accordingly. You’ll also be able to work out how fruitful that recent social media campaign really was. Statistics can save you time, effort and money.
A package like Analytics will also give you some more technical information which will help inform your ongoing website design and business strategy. By establishing which operating systems and web browsers your visitors are using you’ll be able to optimise your site for those particular viewers. This will be particularly helpful if you are running an e-commerce site, with an increasing number of customers likely to visit your website through mobile or tablet devices.
What do the statistics tell you about the effectiveness of your company’s web strategy? If you’ve got questions about website design, SEO or e-commerce then we would love to hear from you.