Consultant at none supplied
16 December 2003 08:00am
I was just wondering what weblog statistics you find useful. There is a large array of "general traffic reports" out there in the web traffic analysis field but what information is it that you and or your clients are interested in.
Are there any sites out there that have a senario of were these reports have solved an issue.. ie I can see how the error pages (ie 404, 500, 401) report (below) might (although log files are not 100% accurate at finding 404 errors etc as a user can type a url in a browser and it will be reported in a log file)
Are traffic reports useful? or are they just a general stat that no one really cares about anymore.
Web traffic statistics that you could find useful:-
Session/Hits to a page or Entry Page
KB Download usage day/week/month year
User Geographic Location and City
Banner Add montoring
Web Browser Usage
Search Terms/Words used in search engines
User Paths (from link A to link X)
User Form submissions
Fndr at Majestic12.co.uk
16 December 2003 10:32am
The stuff that you mention is often interesting as a one off, most likely for technical people rather than business folk.
Path analysis is generally very poorly implemented and hard to take advantage of (well a lot harder than it should be).
I find that the most useful statistics that can be derived from log files (traffic data) are essential business metrics that allow to maximize ROI such as:
1) conversion of website and key sources of traffic
2) traffic figures for key on and off line marketing campaigns
3) conversion and interest expressed in specific products - linked to availability/pricing decision making
4) changes in behaviour of key sources of traffic (say higher emphasis on gifts before key dates like Xmas)
The above is not a complete list but it gives the idea of what is happening on site business wise and it allows to make decisions to improve sales - for example identification of high interest in a particular product might allow you to project demand and get bigger discount.
> log files are not
> 100% accurate at finding 404 errors etc as a user can type a
> url in a browser and it will be reported in a log file
Log files are accurate for 404 errors which are reserved for situation where object (html page, image etc) is not found on a given website - if website is misspelt in the first place then its different type of error which obviously is outside of website's remit and can not be logged there.
Marketing Director at WebAbacus
17 December 2003 13:00pm
I agree with Alex. The original list you've come up with is mainly composed of "one off" values (although they can be useful when tracked month to month) - we find that our clients (yes, I'm a vendor) get more value from cross referencing two sets of metrics from the same data.
Examples might be the conversion patterns of people responding to different types of online marketing, visit exit points cross-referenced against page load times, or content usage (broken out by topic, say) matched against user details, such as job title (we have one client - a publisher - who knows which people with which job titles read which types of job ad, and uses this information to sell advertising space).
These 'two-dimensional' reports are where the value really lies for our clients, in our experience. It is usually the case that just one or two reports will deliver the value - though different people are interested in different things, obviously.
On your comment about log files and 404s etc, what we're increasingly doing is using tagging (which can capture 404s in some circumstances, but not in others) in combination with log file analysis - the tagging delivers the "behaviour" reporting, and the log data delivers the techie stuff. Happy to give you more details if you need them.
Director at ISSEL
17 December 2003 13:22pm
As Alex indicates it’s very often the return on investment information and conversion data that drive the most interest. There will also be different groups of users with differing priorities.
For example: Editorial staff and content generators will be interested to understand what content is most compelling and the profiles of their readers so they can address their interests more effectively. For one of our clients we helped them identify which of the myriad reports being created by highly paid analysts had never been read so they could redirect their efforts.
Alternatively in a retail environment marketing will be more interested in the performance of online campaigns by profitability of the goods sold or the lifetime value of customers acquired from particular initiatives so that they can apportion spend to deliver the most profitable outcome.
Many of the areas you listed are the start points, which you use to focus on the issues that make a difference for your site. It helps to be able to see paths taken and to be able to explore the paths so you can answer the ‘what if…’ questions.
As an example of where identification of a technical problem resolved a commercial issue there was the site where a problem linking to an affiliate led to only those with patience and a fast connection getting through. Monitoring the Stop button usage identified this so it could be fixed with the result that the revenue flowed.
It really helps to get to grips with what your objectives are for the site and how you can determine whether you are meeting these targets. From there you can focus on what you want to measure.
Hope this helps
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