What Web Analytics Can Tell About Your Affiliate Marketing
As with any type of business, succeeding in affiliate marketing requires having access to information about your audience and your sales results. However, the affiliate reports generated by merchants and networks are often incomplete, which can seriously impair your ability to track your progress and make improvements to your affiliate marketing strategy.
While much of your competition relies on the reports provided by their affiliate networks, wouldn’t you like to have the competitive edge? Web analytics are the key to generating the vital information that you need to achieve real and lasting results in affiliate marketing.
What Is Web Analytics?
Web analytics is the study of website user behavior. The data used to track this behavior is gathered in a number of different areas, including the total number of site visitors, page views per session and link click-throughs.
Why is it so important to assess this information? By looking at how customers utilize your website, you can customize your content and marketing strategy to appeal to your target audience. This can dramatically improve website traffic, affiliate sales, online branding and overall profits.
Important Web Analytics For Affiliate Marketers
While the various statistics you choose to track depend largely on your business goals, there are a number of different data sets that you shouldn’t overlook. Fortunately, much of this information is relatively easy to understand, even for the novice statistician. As you develop your web analytics strategy, be sure that you understand the following numbers:
Total Page Views
This number provides important information about how many times your website was visited over a specified time period. Typically, you will want to keep a careful eye on daily, weekly and monthly traffic totals. Don’t be alarmed to notice major differences in total page views from day to day, week to week or even month to month.
However, use this information to establish traffic benchmarks and set goals for future traffic. When it comes to affiliate marketing, more traffic is usually better. If your numbers are low, start focusing on marketing strategies to attract new visitors to your website.
In addition to knowing how many views your pages received, it is also important to understand which pages served as “landing pages” for your site. Never make the mistake of believing that all visitors use your home page as a starting point. Optimize every page on your website to serve as a basis for exploring the rest of your site and for promoting your affiliate marketing offers.
Page Views Per Session
The number of pages each visitor looks at per visit is an important indication of the “stickiness” of your website. Essentially, your goal should be to keep viewers on your site in order to promote your affiliate offers. If web analytics reveal that your page views per session are low, focus on linking between related content on your site and improving navigation in order to motivate users to remain on your site.
Improving Your Affiliate Marketing With Web Analytics
Of course, web analytics will accomplish little, unless you learn how to use them effectively to benefit your affiliate marketing. In many cases, this may require a bit of experimentation on your part in order to find strategies that work best.
After you identify a potential problem using your web analytics program, start making changes to a few select pages. Then spend some time tracking the impact of those changes. This may take some time, but the information you gain will prove invaluable both now and down the road.