Track or Perish

Who me? Track?

Now I realize some turn a blind eye towards tracking results on their site. Either preferring to look the other way or perhaps asking Stevie Wonder to watch over it for them. Because apparently their attitude is if they've got money coming in, well, how bad can it be?

Dunno. And if you don't want to maximize the cash flow from your site I suppose that's between you and Stevie.

But if you're not tracking what's working on your site, you're flying blind. Maybe even leaving serious money on the table. Because how can you improve if you have nothing to compare to?

Sorry for the heavy dose of reality. But remember this. You can have more traffic than Google but if it doesn't convert what good is it?

Take for example that hot site that streams a hilarious cartoon poking fun at John Kerry and George W Bush. It was created by two brothers who happened to be on Jay Leno the other night.

They revealed to Jay they had had 20 million hits to their site.

The brothers also confessed their plan to accept donations to support their work generated all of, you ready for this, $1000!

You read that right. 20 million hits converted into all of $1000 in cold?hard?cash.

How much traffic did they waste? My guess? Tons. So as you can see traffic isn't always the answer.

Now before I trip the Digression Alarm Buzzer, by tracking I mean monitoring various conversion rates for key pages on your site. In order of importance here's what you want to track.

=====> Sales Pages

Since sales letters are where the rubber meets the road for sure you want stats for them. How many unique visitors hit such pages every day? Of those how many convert? Divide the second number by the first and you've got your conversion rate. Pretty simple right? Depending on your price point, anything less than 1% is probably unsatisfactory.

Watching the day to day conversion fluctuation isn't necessarily the best use of your time. But monitoring that on a week to week basis might be. As any downward trend might indicate problems ahead.

=====> Affiliate Product Review Pages

Assuming you sell affiliate products, either as an add on or your primary profit producer, again you want to see which ones best convert to sales.

Those that are your best sellers, like your top 10 to be completely uncreative, you might feature prominently on your home page. Spend time optimizing their pages. Link t o them from other internal pages of your site to get each some PR and link rep to help it rank higher.

Products that don't convert as well you can let ride, demote in terms of emphasis on your site or eliminate altogether.

=====> Special Pages

That might be your ezine sign up page. Maybe the auto responder course you offer in exchange for an email address page. Or any sort of activity that can lead to sale - THAT you want to track. For instance the page on my site that falls into this category is the quiz page that shows in the sig file below.

I like to see how many unique visitors stop by. I know how many took it. Again I calculate the percent of conversion. I continually try to make it as inviting as possible so as many as possible take it.

=====> Content Pages

No need for anything fancy here. You may just want to see which are the most popular pages on your site.

Why? Perhaps you can get clues for future products. Or two, you could always slip in a mention plus a link to your sales letter from the popularity contest winners. Might as well bring it up and suggest visitors stop by, no?

Now you can track a number of ways. There are some commercial programs that are quite robust.

But I use a $45 cgi script - Prolinkz. [http://prolinkz.com] And don't worry it's super simple to install.

So as not to be accused of flogging a product let me simply say all you do is stick a 1 by 1 pixel on the page you want track, set up a unique tracking code for that page and Prolinkz does the rest. No muss. No fuss.

Anyway, continuous improvement is the way to better than average success. Online or off. Tracking is how you get there. And if you don't track? you risk perishing. Because how can you improve what you don't measure?

John Gergye shares more ideas like this in his just updated eBook "Traffic From Google in 35 Days". Find out more here: http://www.traffic-test-tube.com/j/tfg35cl. shtml/ Or test your search engine IQ by taking his seo quiz http://www.traffic-test-tube.com/s earch-engine-quiz.shtml/ and get the free special report "Coming Out On Top".

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