The reading level for this article is Novice

Note: for an introduction to basic use of ClickTracks, see Part 1: Getting Started.

ClickTracks allows you to segment your visitors in many ways using the “Create Labels” tool. You create instant reports to answer questions about the patterns of specific types of visitor, and track their responses to your site.

Here are some ideas for using this option:

Comparing Seach Engine/Non Search Engine Traffic

Visitors come to your site either from search engines, from other sites that link to you, from e-mail marketing messages or e-zines, or perhaps from their own bookmarks.

Use the ClickTracks “Create Labels” tool, and select “referred from any search engine” as your criteria to track all search engine visitors. Then, create another label using the same criteria, but select “Inverse” to identify all the visitors not referred from a search engine.

Now you can investigate:

Are search engine visitors more responsive to your site than those who find you in other ways:

  • Which type of visitor spends longer on the site?
  • Which type of visitor is more likely to reach one of your “goal” or “must-see” pages? (see Part 3 of this series for more on this topic).

    If you have very specific keywords, then probably search engines will produce your most valuable traffic.

    However, if you are publishing content on external sites that link to you, visitors from these sites may be more valuable than those from search engines, since they already know about your products or services, maybe have read something that you’ve written, and are more ready to do business with you.

Comparing Long/Short Visits

Looking at the amount of time spent on your site can give clues as to how well it’s meeting visitor expectations and engaging their interest.

Use the ClickTracks “Create Labels” tool, and select “had a certain session length” combined with “at most 5 seconds” as your criteria to track people who left your site almost immediately. Then, create another label using the same criteria, but select “at least 60 seconds” (or your preference) to identify all the visitors who spent some significant time on your site.

Now you can investigate:

Which are your best performing keywords and referrers:

  • Which keywords and referring sites result in long visits?
  • Which result in short visits?

    If you have a lot of traffic from certain keywords, but these result in very short visit lengths, check the landing pages for those searches (see Part 3 of this series for more on this topic). It may be that the first page that visitors see is not meeting their expectations, and should be modified.

    If you have keywords that are very successful in generating visitors who stay on your site, check that you’ve optimized them for as many search engines as possible.

Which pages do the people who stay on your site (long visits) see:

  • Which pages engage your visitors the most? (check the time spent on the page from the Navigation report). Then ensure that you have appropriate calls to action on these pages to drive your traffic to the next step, so that visitors are not leaving from these points.
  • Are these pages attracting enough traffic?

    If you have pages which are clearly successful once you’ve got visitors to them, are there ways to increase the number of people who see them? Is the navigation to these pages sufficiently attractive from other parts of your site? Should they be better positioned?

For help in using ClickTracks to evaluate your “must- see” pages, see Part 3 of this series.

© Philippa Gamse. All rights reserved.

This Web Marketing article was written by Ryan P Allis on 2/28/2005

Ryan P. Allis, 20, is the author of Zero to One Million, a guide to building a company to $1 million in sales, and the founder of Ryan is also the CEO of Broadwick Corp., a provider of the permission-based email marketing software and CEO of Virante, Inc., a web marketing and search engine optimization firm. Ryan is an economics major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is a Blanchard Scholar. [learn more.