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Complete Web Monitoring by Sean Power, Alistair Croll

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What’s Working Best (and Worst)?

You can always do better. Even with large volumes of inbound traffic and a site that guides visitors to the outcomes you want, there’s work to be done: filling shopping carts fuller, emphasizing the best campaigns, ensuring users find things quickly and easily, and so on. One of the main uses of web analytics is optimization.

Site Effectiveness

Your site converts visitors, and you have visitors coming in. What could be better than that? For starters, they could buy more each time they check out. A site that convinces visitors to purchase more than what they initially intended is an effective site.

Many e-commerce sites suggest related purchases or offer package deals. A bookstore might try to bundle a book the visitor is buying with another by offering savings, or try to show what else buyers of that book also bought. A hosting company could try to sell a multiyear contract for a discount. And an airline might refer ticket buyers to a partner rental company or try to add in travel insurance.

The total shopping cart value and the acceptance of these upselling attempts are essential metrics for e-commerce sites. You can treat upselling as a second funnel, and you should track upsold goods independently from the initial purchase whenever possible. Because upselling adds to an existing transaction, you should experiment with it.

Effectiveness isn’t just for transactional sites, however. For example, on a collaborative site, how many visitors subscribe to ...

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