If you believe that watching customer activity is the key to improving your Web site, then why aren’t you doing more of it? Too often, well-meaning marketers are awash in activity data, but don’t know how to use those metrics to really improve their site. If you’re stuck in metrics information overload, then check out these questions you should be asking about your site.

  • From which Web pages do the most people leave our site? Why?
  • Do repeat customers have larger order sizes than new customers?
  • Which market segments are reached most easily with search marketing? E-mail marketing? Other tactics?
  • Which search keywords provide the highest-profit conversions?
  • What’s the difference between the subject lines of the most-opened and least-opened e-mails?
  • Which offer yielded the most new customers last month? What was different about it from our lower-performing offers?
  • Which products seem to be seasonal? How can we compare our performance without being tripped up by month-to-month seasonal fluctuations?
  • What issues about our company do we see most repeatedly discussed in social media?
  • Which market segments yield the highest lifetime value?
  • Which search keywords capture customers most likely to provide repeat business within the next six months?
  • Which conversions are we most successful in driving? Why?
  • What subjects get us the most praise in social media? The most criticism?
  • How many of our employees participate in message boards and groups?
  • Which message boards and groups have the most discussion of our products? Positive and negative?
  • Why do some product lines attract more search traffic?
  • What kind of posts on our company blog attract the most positive comments? The most negative? No comments at all?
  • Which tweets get retweeted? Favorited?
  • How many searches in our site search engine get no results or no clicks on the search result page? Is that number getting bigger or smaller the last few months?
  • Are repeat customers buying higher-priced or more profitable items than new customers?
  • Which pages on our site attract the most new visitors—visitors who have not been cookied from coming to the site previously?
  • What time of day or what days of the week do we get the highest conversions from our paid search traffic?
  • What is the change in conversion rate between the old version and the new version of that page?
  • How many customers have registered with our site?
  • For our most popular products, what Web pages do customers tend to view the most before purchasing?
  • What is the opt-in rate for e-mail from the product purchase screen? How has it varied as we’ve changed that screen over time?

Asking the right questions won’t improve your site all by itself—you need the right answers and the right conclusions to help make the right course corrections. But if you feel sentenced to poring over clickthrough reports for the most popular pages, just asking a question that your metrics analyst must answer will feel awfully liberating. And it might just lead you to an insight that changes your business.

Want more tips to raise your Web marketing success? Check out Search Engine Marketing, Inc., which contains a complete step-by-step program for successful search marketing for your business. For more ways to improve your overall Internet marketing, take a look at Do It Wrong Quickly, an indispensable guide to the new ways of marketing.