Want to learn about your web visitors? 3 ways analytics can help!

It’s not just sales numbers that can tell you how many people are checking out your website every day—and important information about these people. Thanks to the proliferation of analytic measuring tools, website owners can track how everything from the translation of their pages to recent changes in content impact audience engagement and growth.

Three of the best ways site owners can use analytics include free Google and Yahoo analytics, services to check in on the competition, and individual site dashboards (including Dakwak’s).

Search engine analytics

Google Analytics specifically also shows a breakdown of which countries

This is a great way to tap into an underutilized group of readers or customers, without wondering if they were looking in the first place. Both analytics services also help track what time of day users come to the site, whether they’re new or returning and how long they spend on each page—which can help site owners further tailor content to a worldwide audience.

Sites about competitors

Keeping tabs on the competition is always helpful in bringing users back to your site. Using sites like Compete.com, site owners can get information about what their competitors’ customers are doing, the sites’ traffic volume and why people ended up on different sites in the first place. Many of Compete’s services are free, but for a fee, Compete can tell users which specific keywords are sending customers to their competitors’ websites. Using SEO optimization or language sites like Dakwak, problems like “not speaking the same language” (figuratively or literally) as a customer become an easily spotted problem that’s incredibly fixable.

In-depth dashboards

Measurements on tools like Dakwak’s dashboard show users how many views their page has received over the past day, week or month. On Dakwak, users can divide the measurements between each page’s translation (for example, a Spanish version of a site may have had 50% more traffic than an English version of the same page). This can help with an easy look of how a website is doing, breaking down simple versions of traffic patterns over

the site since it was translated, had certain content added or did something like get a new partner.

Check out the dashboard and other features today with: sign up for a dakwak free trial.

Joe has a great idea for foreign-Language Site…If Only He Spoke The Language!

Meet Joe. He wants to connect American Bonsai tree enthusiasts with Japanese gardeners (a mini-tree hotline). If he could just get his site idea up and running in both English and Japanese he’d be rolling in cashola. Just swimming in it.

Problem is Joe grew up in Wisconsin, and his only impression of Japan comes from Hollywood portrayals of tea ceremonies and ninjas. Clearly, he’s not fit for the localization job.

So, Joe does the next best thing. He opens up Internet Explorer and starts translating his site copy into Japanese line by line. Not knowing a lick of Japanese doesn’t deter him. Surely, Japanese gardeners will understand his unique vision. He can even ask his otaku friend to smooth over the translations and everything will be just peachy. Right?

Wrong. Not in any of the universes would this work out for Joe. Not only would his translation suck, his website design would be completely off, and most importantly, the technical hurdles would prove too much for him to overcome.

…Runs into 110 Meters of Technical Hurdles (in List Form)…

  1. SEO

The first thing Joe realizes is that he doesn’t know anything about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Even if Joe did have a passable understanding of SEO, how would he optimize his keywords and metatags or make a sitemap in a language he doesn’t know?

Answer: He can’t. SEO is an entire industry in and of itself. Site discoverability is no longer just a matter of making sure you type the right words into WordPress’s automated SEO tags. If you don’t know what the word “sitemap” means or what a “crawler” is, you’ve already dropped the ball, and when we say “ball” we really just mean the English language market.

SEO optimization for a foreign language site? Even if it is just ONE other language? Totally different ballgame. Which leads us to the next technical hurdle:

  1. Cultural Differences

Even masticated Japanese can be SEO-optimized, but it doesn’t mean anyone in Japan who stumbles upon Joe’s site is going to give it more than 15 seconds of their time (even if they’re bonsai enthusiasts).

Now would be a good time to point out that the average attention span of most Internet users in 2010 was less than 9 seconds. In other words, a goldfish can remember things longer.

With this in mind, Joe probably wouldn’t want to rely on Google’s translation tool (which, of course, doesn’t take SEO into account). He probably won’t want to rely on his Japanophile friend, either.

What he might think he needs is a professional consultation to account for cultural differences that might cause him to unwittingly offend his readers. What he doesn’t know is that a professional translator and programmer will cut a hole in his pocket the size of his car. Not only that, a professional translator isn’t scalable due to the need for…

  1. Manual Updates

Everytime Joe wants to add a single line or even change a specific word in the English version of the site, he’ll probably want to do the same for the Japanese version.

If he was using a basic CMS (Content Management System), it would be a nightmare. CMS’s aren’t optimized for this sort of thing at all, not to mention each addition is another piece of the SEO puzzle. And if he relied on a professional translator, it would cost too much in the long run.

Neither option is appealing – the best solution would be for Joe to somehow automate the entire process on the Japanese end and not have to worry about a thing. Even so, he’d still be spending tons of…

  1. Time & Effort

This is the straw that would really break the camel’s back. If Joe was doing all this on his own, tweaking, monitoring, and optimizing the Japanese version of his site (forget about writing new content and communicating with clients on the English side), he would burn out. The toll on his quality of life just wouldn’t be worth it.

…And Realizes He Needs a Scalable Solution

Even if Joe did know Japanese, translating and maintaining a site in just one other language is a gargantuan undertaking. The technical hurdles aren’t worth jumping over each time he wants to add content.

Moral of the story? Website localization is a hugely sophisticated industry. In our next post we’ll go over how Joe should go about putting up the Japanese version of his site.