Thursday, November 29, 2007

Evaluating Your Website’s Performance

Website statistics and affiliate sales figures are essential for evaluating the effectiveness of your affiliate programs. Before you start recording and analyzing data, it's worthwhile to know what statistics you're trying to calculate - and why. Following are some of the key questions that need to be answered periodically to ensure the success of affiliate programs.

.. What percentage of the website visitors become customers through affiliate programs?
.. What percentages of sales are new or renewals?
.. What is the average revenue per visitor?
.. What is the average revenue per sale?
The most important figure you need to keep track of is the visitorto-customer conversion. It tells you exactly how well you convince your visitors to buy your affiliate products. Average conversion ratios for affiliate programs range between .5 and 1.5 percent. Anything above 1.5% is really good. This figure, however, indicates the total conversion for all the affiliate programs. If you promote more than one affiliate program you need to also calculate the conversion rate for each of the programs.

Knowing how conversion rates compare between programs is useful when deciding how to direct your promotional efforts. For example, if you discover that Program A converts at 1% and Program B converts at 2%, it might be time to spend more time and effort romoting Program B. Most tracking software would give you detailed information about each of the affiliate programs promoted on your website.

All affiliate programs that have a low conversion rate should be dropped. While this may seem like a lot of work to go through to track your site's performance, it really is a worthwhile endeavor. Once your tracking mechanism is set, and you've done the inputs a few times, you'll be surprised at how simple it becomes. In fact, you may find that eventually you look forward to adding things up at the end of the month to get a clear picture of where your affiliate business stands.