Applying what you have learned to your web site

User Guide IndexAn Overview of SawmillReportsFiltersUnderstanding the Reports

Using the information Sawmill reports to you, you can track and improve the effectiveness of your site, to bring more visitors and increase your sales.

Sawmill's Reports Will Help You Answer These Important Questions:

What is bringing traffic to the site?

Check the Referrers and Search Engines reports. These two reports list which web sites referred your visitors to your site and also lists the Search Engines which were used to find your site.

Which ads are effective?

A good approach is to use special URL's in your ad campaigns so that you understand which ads are bringing traffic to your site. For each ad, use the URL of your home page but add a question mark and some information about the ad. For instance, if you run an online advertising campaign in Europe on the search engine Google, you might use the URL "". Then in Sawmill, you can look at the Pages or URL's view and filter out pages that do not contain "source=google" by using the Global Filters and then Sawmill will show you the traffic generated by your Google ads. See Tracking Ad Campaigns for an example.

Which search engines are working?

Check the Search Engines report for how much traffic is generated by each search engine. Those without any entries could be where to start a new campaign. Do some searches on the Search Engine yourself to see if or where your entry appears. If you are spending more on one search engine but it is producing less traffic, you will need to determine why.

What are people searching for in the search engines-- should you change the text of your pages to get higher placement?

If you review the Search Phrases report, this will tell you what visitors used in the search engine to find your site. Compare this to the Words you use in your Web Pages, consider using http "meta" tags on your pages with some keywords - your Web Developer will be able to help with the use of meta tags.

Why are people leaving the site once they get there?

Here are some questions that you can ask as you review the reports: Is there a specific page which is driving them away? Can it be improved to keep them? Are they leaving as soon as they get to the top page? If so, maybe the site needs to be more attractive or interesting. Are they searching on your site for something, not finding it, and then leaving? Maybe you should add that to what you are offering. Are they getting to the pricing page and then leaving? You might need to reconsider your pricing and make it more competitive.

Who buys from your site?

If you're selling something, which domains place orders? Should you be focusing your marketing on that domain? Is the site easy to navigate? Are the paths people taking reasonable? Are they getting lost, or getting in loops? Maybe the site should be streamlined so that people can get to the pages they want more easily.

What content works or doesn't?

Are visitors looking at the pages you didn't spend much time working on, or ignoring the pages you thought were the most important? Maybe you should reconsider your priorities, and work on the content people want.

Do we have enough bandwidth, and a fast enough server?

Sawmill can show you the total hits and bandwidth usage of your sites, so you can decide when it's time to upgrade your connection or buy a new server. By upgrading your connection or server before it becomes a problem, you can keep your visitors happy.

Sawmill Can Help You Solve Important Problems.

Here are some scenarios where Sawmill can help:

You see in the statistics that numerous hits came from Spain yesterday. Want to know what they were looking at? Just click on the Geographic Locations view and then click on Spain in that table, this 'Zooms' you in on hits from Spain. From The Zoom To Menu switch to the "Pages" report, and you see all the pages hit by people from Spain, in two clicks.

You're trying to see if a particular page got a hit yesterday. The statistics show the top twenty pages, but you want to see all the pages; the page you're looking for only got one hit, or none, so it'll be way down in the ranking. You can do one of three things:

  • Choose the Row Numbers feature to 'page' to the last row in the table and 'page' back through the table until you find it.
  • Click on 'All Rows' from the 'number of rows' drop down menu and the table will expand to show all the pages that ever got any hits, even if there are 500,000 of them.

You want to see which paths visitors took through the site, click-by-click. At each page along the way you want to see which visitors left, and where the other ones went next. Sawmill's "session paths" report lets you see the complete click-by-click details of every visit. Starting with the entry pages, you can click to expand any part of the data, to see whatever you need to see about your visitors and the paths they took.

You want to see a graph of the web site traffic for last November. You want to see the bandwidth for November. Actually you just want to see November 16th. Wow, look at that spike around 3pm; where did all those hits come from? Sawmill can do all this and much more. This is how you'll think when you use Sawmill. Look at the November hits graph, wonder about the bandwidth; choose "bandwidth bar graph" from the menu. You have another graph showing bandwidth where there used to be just a hits graph. See a lot of hits on the 16th? Zoom on November 16 row of the table, and zoom to the Hour Of Day report, and the graph changes to show only traffic on November 16, hour-by-hour. Wondering where that spike came from on some particular hour? Three clicks and you can see the traffic for that hour only, broken down by domain, so you can see who it was. Or broken down by page, so you can see what they looked at. Or broken down by referring URL or domain, so you can see which ad, search engine, or web page brought you all that traffic!

  • User Guide Index