Business owners - when setting up their own businesses - typically conduct some basic levels of research beforehand. This would be primarily to establish that a demand exists in the market, for the products or services that they plan on providing. If no demand exists, establishing a business would be pointless since it would not result in too many sales, leave alone profits. This elementary, background market research remains equally necessary for those who run online businesses. It has been said before that 'Failing to plan equates to planning to fail'; no business owner would want their business to turn into a debacle.
Even when businesses become full-fledged, owners try and employ various gadgets and cameras than enable them to ascertain consumer's behavioural patterns. Retail traffic intelligence systems provide a lot of information that range from which part of the store gets frequented the most to the number of visitors who ended up making purchases. It comes as no surprise therefore, that online websites also use various software applications like web analytics to gauge website traffic and measure site statistics like free hits, unique visitors etc. In fact, sites like Hits9.com even provide services that direct free hits to their customer's websites too.
Web analytics has gained popularity on account of their utility in analysing market trends or identifying website visitors. Some of the benefits that online businesses gain by employing web analytics include:

* Monitoring: By providing details like how many visitors the site had, the length of their stay, where they came from etc., you would be able to ascertain the keywords that led visitors to your site. It would even allow you to figure out the frequency of return visits in addition to the web pages of your site that the users visited.
* Optimisation: Once you know the keywords used by the visitors, it becomes a lot easier to modify the content of your web pages to ensure that you attract the attention of your target audience.
* Strategising: Based on the behaviour patterns of your customers, you could easily come up with marketing plans and strategies that lead to repeat visits and even translate into sales.
American entertainer, Will Rogers, once said, "Outside of traffic, nothing has held this country back as much as committees". While his words may have been relevant to the times he lived in (i.e. 1879 - 1935), small and medium businesses today would view his words with a lot of scepticism. Given the boon that the internet has become for such businesses, having a strong online presence has become a mandate for any website to be successful. While traffic woes continue to hound those who travel on the streets, for those online, heavy traffic will always be welcomed with joy.