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Hot On The Trail More and more online retailers are using a variety of tools to help them track their customers. Here's how you can, too.

By Melissa Campanelli

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Web-site statistics are no small matter to Diana and GreggShapiro, owners of All The Right Gifts Inc. ( Woodland Hills, California. The gift-selection company runs anonline shopping directory to help customers find gifts quickly.

Without reliable site statistics, the couple wouldn't beable to track the site's 500 daily visitors, who peruse ataffiliate sites (sites where All The Right Gifts gets a portion ofany sales revenue generated from its referral) that sell giftsranging from flowers and CDs to airline tickets. The data tells thecouple which areas of the site visitors are viewing and whichsearch engines were used to reach the site--essential elements formanaging the online directory.

"The data helps us figure out which search engines aregenerating the best referrals and what keywords customers arekeying in to find us," says Gregg. "Then we use thisinformation to concentrate our marketing efforts in the best waypossible."

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