Most companies are focused on getting traffic to their website, but tend to disregard what happens once visitors get there. Monitoring your website traffic can help you get to know and understand your users so that you can positively alter the experience they are having on your website. Using tools like Google Analytics can add real value and insight to your website visits if you only just spend a little time diving into the data.
Your analytics reports will show the highs and lows of traffic on your website over time. Identifying trends and defining a range of normalcy will help you to make more informed decisions regarding the content or structure of your website. Be it by identifying successful or unsuccessful content, SEO initiatives, or advertising campaigns, knowing what's normal traffic is the first step toward measuring the success of traffic acquisition campaigns. Define what "normal data" looks like for your company so you'll be able to benchmark and measure successes, as well as diagnose any possible problems.
Acquisition reports give you a better understanding of where your visitors are coming from.
- "Did a visit result from a search engine?"
- "How many searches were made in one search engine compared to another and why could might this be?"
- "Do I need to strengthen my presence in Bing?"
- "My social acquisition is low. What can I do to improve my traffic from social media?"
Asking questions like the above, and then hypothesizing likely answers, will allow you to improve your current traffic earning initiatives, as well as seek out opportunities for new methods of traffic acquisition. Knowing where your traffic is coming from also provides you a better idea of where you should allocate your time and money based on your largest traffic sources.
Landing Pages, Bounce Rates and Exit Pages
A landing page report will tell you exactly what pages your visitors are landing on when they first enter your website. Knowing where people enter your website is essential in order to strategically construct these pages in a way that guides them to convert or perform a certain action.
Bounce rates and exit pages are a great way to determine where your website needs improvements. By analyzing these metrics, you can see where most of your traffic is exiting your website and identify any trouble areas that need adjustment in order to satisfy the objectives of your visitors. Keep in mind, not all pages with high exit rates or bounce rates are problematic. If users are exiting your page after completing a form or viewing directions to your location, it's likely they've simply gotten what they've needed from your website and exited at a natural point. Context is key!
Pages per Session and Session Duration
"How many pages do users typically browse between the time they enter and leave my website? And how long do they spend browsing these pages?"
Asking and answering questions like this one can help you understand how users are interacting with your website. It can also give you clues about how valuable they find your content to be. It is likely that visitors find your information useful if they are spending long periods of time on your website and viewing many different pages. This indicates the user is engaged and finding what they are looking for.
On the other hand, if users aren't browsing many pages and are spending little time on the website, this can indicate confusion. Perhaps you need to more clearly indicate the path a user should take through your website. Or maybe your content is not written from a perspective which they can understand or scan quickly.
In a nutshell...
Understanding these metrics and knowing the questions you should be asking are both key in using this data to guide informed and strategic decisions about how information is presented on your website. However, analyzing your traffic certainly shouldn't stop here. We've really only just scratched the surface.
We understand drawing valuable information from reporting platforms like Google Analytics can sometimes be difficult. It's easy to fall into a rabbit hole of metrics and data that, without the help of an expert, can be tricky to piece together.
This is why Global Reach has Internet Marketing Specialists on staff who are willing to help you understand your analytics reports. We offer Ongoing Analyzing and Reporting services on either a monthly or quarterly basis to help you make sense of your website data, while also providing ideas for improving your website for better results.
Contact us today if you'd like to begin ongoing web analytics consulting!