Can I see how many visitors came to my website, how often should I be checking this and what exactly do the numbers mean?
There are a variety of tools and programs available for checking the traffic on your website. As part of your web design package we will provide you with an analytics tool. There are also a number of online sources that you can uses as well, Google Analytics being the most well known of these.
Tracking your online traffic is a great way to measure the impact that your business is making in the online world. There are even tools available that let you track your competitors’ traffic in order to see how you are measuring up against them. Sudden increases in traffic can mean a number of things, including that you are climbing the rankings of search engines (SEO) or that your pay per click (PPC) campaign is a success. Sudden drops in traffic usually indicate a problem – and by tracking your online traffic, you will be in a position to deal with the problem much earlier on than if you had not been tracking your analytics.
How regularly to check your analytics can vary depending on how large your company is and how much of your business depends on or is driven by your website. A good rule of thumb is to at least run monthly reports in the early stages and then re-evaluate after a few months to determine whether more or less reports are needed.
There are a number of statistics that can be gleaned from your analytics report. Some of these of course will be more valuable to your business than others. Here are a few numbers that you should probably be paying attention to.
This is the raw data of how many users are visiting your site. This number in a single report may not be of much use but compared over a number of reports you can determine whether the number of visitors to your site is increasing, staying static or decreasing.
Referral sites are other websites online that users click to arrive at your site. If your top referral site is Google, then there is a good chance that you have a fairly high search engine ranking. Other popular referral sites include social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Knowing where the bulk of your traffic is coming from is valuable information when you are deciding how to spend your marketing dollars.
Bounce Rate refers the percentage of visitors who visit one page on your website (usually the home page) and then immediately leave. This may happen because the user went to your page by mistake, but more often it happens because the user did not find what they were looking for. If your bounce rate is high it may indicate a problem with either your web design or content, or it may indicate a problem with how your website is listed in search engines. Of course, there is lots of other data that you can track that may be of benefit to your business. You can track which pages on your site have the most visits, the geographic locations of your visitors, the types of devices used to visit your webpage and so on.
As you discover upward or downward trends, you can then compare these against other statistics such as sales, new accounts etc. Through regular tracking of your online traffic, you can make changes and adjustments to your online strategy as necessary to improve your online success!