Many companies ask the question, “How much traffic is my website getting?”. The reality though, is that they are asking the wrong question. The real issue is focus; getting the right traffic and converting that traffic into value. Grab your waterwings and we’ll show you what that means and how to find out if you’re getting the right traffic. You’ll be swimming with the current in no time.
It’s all too easy to fall into believing that all your website traffic is important and that more is better. One way or another you’re paying for that traffic, whether it be in your time, someone else’s time or the use of Adwords or sponsored links on search engines or social media, so what you really need to know is, “Is it cost effective?”.
Website “hits” only matter if they bring some value to your business, what we call a conversion. It’s time to lose that mindset that worries about if you are getting enough traffic and start thinking about getting valuable traffic. Traffic that converts into a sale, a lead, a sign-up or whatever else it is your website aims to provide for your business.
Here’s what you need to be looking at when it comes to your website traffic:
1) Find out what your visitors are doing on your website
In order to find this out you need to get analytics on your website. This will tell you what your traffic is doing and help you to understand it. If you just look at your total visitor numbers you are missing the point. You need to know:
- Where is your traffic coming from?
- Which pages or articles are popular?
- Which pages or articles are creating conversions?
- Which pages or articles are visitors leaving your website from?
- Are your visitors returning to your website?
2) Decide what a conversion means to you
A conversion is a website “hit” that results in adding value to your business. That might be through selling an item, generating a qualified enquiry (one with potential to become a sale) or getting a visitor to sign-up to your newsletter or marketing emails. You might have more than one type of conversion opportunity on your website but you need to be clear about exactly what you want your website to achieve from the traffic that it gets.
In order to know whether or not your website traffic is resulting in conversions they need to be trackable. You will need to set up your analytics to measure conversions. This might mean that you are tracking when a form is submitted, when an advertisement link is followed or when a sale is completed.
Once you know which areas of your website are creating value you can assess which traffic sources are worth investing your time and money in. Which floats us merrily on to….
3) Find out where your visitors come from
As we mentioned near the beginning you are paying for your traffic in some way, whether it be through paid listings, ads, sponsored links, social media, an SEO service or your own time, so it’s important to know which sources of traffic are worth your while.
Analytics can tell you which sources and referring websites your traffic has come from as well as tracking the behaviour of your traffic. You can also see what brought visitors to your site; was a social media ad successful or are particular search terms bringing them to you?
You then need to know what the visitors from these sources did once they came to your website (this takes us back to step 1). Did they browse the site, leave again immediately or did they become a conversion. This information will help you assess whether or not that social media ad that resulted in a traffic spike was actually a worthwhile investment. Keep in mind this question, “Is the referrer effective?”.
Analytics can also tell you about the kind of devices your visitors are using (eg. Android/iPhone, tablet, desktop PC). You might find that visitors using a particular kind of device never become conversions which allows you to check for problems with using that area of your website on that type of device.
Now you have a better understanding of what’s important when it comes to your website traffic, how to go about assessing it and improving it’s value for your business, it’s time to take the plunge and dive into analytics.