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August 15, 2018 3:54 pm


An often overlooked area for business owners is looking at website traffic reports. It’s an easy task to shove down the priority list, right? I’m talking about Google Analytics, which is easy to set up at the beginning of your website launch, but logging in and interpreting the stats can be too overwhelming for many business owners.

Not sure you have Google Analytics? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Scroll to the end of this article!

The key benefits for monitoring your website traffic include:

– Getting to know your audience better so you can create better experiences and increase your conversion
– Measuring the success of website updates, social media or email campaigns
– Learning what content is popular on your website so you can prioritise it / make more of it / create a service around it (skies the limit!)
– Identifying problem areas in site performance

Over time, if you get familiar with your web traffic, you will also have a base line to measure against, be able to spot problem areas more quickly and have those light bulb moments to create opportunities!

So what am I looking at then? The Home page of your Google Analytics account provides snap shots of your website data over a period of time.

1. Audience Overview Summary – Users

‘Users’ isn’t the most attractive sounding word, but it’s simply people who have visited your website, and the total figure can include repeat visits. If you only want the unique number of visitors, you need to click into the more detailed report and look at the ‘New Users’ figure.

This figure doesn’t tell you too much as a stand alone stat, but getting familiar with your visitor volume enables you to set goals, and identify successes and failures.

2. Audience Overview Summary – Bounce Rate

Not ball related, a bounce rate is the amount of visitors that landed on your site but had no interaction, or immediately dropped off. If you only have a small 1 page website or 1 blog post that is receiving a lot of traffic, this can make your bounce rate increase if there is no other call to action taken from this one visit. Otherwise, a lot of bounce rates are due to bot activity. You should drill down into the bounce rate to ensure it’s not due to one of the following reasons:
– Slow loading website – people give up pretty quickly if your page doesn’t load within a couple of seconds
– Broken page – pays to double check that your web page doesn’t contain broken images or links, or doesn’t load at all to prevent a bad experience for visitors
– The landing page doesn’t contain the information they were looking for – if your ad or post is about one subject, and they are then led to your web page which is talking about something else or doesn’t have a clear call to action, then users will turn off, and over time, your Google ranking will suffer as well.

3. Audience Overview Summary – Avg. Session Duration

As the name suggests, it’s how long on average a person has spent browsing your website. Remember to set the time period to give you stats relevant to your campaign or launch.

Why might this be important? Generally speaking, you want your visitors to take an action, such as signing up to a program, or making a purchase or finding out more information about your services and filling in a contact form, therefore you want your session duration to be more than a few seconds, as it shows the person is interested in your content and what you have to offer. If no-one is spending very long on your site and you are experiencing a low volume of enquiries, perhaps a larger problem on your website needs to be addressed.

4. Audience – Users Flow

You can gain a lot of insight from following your website traffic users flow. It’s especially important if you have a lead magnet campaign running, or you are using landing pages from advertising or social media.

The users flow chart shows the country of origin first, then what page they landed on first, followed by which other page they visited from there and so on. It also shows how many people ‘dropped off’ (left your site) after visiting that page. Using this information to create the right user experience to potential customers could pay off massively for very little effort / spend.

5. Acquisition – Overview

This section provides a great snapshot of where your website visitors are coming from. The report breaks it down into the following:
– Organic Search – refers to those who typed a search term into google and your website appeared and they clicked on it. Seeing a high figure here makes me do a happy dance, as this is exactly what you want, it means your SEO is working and it’s not costing you anything in advertising
– Direct – this is when traffic landed directly on a page of your site from a link you have posted somewhere
– Paid Search – this will appear if you’re running advertising, like Google Ads
– Social – traffic coming from a social media channel, like your Facebook page
– Referral – this is when your site is listed on a directory, but can contain bot activity

Ideally, you want to set up Goals so you can track whether you’re meeting them, e.g. if your goal is for your Facebook visitors to contact you, then you can see these stats here as it will track that referral visit through to your contact page. Handy right! It means you can really say that all the effort you put into your Facebook page has resulted in new enquiries rather than just wondering if it’s doing anything for your business at all.

So there you have it, a few stats you can now look at and understand, allowing you to make more informed decisions about your marketing and advertising efforts.

Not sure you have Google Analytics? You need a Google Analytics account first off, and that is created using a gmail email address and password, and at some point in the web development process, you or your developer would have obtained the unique Google Analytics code from your account, copied it, then pasted into the header of your website code. If this sounds like gobbledygook to you, shoot me an email with your WordPress login and I can take a look for you. Otherwise, to log in, go to analytics.google.com and enter your email and password and you should see ‘All Web Site Data’ Home page.

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