Learn why you should be analyzing your website traffic, and how to do it

Your website is one of the most powerful tools you have to attract new potential clients and customers. But do you know how people are finding it?

When you take the time to analyze your online traffic, you’ll gain insight into not only how people find your website, but also how they engage with it once they land there.

With this valuable information you can learn which of your marketing efforts are the most effective, plus you’ll be able to spot any areas of extra opportunity.

 

Read more: Does my business really need a website?

 

What is website traffic?

Website traffic is the number of people who visit your website. It’s the most common way to measure a website’s effectiveness at attracting new and returning users.

Website traffic is measured in visits, also known as “sessions”. It tells you how your visitors found you and what pages they visited. Plus, it gives you anonymous demographic information about your users, like physical location, age, and gender.

 

Why should I analyze my website traffic?

Examining your website traffic data will help you better understand the online journey of your customers. It can help you understand where to focus your marketing efforts—and where your strategy might need more attention.

Are many of your visitors from Facebook bouncing from the first page they visit? Are people who found you via organic search spending time reading your blogs?

You’ll be able to see how different traffic sources perform and which website content your users find the most engaging. Your website traffic data can also give you valuable clues on how you can improve your website navigation or spot any gaps in your content.

If you’re running paid online campaigns—such as a Google Ads campaign—you’ll be able to see how many people are clicking your ads, how many people convert, and how many people then return to your website at a later date.

You can also see which devices and operating systems people are using to access your website, to help you learn how to build a better browsing experience.

 

How do I analyze my website traffic?

There are many website analytics tools on the market, but the simplest way to dive into your online traffic is to set up Google Analytics on your website.

As the most widely used web analytics service in the world, Google Analytics uses Google’s proprietary audience data and machine learning capabilities to track and report website traffic.

 

The main sources of website traffic are:

 

  • Direct

Traffic that has not come from another source. For example, when people physically type your URL into a browser, or they have it saved as a bookmark.

 

  • Organic

Traffic from people finding you through a search engine, such as Google or Bing.

 

  • Referral

Traffic from people clicking on a link on another website.

 

  • Paid

Traffic coming from Google Ads or other paid advertisements.

 

  • Email

Traffic coming from a link within an email you sent.

 

  • Social

Traffic coming from a social media platform, such as Facebook or LinkedIn.

 

  • Other

Traffic coming from a source other than those above.

 

In Google Analytics, you can compare the performance of different website traffic sources, see the number of new users vs. returning users for each source, how long they typically spend on your website, the pages they visit—and much, much more!

 

Ready to get started?

Google Analytics: a guide for small businesses

 

Does your business need a new website?

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