Website Visitor Counters. We’ve all seen them. Rejoiced over them. Wept happy tears over them (or bitter tears depending on the count). 1,345 vistors to our website already? Oh, happy day! But, what if I told you that a vistor count wasn’t enough? What if I told you that you could have a steady stream of hit counts to your website, but still not be successful in the long run? Why is that?
In an article in Entrepreneur magazine, John D. Leavy, president of InPlainSite Marketing, explains that a vistor count simply isn’t enough. The article entitled Five Things You Should Know About Web Analytics says that the more important questions are
- Where is the website traffic coming from?
- What web pages are visitors landing on the most?
- What percentage of visitors return to the site?
- How many visitors convert into customers?
According to Leavy, these questions can be answered through the use of analytics. There are a lot of paid and free web analytics available on the web, today. One such free tool is Google Anayltics . The report generated from this analysis will help you find answers to the questions above.
So, now that you have the report. What do you do with the information? Leavy suggests five ways in which you can use the report to your company’s benefit.
- Check for New Vistors
- Focus on Potential Customers
- Set Goals for Social Media
- Identify Hompage Bailers
- Monitor Traffic Patterns
Are the vistors coming to your website new or existing visitors? If you want to attract new customers to your website, this information will come in handy. Ultimately, you want to attract vistors to your website who haven’t even heard of your business. Leavy recommends that “a well-designed website should only have a small percentage of visitors, maybe 5 percent, who have used the company’s name to find it.”
Bottom line: You want people who are going to spend money. You want to attract people who know what they want. For example, someone who searches for “running shoes” is a whole lot less likely to make a purchase than someone who searches for “Women’s Saucony Grid Excursion TR 10 Trail Running Shoe”. Obviously, you want to attract the latter as they know what they want and are ready to spend some money.
A lot of website traffic comes from promotions advertised on social media. Google Analytics allows you to set up a goal scenario for media. Do you want to see more people coming from Instagram to your website? Then simply set up a promotion on Instagram and see how many people follow the path from Instagram to your website.
Are your vistors jumping ship on your homepage without visiting anything else? This is often known as a “bounce rate”. Leavy warns “If the bounce rate is more than 60 to 70 percent, you have a problem”. If you’re attracting the right people then maybe the website’s design might be the problem. Check and see that the content is good and that the site is simple and straight-forward.
With analytics, you can see where your vistors are going on the webpage. If you ultimately
want them to purchase something are they being directed to the page that allows them to do so? If not, then you may want to review your website’s flow. The article recommends “The homepage should be divided into decision-making paths that quickly separate visitors by their interests and lead them to the information they are looking for”.
Website Example: Newegg
Newegg is an online retailer of computer hardware and software. As a completely e-commerce company (a company where commercial transactions are conducted electronically on the Internet), Newegg relives heavily on web analytics. Since they do not have a physical store front, they can’t watch customers come and go to their store. Their financial success relies on the information web analytics provides to them. From that information, they can create optimal traffic flow. This allows customers to find what they are looking for and utlimately make a purchase.
What are your experiences with web analytics? I’d love to hear from you. Questions and comments are welcomed below!