Whether you are new to the online world or you’ve always had a web presence getting visitors to interact with your website is essential. The main aim is that they take some type of action and purchase a product or service. But in order to increase your chances of this, monitoring website traffic is crucial. When you understand user behaviour, you will increase your profit margins. There are several benefits to knowing how visitors are interacting with your website such as identifying and resolving errors, monitor how your pages are performing, knowing what type of content is most appealing to visitors and much more.
If you want to know how to identify visitors to your website, keep reading to find out our 6 top tips.
Direct traffic is also referred to as direct access; this is when a visitor arrives on your website without having found their way there through another source. Direct traffic can come from a range of sources including:
- A link to your website clicked in an email.
- When a visitor bookmarks or saves your site in their browser.
- When a visitor enters your web address into their browser because they have used it before.
Measuring direct traffic is important because it’s an indication of brand loyalty. When a high percentage of your traffic is direct, it means that visitors are actively looking for you because they either recognize you or they are thinking of you. For example, when a customer doesn’t have a website in mind and they are searching for a particular product or service; their first point of contact is Google. They will perform a keyword search and click on the first website that shows up. However, when they know what they are looking for and they come directly to you, there is more chance of them taking action when they get to your website.
Landing Page Conversions
After investing time and money into social media posts and email marketing that target your desired audience, when they click on your call to action, you want them to take action when they get to your landing page. If not, what you are doing isn’t working. Therefore, monitoring landing page conversions is essential to the success of your business. When you have access to what works and what doesn’t, you can make the necessary changes.
When you eat at a bad restaurant, you are not going to go back. The same principle applies to website content. Your total visitors in ratio to your returning visitors will determine whether your content is good enough for your visitors to return for a second helping. When a potential customer returns, it is an effective way to identify website visitor. When planning your content strategy, the aim should be to gain loyal customers who return to your website when they want to purchase a product or service you offer. There are several ways you can evaluate the performance of your content, these include:
- Direct URL: Direct traffic typically comes from returning visitors; this percentage will depend on your business model and marketing campaigns.
- Social Sharing: If people are sharing your content, it means they think its valuable. When your content has been of benefit to someone, they want to give someone else that same benefit and so they will share it through social media, email, text etc.
- Social Media Platforms: If you post your content on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin, the platform will provide you with performance analytics such as likes, shares, and the number of clicks your post has received.
Bounce rate refers to the percentage of people who visit your website, and leave as soon as they get there. They don’t go to the menu tap and click through to any other pages, and they don’t read anything on the home page. What this means is that no alarm bell rings for the analytics tool you are using, and so they have nothing to record. The visitor left as quickly as they came, they bounced!
Bounce rate is a powerful metric for measuring website traffic because it provides you with an indication of the quality of your web page and whether the audience you are targeting is the right one. There are several reasons why a person might bounce out of your website, and two of the most common are a disorganized website, and information overload. In other words, the website was too difficult to navigate and the page was crammed with so much information, the visitor got overwhelmed and left.
Duration of Stay
Research suggests that the average time a person stays on a website is 15 seconds. If you don’t capture the visitors’ attention during that time, you’ve lost them. According to Jon Lister from Elite SEO, web owners should be more concerned with the length of time visitors spend with their content as opposed to ‘vanity metrics’ such as page views. The number of page views you get is irrelevant if people are not engaging with your content. Therefore, it is essential that you create quality content because Google pays close attention to how visitors navigate through your site. They record things such as whether they click on the back button, and whether they make their way back to the search results because what they found was of no use to them.
Visitor flow refers to the path visitors take through your website. On an analytics tool, this information is presented as a graph and allows you to see the following:
- The Connection Paths: Where a visitor starts, where they interact, and where they exit.
- Volume: The volume of page views per collection of pages or per page.
- Volume of Visits: How visitors arrived at your site. Was it through a campaign? A browser? Etc.
Visitor flow allows you to gain deeper insight into your traffic progression, which provides you with valuable information about your web analytics in general.
To analyze whether your website is successful, you need to evaluate things such as conversion rate, click-through rate, bounce rate and where your visitor traffic is coming from. When you have access to this information it enables you to make the necessary changes to improve your website. Please note, website traffic monitoring is not a one-time event, what worked this year, might not work next year. User behaviour is constantly changing and it’s essential that you are up to speed with it so that you can continue turning visitors into paying customers.