Analyzing the traffic to your website is perhaps the most essential thing that you will need to do in order to improve your website. Not only does it tell you whether you are receiving relevant traffic, the report tell you so much more it is almost like an unending flow of information, and all for free!
In the early 2000s, when traffic analysis was not that sought after, it was, but not the way it is understood now, most people were happy to know about:
2. Top Search engines
3. Top keywords
4. Top referrers
3. Most visited Pages
4. And perhaps Page Views
Back then, the distinction between page views and hits was not given so much importance. Most webmasters were happy to know how many hits their site was receiving, even though we tried to explain that ”hits” were not relevant and ‘Page views’ were the main thing. ‘Hit counters’ were very popular then and most websites would have real time ‘hit counters’ showing how many hits the website had received.
“Webtrends” used to me my favourite analytics provider. Webtrends helped me a lot in understanding the various nuances and terminologies associated with traffic analysis. It still remains one of my favourite digital analytics providers.
Now we have Google analytics providing us so much information that you don’t know where to begin! In fact it can be overwhelming! But to Google’s credit, they provide useful tutorials, and FAQs that kind of replaces the overwhelming feeling with empowerment and knowledge.
To begin with, some of the basic stuff that you would like to know is found here:-
In the Overview section of your Google Analytics Account:-
1. Where are the visitors from -This information is available under “Geo” as “Location” in the “Overview” section.You can get even more detailed reports in terms of age, gender, and interests Under the “Demographics” section, if you enable it.
2. In the Behaviour section, you will find information such a how much time are visitors spending on your site, how many are returning back, etc. This is valuable since this gives you an insight about how engaged your visitors are with your site.
3. Visitor flow – This gives you a clear picture of what percentage of visitors drop off after entering the landing page, what path they take. This is quite an eye opener. For instance, if you see a very high drop rate after the landing page, it could mean various things, and this report needs to be studied along with the visitor engagement report.
In the Acquisition section:
1. The Overview section provides you the list of traffic sources, Organic, referral, social, that has send traffic to your site. And the best part is you can see useful information such as bounce rate, average time, and pages/visit for each channel.
2. The “Search Engine Optimization” section is another very useful section. It will give you data on the search queries, the landing pages, and the Geographical summary (impressions, clicks, and click through rate)
Every website has a specific goal, as in, visitors buying from the website, or visitors subscribing to newsletters, and more. In order to find out how successful you are in achieving those goals, you may want to enable “Goals”. This will give you data on the conversions.
The other most popular channel of getting traffic is now Social Media. Even though the share of Social media is the smallest in the pie, I have found that because of higher engagement levels, social media tends to provide very relevant visitors.
This is good amount of information to begin with, with this information you will be able to :
1. Identify your top landing pages
2. Pages that people are most interested in
3. What are they searching for?
4. Are they coming back for more?
5. How much time are they spending?
6. Which age group do your top visitors belong to?
4. Who is sending them?
5. How many visitors could you convert.
6. Where are you losing them and a ton of information…
There is so much information just waiting to be found and applied!
Go ahead and take this exciting journey, it is worth every moment you invest.