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Three Simple Ways to Track Your Website

By:

Kim Clark

on 1/15/2014

Your website needs to be treated just as importantly as any other advertising you are doing for your business. It is your digital hub and it needs to be kept presentable just like a brick-and-mortar store and signage are. You also need to track its performance the same as you would with your advertising on the radio or television.

If you are leaving your site to fate and it is not performing well, you are wasting your precious advertising budget on something that is not bringing value to your business. To make sure that your site is doing the job you intended it to and your budget is well spent, you need to monitor how well your site is performing; and you can monitor everything you need in Google Analytics.

#1: Monitor the Traffic You Are Getting

SS1-GA-Traffic-Report.jpg

We hate to state the obvious, but if your website isn’t getting any traffic, then it isn’t doing anything for your business. Tracking how many people are seeing your website each day should be on the top of your list.

Once you have Google Analytics installed, you can track:

  • Total traffic
  • Traffic coming AdWords campaigns
  • Traffic coming from the search engines
  • Which search engines bring the most traffic
  • Specific locations showing an interest in your site
  • What type of mobile device is being used most often to access your site
  • New vs. Returning traffic

This is just a small sample of the different segments of traffic you can monitor.

You can also compare traffic over different periods of time. This is very useful. If your site traffic declines at a certain time of the year, you can increase your advertising efforts.

#2: Monitor Traffic Quality, aka Engagement

SS2-GA-Audience-Overview.jpg

Getting any traffic at all to your site is just the first step. But it doesn’t stop there.

You don’t want people just clicking on a link, seeing your site, and then leaving immediately. You want people to look around. You can’t make that conversion on your site when they immediately click ‘back’.

You can track the quality of traffic you are getting in Analytics too. It will tell you how long people are staying on your site, how many pages they are looking at, and how many are leaving after just one page.

This may seem like information that you cannot do anything with, but you really can. If people are arriving to your site through an ad and then immediately leaving, it could mean your ad is targeting the wrong audience and it needs to be adjusted. It could also be that your landing page isn’t compelling enough to keep their attention.

By making changes to how your traffic gets to the site or to the site itself you can increase the quality of the traffic; which will increase the odds of making that sale or contact.

The core metrics for traffic quality are Pages/Visit, Average Visit Duration, and Bounce Rate. These quality metrics are also called ‘engagement metrics’. To get a quick read on how healthy your traffic is, checkout your bounce rate. If your bounce rate is below 50%, that’s a good sign. That means that less than 50% of your traffic is visiting other pages on your site besides the landing page. If your bounce rate is above 50%, there’s room for improvement.

#3: Goal Tracking

SS3-GA-Goal-Conversion.jpg

In addition to analyzing your traffic quality, you also need to track your website’s performance. You can track its performance by setting up goals.

For example, the company we’re highlighting above is an informational site about bars. They want to track audience participation and do so by tracking how many registered users add upcoming events, news website topic, etc. You can track anything that you want to gauge how well your site is doing.

By tracking all three of these areas, you can determine if your website is actually helping your business or if it is not carrying its weight. It will also help you make changes to your website and advertising, so that you can make your website one of your best business tools.

One caveat about goal tracking: Google Analytics goals should support your business goals.

There’s no point in tracking poodle grooming tips pageviews, when you have a dog grooming business. However, there is value in seeing how many people visited your contact page. The contact page visit indicates interest in finding your location. That’s a potential client. The other person checking out poodle grooming tips could be across the country and have no interest in frequenting your dog salon.

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