Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been asking business owners about their web site traffic and I’m really just trying to understand if they are paying any attention to it. I ask if they have any kind of analytics installed on it and they do, but interestingly enough, most don’t know how to read it or what to do with it.
There’s no question when using a service like Google Analytics, you could very well drown in the data. And while it’s good to know what’s going on with your site traffic, the most important thing to know is whether or not your website traffic is improving over time. And there are 5 simple items to look at to be able to answer that question.
1. Time on Site
Is it going up? How much time are people spending on your website? A longer time on your site typically means they’re more engaged. Perhaps they are checking you out for a possible business engagement or they’re just really enjoying your content.
2. Multiple Pages Up
Keep an eye on the average number of pages people are viewing. Having visitors touch more than 1 page shows that the content has potential. Take a look at the page that they exit to ensure it’s up to standard.
3. Sharing of Your Content Up
Keep track of where your content is being shared. You can do this using Google Alerts to see when your name or your company name shows up or you can look at Inbound Traffic Sources and take a look at those sites that sources that are unfamiliar to you. And don’t forget to monitor social media sites for your links and name mentions, etc.
4. Links Back to Your Site Up
Keep an eye on Inbound Traffic to your site. Take a look at those sites that don’ t look familiar to you so you can track if someone has blogged about you or mentioned you on their website. The Search Engines do link inbound links so make an effort to develop these kinds of relationships that will drive traffic to your site.
5. Bounce Rate Down
The Bounce Rate is defined as someone coming to the site and only viewing a single page or someone who leaves very quickly. The easiest way to interpret this is that they got to your site and couldn’t find what they were really looking for. Your job is to keep an eye on those pages with a high bounce rate and simply make some adjustments to the copy. It’s important to note though that blog posts will have high bounce rates because people came for that single post and nothing else.
You don’t necessarily need an immense amount of web analytics knowledge to know whether or not your web traffic is improving. You can prepare a simple report with the details above on a monthly and quarterly basis to track your progress.