Analyzing the web ecosystem is an important step to help you improve your web presence. As expressed in a previous article about calls to action, there are ten elements to take into account. One of those 10 points is analyzing the traffic.
Why analyze traffic on your website
« We can’t manage what we don’t measure ».
Google Analytics is like the eyes (or the ears) of a cashier behind the register in a store (or if you prefer, the receptionist in your office); it lets you know how many people come into your store, how long they stay there, their age (and gender), the products or services they are looking at, the sections they visit, etc. Being an anonymous tool, Google Analytics does not allow you to know who has visited your website (name, email, etc.).
If you have already tried Google Analytics, I presume that the first data you looked at is the number of weekly visits. That’s okay, everyone does this (even the analysts…ahem!). Obviously it’s nice to have a large number of visits, but what what if it does not reach the right target?
What needs to be analyzed on your website?
There is a lot of data in Google Analytics, to the point where it quickly becomes difficult to navigate and understand which data is worth keeping and which should be excluded from the analysis. Here are some examples:
If you kept looking at the statistics, you surely fell on the bounce rate: it tells you precisely how many visitors left shortly. You have 200 visits a day? Well done! You have a bounce rate of 80%? That means only 40 visitors stayed on your web site … Whoops!
A high bounce rate is not always a bad thing. Think about an Adwords campaign with a bounce rate close to 90%. The campaign was intended to direct users users on a specific page and to give a phone call to the company. Here, a visit on only a single page is considered a bounce, even though it’s not that bad a thing.
Analysis of keywords
Google reveals less and less which keywords generated quality visits for you. The reason: we are trying to move away from the dictactorship of keywords. Have you not noticed that now Google searches are trying to understand the meaning of your search? That’s impressive! So in short, yes, analyze keywords, but take it with a grain of salt.
Where do users click on your website
In Google Analytics, under the behavior option: Analysis of web pages; it’s possible to have a visual report of clicks on your web page. Try this on your home page, the results may surprise you. You might learn that a section, a button or an item to download is in fact not as popular as you thought. Contrarily, you can identify the more popular areas of your website (where people look and click). Do you have a campaign to put forward? Now you’ll know where to situate it.
This section is very important… and unfortunately, not the most easy and intuitive to operate. Here, it’s possible to measure the achievement of your website. What? You do not have objectives on your website? You have a simple storefront on the web? Wrong answer!
You don’t open a shop or a branch for the simple purpose of having visitors, right? You want those visitors to buy or, tell you, “This is very interesting. I’ll leave you my contact information so we can set an appointment.”
In conclusion, the performance indicators of a website vary from site to site. However, there is one thing that does not change; you should always have in mind specific goals of desired actions from your users.
Read our series about web ecosystem: