If you want to be successful at something, you have to do your research. Getting ahead of the competition requires diligence and hard work, and building a website is no different. Creating the most effective marketing strategies means knowing what kind of content your viewers most enjoy. To evaluate this target audience, it’s important to determine where they’re coming from.
Data from your website is unbelievably useful. It shows you a vast array of information, from which ads people click on to how many visitors you had on Christmas Day — if you know how to access them. This is where Google Analytics comes into play.
Google Analytics for a Smarter Business
Google Analytics is a tool from the number one search engine in the world. Signing up is free, meaning anyone has access to the information it provides. Aside from traffic sources (where your visitors are from), Google Analytics tells you other important things like:
- The number of current visitors your site receives.
- How often you see repeat visitors.
- Your bounce rate — a measure of how many people visit but leave without looking at other pages.
- Average time spent on your site.
- Number of likes, shares, tweets, etc., that your site experiences
- Which site pages are visited the most
Once you set up your account, you’ll have full access to all of these features, plus the ultra-helpful Traffic Sources section.
Understanding Website Traffic Sources
Website traffic source information is divided into three basic categories: direct, referring, and search engine. Direct traffic refers to the number of visitors who enter your site without coming through anything else. Most often, direct traffic uses bookmarks or types the URL into the address bar. Clicking on email or text message links is also a form of direct traffic. This form of visit calls for much more familiarity with the company and is deemed an indicator of successful offline marketing.
Referring traffic includes visitors who have clicked on a link from another site to end up on yours. This can be a link within an article or an advertisement. This category is the most popular type. In fact, Facebook generates more traffic than Google now.
Search engine traffic refers to visitors directed by a web search. Although the service comes from Google, it takes clicks from other engines like Bing and Yahoo! into account as well. Search engine traffic is unique because it has two sub-classes: organic and PPC.
Organic traffic is natural in the sense that the user clicked your site directly from a search result without an advertisement. Instead, the visitor views meta titles and descriptions to determine if the link is worth clicking. In many cases, the first result from Google is relevant, but sponsored, making it a pay per click (PPC) advertisement. Overall, there are more organic traffic sources, but for high commercial intent keywords, PPC ads account for nearly 67 percent.
Putting Analytics to Good Use
Once you have the information, make sure you take advantage of it. If your direct website traffic is strong, then you know your emails and offline marketing techniques are working fabulously. If referrals are weak, it’s time to explore changes in your online campaigns. Run a different ad for a while or try posting higher quality social media updates.
Sometimes, working with this information is a bit confusing, though. Without experience in marketing and analytics, you may be left wondering which way to turn. If that’s the case, marketing specialists like Colibri Digital Marketing are more than happy to help. When you’re ready to make the most of your data and website, schedule a complimentary digital strategy session with us.
This article was originally published at colibridigitalmarketing.com and republished here with permission from Anna Colibri.