Do you cringe when you hear the words “metrics” or “analytics”. Don’t worry, we used to as well until we narrowed down the few important metrics you can look at in under 5 minutes to get an idea of how your website is performing.
First and foremost, you need to have Google Analytics set up on your website. If you don’t have that set up yet, don’t worry, it’s a simple process. Check out Google’s Analytics Set Up help article to get started and if your website is built on WordPress you can also use Monster Insight’s Free Plugin to get set up with Google Analytics for free in a few minutes.
The first metric you want to look at is where your website visitors are coming from.
There are 3 basic types of visitors that come to your website. They are categorized according to how they arrived at your site.
Direct Visitors – People that directly type your website address in the browser.
Search Visitor – People that find your website by using a search page like Google.
Referral visitors – People that find your website because your company was mentioned on another website.
Most businesses have mostly direct visitors, some search visitors and not many referral visitors.
Direct visitors and search visitors already know about you and they know the name of your business and either type your website address right into the browser (since they’ve been there before) or they Google your business name.
Referral visitors usually aren’t aware of your or what you offer and are turned on to your business through another website or some type of advertising.
Most businesses need to improve on their referral visitors and you do that by getting more referral links.
Every time your business gets mentioned in a review, on a blog or tagged on a social media sites like FaceBook that is a referral link which will lead to referral visitors. The more referral links you have pointing to your website, the more people that are going to see those links and visit your website. Also, the higher amount of quality referral links that are on the web pointing back to your website the better you are going to rank in Google which will help increase your search visitors. These referral links are called “backlinks” and they vitally important to help get new customers to your website and also help your website rank better in Google.
So how do you go about getting more backlinks?
It’s takes a bit of strategy to achieve but Neil Patel writes a great article on How To Get Your First DA +80 Backlink to get you started. (DA means Domain Authority which is a measure of how influential a site is. You want a backlink on a site that has a high DA)
Most people aren’t ready to dive right into backlink strategy just yet so let me explain a bit more about how you can measure your website visitors and figure out what they are doing on your website..
Measuring New and Unique Visitors
Let me explain the difference between a new and unique visitor first. A new visitor is someone that hasn’t been to your site before and is comes for the first time. A return visitor is someone that has already been to your site and comes back. Websites are able to tell the difference between these visitors by putting little file on your visitor’s computer when they come to your website called a “cookie”. This allows your website to then tell if that visitor is new or has been there before.
So what can new and unique visitor numbers tell you about your website?
Ideally, you want to make sure you’re getting a good number of both new and returning visitors. If you have a higher ratio of returning visitors that means you’re not properly marketing your website and business or letting people know about your deals, offers or services.
If you only have new visitors coming to your website, you are doing a good job of getting new eyes to your site but there could be something wrong with your site or service that is causing them to never come back again.
Why would a user come to your site and never come back?
Well, one reason is they just might not be interested in what you’re offering but another area you can look for an issue is called usability.
What is website usability and why does it matter?
Is your site easy to use, easy to follow, and easy to navigate? Does your website work flawlessly on all mobile phones, tablets and laptops? If you answer “No” to any of these questions you have a serious usability problem. If a visitor can properly view or easily navigate through your site they will leave. Imagine if you want to buy some food at the grocery story but it is snowing outside, and when you get the store you can’t find the entrance and once you manage to get inside it’s so crowded with people you can’t navigate around. Are you going to keep shopping at that store?
Another reason why you might not be getting any return visitors is because your website doesn’t offer value to your customers. If your website is all about YOU and YOUR business and what YOU offer you’re not conveying the benefits you can offer your customer. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone that only talks about themselves? Don’t let your website be that person!
So how can you tell what people are doing on your site once they get there?
A good place to start is a metric called Interactions Per Visit. You can see what pages your customers are looking at, what services they are reading about and if they are looking to find out more information about you or how to contact you.
Another metric that is great to monitor and measure how well your website is performing is the Bounce Rate.
A “Bounce” is fancy web term for someone that comes to you website, does absolutely nothing and then leaves. So a high bounce rate or high percentage of your customers coming to your site and leaving, without doing anything is a bad thing. Think of this as a customer that walks into your business, looks around for a few seconds and walks right back out. Worthless right? The good news is you can track this and find out if bounce rate is too high (above 56% is too high) and that will signal to you that you need to make some changes to your website.
You should be tracking and monitoring your bounce rate on each page of your website so you have a clear indication if and when you need to make changes to a page.
Is there any other metric I can quickly look at to see how my website is doing? The answer is yes and that metric is called “Exit Pages”.
Exit pages allow you to see what pages your customers are exiting your website from.
Some customers come to your home page and leave right from there. Some customers come to your home page click on your about us page and then click to your contact page and then exit from there. You want to look at what pages people tend to exit from from and that can give you some insight on where you are “losing” them.
Once you know what pages most customers exit from, look at those pages and say to yourself “how can I make this page more valuable to the customer?” or “what can I offer my customer on this page to take an action on”. Something as simple as a link or offering a coupon, or download or a way to sign up for deal on a high exit page might be a great idea.
These are just a few metrics you can quickly look at to get an idea of how your website is performing. If you need any help finding or interpreting these metrics on your website feel free to reach out directly to me at Ryan@YourPortalonline.com