Have you ever visited a website and that impacted your impression of the business, for better or worse? It’s easy for us to visit other people’s websites and instantly assess whether the branding and design match the product/service/business. It’s harder to objectively evaluate our own materials. We’re too close to it, and we’re not seeing it from the perspective of our ideal clients. However, looking at your website statistics can help you decide whether you need to make some changes.
How to Tell Where Your Website Traffic is Coming from
Website tech stuff can be overwhelming for some, but it’s good to know the basics so you can evaluate whether your website is doing what you want it to. There are a variety of ways to track website traffic and some of it is dependent on which website platform you use. We work with WordPress, Shopify, and Squarespace, so we will focus on those in this post.
WordPress is a popular website platform used by businesses across the spectrum. One of the most common plugins for evaluating website traffic on WordPress sites is MonsterInsights. While Google Analytics is free, it’s not always easy to navigate. Plugins like MonsterInsights make data analysis more user friendly.
In MonsterInsight’s overview report, you can see geographically where your website traffic is coming from. They also have a Top 10 Referrals Report which shows you which other websites send the most traffic to your site. Finally, they have a Search Console Report which shows the top search terms for your website. If you’re interested in learning more about how MonsterInsights works, check out this article.
Shopify is a popular platform for people who want to easily set up online stores without coding. Shopify has several plans that track a variety of data, mostly centered around capturing sales information. All of their plans have the overview dashboard. From here, you can see what geographical regions visitors are coming from, as well as social media sites. They have their own instructions for how to set up Google Analytics. You can see those instructions here.
Squarespace has been gaining popularity because it’s so easy to use. Like Shopify, the analytics available on Squarespace varies by plan. However, most of the basic traffic data we’ve discussed so far are available across all of the plans. You can read more about the different plans and how to review data here. If you need help connecting Google Analytics to Squarespace, you can review these instructions.
What to Do with Your Data
Let’s say you’ve reviewed your traffic sources and you notice that most people are coming from one or two places. For example, most of your visitors might be coming from Facebook or Instagram. It’s good practice to diversify the sources of your website traffic. That just means that you intentionally find multiple ways to drive traffic to your website. Here are some other ways to drive traffic to your site:
- Create an email newsletter.
- Create video content.
- Share content on other platforms, like LinkedIn.
- Write blog posts on your own websites.
When you write blog posts on your own site, make sure they include useful information for your target audience. This will not only help you build your authority and reputation of being helpful — but it’s also respectful of the time they invest in reading your blog.
Also, if you focus too much on loading your content with keywords, you might veer into what‘s been termed “black hat SEO“ practices. These tactics tend to violate Google’s terms of service. It sounds ominous, but basically, as long as you’re sharing truly helpful content, you should be all good.
Another statistic to track is your bounce rate. A bounce is when a visitor only goes to one page of your site and then leaves. You can even see how long they stayed! A high bounce rate can indicate that people aren’t finding what they were looking for on your site. However, keep in mind that the average bounce rate varies by industry.
So, you’ve looked at your data and you know you need changes. Remember to keep your ideal customer in mind when making changes. What would make the website easier for them to navigate? What information would help them make a purchasing decision?
If you’ve never made website changes before and you’re a DYI type — good news, there’s lots of free tools and information out there. If all this website stuff just isn’t your thing, we can help you with this! And if you want some time to look into it yourself before you’ve made a decision, we have a workbook that may help you. Our free DIY Brand Audit Workbook has a section dedicated to reviewing your website, along with other helpful branding information. You can sign up for the free workbook here.
What are your website statistics like? Let us know in a comment below!