Measuring the number of visitors to your website sounds like a very obvious thing to do, but not many small businesses actually do it. Those that do don’t always know what the key measurements are or what to look for. Following the advice in this article will ensure that you are measuring the right things and are able to apply that knowledge to drive more traffic to your website.
Finding a Measurement Package
There are two main sources available to the small business: Google Analytics or your website hosting provider.
Google Analytics provides some lines of code which your web designer can integrate into your site so that you can use all the measures given below. Results are accessed by visiting either the Google Analytics or hosting provider’s website and viewing the various tables and charts they provide.
As your website becomes larger and more sophisticated you may wish to upgrade to dedicated measurement packages or alternatively call in an expert to help you interpret the results and make decisions based on them.
What to Measure?
The simplest measurement of all is the number of visitors to your website. Review the trends over time so you can see whether the number of visitors is increasing or decreasing over any given period. A decent measurement system will allow you to specify the time period and then provide a graph which will demonstrate the changes visually.
However, you will want to go much further than just the number of visitors. Look at:
- Which pages visitors are viewing. This will tell you which sections of the website are most useful and the information customers and prospective purchasers are interested in. You can also use this information in your wider marketing activities.
- Where visitors came from. This measure will tell you which of your traffic-building or online advertising activities are the most effective. However, don’t just look at the number of visitors each search engine and directory sends you, use Acquisition Cost to compare the effectiveness of those you have paid for.
- Most used search terms. This will help you identify whether your natural search engine optimisation or pay-per-click is working as you expect. For example, you may be getting visitors who search on a term you haven’t thought of, or alternatively some search phrases may be generating more visitors than you expect. You can use this knowledge in other activities.
Other Things to Measure
The factors above will definitely help improve your online marketing. However, there may be additional measures which are useful for you. For example, how long people spend on each page or the screen size visitors use. Knowing the screen size, resolution and browsers most commonly used by visitors helps businesses build the website around the technical requirements of its users.