Understanding, and deciphering web traffic analytics is an important skill set for any marketer.
If you can study a website’s traffic, you can create a better strategy from the start, and if you continue studying it after the launch, you can improve your strategy further, effectively attracting a larger audience over time.
This is why we have created this simple guide to understand web traffic analytics.
What Types of Web Traffic Should You Analyze?
These are the two main website traffic you need to analyze.
Your Competitors’ Web Traffic
Every web traffic analytics strategy should include competitor analysis, as this can unearth a wealth of data.
Your competitors have probably invested significantly developing their websites and regularly optimizing their published pages by studying their own traffic.
If you get this analysis right, you will be able to get a head start. And this is something you can do whether you already have an audience or don’t.
Start with a visual analysis by going to your competitors’ websites and looking at all the web pages, the design style, and the copywriting formulas they are using.
After that, you can type their URL into analytics tools to get some more data.
You will be able to figure out how much traffic they get, what pages see the most visits, and what marketing channels send the most referrals.
Your Own Web Traffic
After analyzing your competitors’ websites, you should analyze your own. Your own audience might behave differently from your competitors’ audiences.
Also, the data you will get from this technique will be more detailed.
You will be able to see the exact amount of traffic you get, how many of those arrivals were bounce visits, and how many people eventually converted as leads or customers.
If you have heatmaps or visit recorders, you can unearth even more data. This is something you can’t do on a competitor’s website.
You should only skip your web traffic analytics if you don’t yet have a website.
4 Tips to Analyze Website Traffic
Now that you know the different types of web traffic you should analyze, here are some quick step-by-step details to help you get it right.
Use the Best Tools
You shouldn’t skimp while picking your analytics tool.
If you pick a cheap analytics tool and it shows you the wrong data, then your website launch will fail, and you won’t know that it failed, because your data will be flawed.
This will eventually run your company into the ground.
Therefore, you should pick the best reporting platform for your needs, even if it costs a few hundred extra dollars.
The data it provides could help your business generate hundreds of thousands more.
If you go into most sophisticated analytics tools’ dashboards, you will find hundreds of metrics available.
Some of these matter to your business, while most are just vanity metrics. If you focus on these vanity metrics you will waste your time chasing erroneous goals.
For example, let’s say you are running a digital advertising campaign on Facebook, trying to drive ecommerce sales.
For a campaign like this, you will come across various metrics such as clicks, views, impressions, engagement, etc.
Some of these metrics might be important for your campaign, but they are nowhere near as important as the conversion rate, which could be signups or sales.
These conversions generally take place on your website, as opposed to on Facebook.
Sometimes you might generate a higher return even with fewer clicks or impressions. This is why you should focus on other metrics, such as cost per acquisition and return on ad spend.
Run Split Tests
No matter how deeply you immerse yourself in your own website and your competitors’ sites, it is highly unlikely you will completely understand your audience.
This is why you should continue to analyze your website traffic every week or month at least.
One popular technique you can use to quickly improve website conversion performance is split testing.
This is where you create two versions of certain web pages and send traffic (usually through a paid method) and figure out which one converts better.
You then pick the winner and scale traffic to it.
While doing split tests, only make one change at a time, as you won’t know what change brought about a positive conversion rate if you make too many.
Combine with Qualitative Analysis
Website traffic analysis is a quantitative analytics method. This produces a lot of valuable data as you can see above.
But you will only get the most out of it if you combine it with qualitative analytics methods.
Normally people do this separately by creating detailed survey forms and sharing them with their email list or social media followers, but slide-in chat forms that you install on your website are also effective.
People can either choose an answer from the choices you provide or type in a detailed answer.
This will help you gather some extra data that is helpful by itself but can be especially potent when combined with data from quantitative analytics.
Now Gather Some Quality Data
Gathering and analyzing data can be a boring task that takes weeks and sometimes months.
But as you can see above it is essential to the success of your business, especially if you want to succeed online.
So set aside plenty of time for it, or hire someone who would gladly do it for you.