Understanding your site traffic – a quick guide to using web analytics

Putting your business on the internet may not, in itself, be a guaranteed passport to immediate success.

For example, whatever the technical and design excellence of your website, if nobody ever visits it then your efforts will have been completely wasted.  Similarly, it doesn’t matter how much traffic you receive in terms of visits to your site, if nobody is buying anything once there then you are likely to be disappointed.

So, what are the issues?

Key questions

Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 9.23.44 PMWhen you are considering putting your business on to the internet, there are a number of key questions to ask yourself:

  • how will people know that my site exists?
  • will they find it easy to use once I am able to get them to visit my initial home page?
  • how will I convert what might initially be a casual browsing site visit into something that yields real commercial benefit?
  • how will I know what’s going on?

These are very easy and fundamental questions to ask but not always quite so straightforward to answer.

A discussion of analytics

You can get a basic overview of at least some of the principles behind site traffic analysis here.

In order to really understand what is working well in your internet sales and marketing proposition as well as, perhaps more importantly, what isn’t, you will need to understand things such as the total volume of visitors you are achieving, how long they are staying on your site, what they are doing once they get there and even what devices they are using to do so.

You will also need to understand the relationship between site visits and your conversions into sales.

It probably has to be said that these relationships can be technically complicated and if you are not a naturally gifted ‘techie’ it might be sensible to obtain some consultancy up-front.

True, this may cost money but there are options for loans for business funding – and you don’t even need to visit your bank!  Do your research – there is plenty of information both online and offline – so you can make an informed decision. For example, check out Everline’s useful guide to business loans which details the different options available to you. There is lots of useful on their website which will give you a feel for what business credit solution may be most appropriate to you.

The importance of matching interpretation to raw statistics

It’s not entirely unknown for some organisations to find themselves suffering from major statistical information overload.  In other words, they have lots of impressive site traffic information in front of them but they simply don’t know what it is telling them or what to do with it.

Sometimes, interpreting the information requires a degree of lateral thinking.

For example, if the statistics indicate that most of your visitors are arriving on mobile devices or perhaps through social media network links, it might indicate to you something about the possible age and other demographic issues associated with a large segment of your traffic.

As a result, you may wish to change certain aspects of your marketing, communication and website design to more accurately reflect the true nature of significant chunks of your visitor base.

The do nothing option

Of course, if you find these subjects intimidating or something of a technology indulgence, you do have the option of doing nothing at all.

However, given the investment in time, energy and possibly money you have put into your website, would such an approach be sensible?

If your website isn’t attracting traffic or converting it once there, it may be serving little or no purpose.  That is something that most sensible business owners will be determined to do something about.