Web traffic is something you probably know you should be monitoring. But how do you make sense of the data? From visitor origins to bounce rates, here’s our quick guide to understanding web traffic and improving your site’s performance.
Simply put, website traffic is all the visitors your site gets. Traffic can come from a variety of sources. Direct traffic comes from people navigating to your site by typing it into the address bar or using bookmarks. Think about the sites you most regularly visit. You probably have them bookmarked in your browser or know the web address by heart. Unless you run a site like Google or Facebook, chances are only a small percentage of your web traffic will be direct.
Referred traffic comes from other sites. There are a number of ways to get referrals. Other blogs might link to yours, or somebody might tweet a link to your product page. You can also buy referrals through ads and affiliates. And of course you can generate traffic through search engines by improving your SEO.
While lots of visitors is usually a good sign your site is successful, raw visitor numbers aren’t everything. You also want to consider visitor behavior while people are on your site. If you get a million hits per day, but 80% of them leave after 30 seconds without making a purchase, your site is underperforming. Large bounce rates or low conversion indicates that you’re attracting the wrong visitors, or something about your site is putting the right visitors off.
If you’re confident your site is functioning correctly—high visitor numbers can overload servers, especially shared servers, leading to the site crashing or loading slowly—experimenting with your marketing could lead to a drop in visitors. This isn’t necessarily a disaster. If lower traffic numbers produce higher conversion rates, it signifies you’re beginning to attract the right visitors.
A good way to tell if you’re attracting the right visitors—beyond your conversion rates—is to look at what keywords your site ranks for. Services such as SEMrush can help you understand where your web traffic comes from, and why visitors to your site act in the ways they do. SEMrush will show you what keywords your site ranks best for. Say you run a florist shop and you rank highest for “gardening.” While this keyword is related to your field, it probably isn’t producing the results you want because people searching for gardening-related queries are less likely to be looking to purchase cut flowers at that time. More relevant keywords might be tricker to rank for as they likely have greater competition, but even a lower rank on a relevant keyword will be more beneficial than a high rank on an irrelevant one.
Improving web traffic is a two-part process: quality and quantity. Just getting visitors to your site can be a challenge when you’re first starting out. Improving your SEO by working on your keywords and your site’s technical performance is critical. Ensuring your site is user-friendly, fast-loading, and has a clear call to action is the first step.
Then consider the quality of your keywords. It’s tempting to run keyword searches and target those with the biggest audience, or least competition, but think about the type of person making those searches. Are they a likely customer? Will they engage with your site in the way you want them to? If the answer is no, you’re wasting your time trying to attract them.
The best-performing sites have high volume web traffic that produces high conversion rates. Low traffic and low conversions are equally problematic, but increasing one doesn’t necessarily correlate with an increase in the other. By focusing on quality as well as quantity when you’re building your site and defining your SEO campaign, you’ll get more from your website in the future.
Not sure where to start? Pick a plan now and let TechTe.am’s friendly experts help!
Contact us today to find out how TechTe.am can get you there.