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Measuring The Success of Your Website

Posted on September 4, 2017

Ok, you’ve just launched your shiny new website. You’ve spent months working with a web developer on design, copy, and layout. Perhaps (hopefully) you’ve taken the additional time and effort to begin driving traffic to your website using methods like social media, print marketing, and search engine marketing. But how will you know if any of those efforts are working? How will you be able to tell if anyone is visiting your website?

There are a number of online services that can help you track the success of your website. But, the best service we’ve found is the incredibly popular and free Google Analytics.

Once properly installed on your website, Google Analytics will provide all of the typical statistics that you would expect: visits (the number of people who have visited your site) and pageviews (the total number of pages that have been viewed). But, did you know that you also receive a vast array of additional data that can help you further improve and market your website? Here are a few examples of the types of data that Google Analytics provides:

Traffic By Source

Using the “Traffic By Source” report, you can find out how your visitors arrived at your site. Did they type your URL (website address) into their browser’s address bar? Did they find your website linked from another site? Or did they find your website using one of the many available search engines? This report will show you the exact number of visitors for each method. You can even dig deeper into each traffic source to view which website was the referring site, or which keywords your visitors used to find your website.

Map Overlay

The “Map Overlay” report answers the question, “From where (geographically) are all of my visitors viewing my website?” A world map is displayed so you can see the various countries from where your visitors are located. You can click any of the countries to zoom in to see additional city- and state-specific information as well. In each of the zoom levels, you can view the total number of visits, pageviews, etc. that originated from that specific location.

Time On Site and Average Pages/Visit

These two reports provide beneficial information about the amount of time your visitors are staying on your website. “Average time on site” is the amount of time that a visitor remained on your site before leaving. Likewise, “average pages/visit” refers to the number of pages that an individual viewed during their visit.

Both of these metrics can be very helpful in determining how effective your home page (or an additional landing page) is at keeping your visitors engaged in your website. Another metric that is provided by Google Analytics is called the “bounce rate”. The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who arrived at your website, viewed just one page, and immediately left. A lower bounce rate typically means that your visitors are remaining on your site because your site’s content is relevant and engaging.

Visitor Information

The “Visitor Information” report provides useful data about your visitors. For example, what web browsers are my visitors using? What screen resolution is being used? Do my visitors have Flash installed? What percentage of my visitors are using a mobile device to view the website? Using this information, you can make informed decisions about the future design and functionality of your site. For example, if you find that a significant percentage of visitors are using mobile devices to browse your website, it may be beneficial to create a mobile version of your site.

The amount of data that Google Analytics provides is staggering. Best of all, you can set up automated email reports so that you don’t have to remember to manually check your statistics.

Utilizing Google Analytics is one of the easiest decisions you can make for your website. We install it on nearly every new site that we create, and we also frequently install it for new clients’ existing websites as well. Contact us today to find out how we can install Google Analytics and help you discover the effectiveness of your website!

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