In the digital age, have you also wanted to start operating a website? Operating a website is like operating a storefront. People must visit the storefront before making any purchases or consulting for services. And as we often talk about it offline, moving online is the so-called “website traffic”! The management of website traffic is a key strategy for companies and brands in the digital age. How to effectively increase website traffic is a major problem faced by most website operators.
This article will take you to fully understand the important concepts of website traffic: from the definition of website traffic, how to query website traffic rankings, the introduction of popular website analysis tools, to the methods of increasing website traffic, all that bring people and money to your website!
(image source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/)
Knowing the definition of website traffic
Website traffic refers to the number of website visits. If you want to know how many users visit the site, you will use “quantitative statistical indicators” as a measurement standard.
Common website traffic statistics indicators
- Unique Visitors (Users): The number of unique visitors to the website in a specific time frame. For example, visitor A visits the website this morning, noon, and evening. Although there are 3 visits in total, it will only be counted as 1 unique visitor that day.
- Work phase: Work phase is the most commonly used traffic indicator for the website analysis tool Google Analytics, which represents the interaction (including clicks or browsing, etc.) of visitors within the website during a period of time (default 30 minutes). For example, when visitor B visits the website at 10:00, no matter how many pages he browses or clicks from 10:00 to 10:30, it will only be regarded as one working phase.
- Unique page views: Unique page views are generated by visitors in the same work phase. For example, visitor C visits webpage A and webpage B in one session and then returns to webpage A, then webpage A will be regarded as a repeated visit, and visitor C has generated 2 unique page views in total.
Where does website traffic come from? 5 Large flow pipe types
After understanding the definition and calculation of website traffic, the next question may be: Where does my website traffic come from? What are the traffic sources?
The main flow pipe types can be divided into:
- Organic Search: The traffic that enters the website through the search of keywords from search engines such as Google and Yahoo
- Paid Search: The traffic that enters the website by clicking on Google Ads and other keyword ads in search engines
- Referral: The traffic entering the website from third-party websites such as blogs and other media
- Social: Inbound traffic from social networking sites, such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc.
- Direct: The traffic that directly enters the website, such as entering through the bookmark bar, or entering the URL in the browser, or entering the site through an App link
Why do we do website traffic analysis? What problems can be solved?
Everyone is talking about website traffic analysis, but what is the purpose of analyzing website traffic data? First of all, we must know that the data itself is meaningless. The focus is on the purpose of the analysis. It must be able to help us clarify the status quo, and then adjust and optimize the marketing strategy to find the growth path of website traffic and performance.
For example, when you are running a website, you might come up with these questions:
- The performance of website promotion activities this year is 20% less than last year. Why? Is it because fewer people are visiting the site?
- The other competitors are buying ads to drive traffic, should we do the same?
- Who is downloading our product catalog? What are their ages? Are there more men or more women?
- Is this webpage too long that no one is scrolling down below?
If you don’t have the concept of website analysis, at this time you may have no answers. But through website traffic analysis, possible answers to these questions could be found, and so we could draw up the next course of action. Therefore, knowing the analysis of website traffic can enable us to have a basis when making decisions, and no longer feel blind and have to guess what the users think.
How to check and track website traffic? Introduction to 4 popular website analysis tools
If you want to do a good job in website traffic analysis, you will need to use website analysis tools to regularly check website traffic reports and ranking changes to optimize traffic performance.
Different website analysis tools have their own tracking strengths. The following will introduce 4 website analysis tools commonly used by marketers: Google Analytics, SimilarWeb, Mixpanel, and Hotjar’s key application scenarios.
Website analysis tool 1: Google Analytics (GA)
Strengths: analysis of website traffic sources
(image source: blog.google/products/marketingplatform/analytics/)
Google Analytics (GA) is a website analysis tool provided by Google. Because of its powerful functions and is free of charge (basic version), it has become the most popular data analysis software in the world. GA is mainly divided into four reports: target user, customer development, behavior, and conversion reports, which can help us understand the journey of users from inbound browsing to final conversion.
Google Analytics (GA) features
- Quantify data based on page views
- Able to understand the profile of website visitors, where the traffic comes from, the flow of behavior after entering the site, and whether the goal conversion has been achieved
- Website traffic source analysis, click attribution analysis
- Can be used with Google Data Studio to visualize data
Website analysis tool 2: SimilarWeb
Strengths: Query the traffic and ranking performance of competitors’ websites
(image source: similarweb.com)
SimilarWeb is a good helper for competitor website analysis. Unlike GA, which can only view the traffic data of your own website, SilmilarWeb can view the ranking and traffic profile of other websites, so that we can grasp the dynamics of our competitors’ websites at any time as a plan reference for future marketing strategies.
- View the traffic structure, ranking status, and interaction data of the competitors’ websites
- The basic version provides 2 websites comparison
- Can be used in the web version or install the Chrome extension
Website analysis tool 3: Mixpanel
Strengths: Interactive tracking of website behavior and visual chart presentation
(image source: https://segment.com/integrations/mixpanel/)
The biggest difference between Mixpanel, which is also one of the website traffic analysis tools, and GA is that Mixpanel uses “user behavior” as the tracking unit instead of web browsing. Therefore, users can be analyzed more deeply, including user grouping based on interaction status, checking the rate of lost users in each link, return rate, and the number of active users each month, etc., and finally, it could represent the analysis results in visual charts. Besides, Mixpanel also has an App analysis function, which is suitable for cross-platform tracking for business owners who have both Web and App.
- Good at tracking user interaction behaviors, such as clicks, video playback, comments, purchases, etc.
- Website conversion funnel tracking to find out the sections of losing customers
- View user return rate, daily/monthly active user ratio
- The analysis results are presented in visual charts, which are clear and easy to understand
- Provide Web / App traffic analysis and cross-platform tracking
Website analysis tool 4: Hotjar
Strengths: qualitative analysis of web behavior, user experience survey
(image source: hotjar.com)
The three tools introduced above are all quantitative website analysis tools. The most well-known qualitative analysis tool is Hotjar, which can directly record the behavior of website users using screen recording. Hotjar provides four monitoring functions: heat map, screen recording, conversion funnel analysis, and form filling tracking. Do you want to know which section of the webpage the user stays in, what is the webpage scrolling and browsing status? These can be seen through Hojtar. If you want to do further website UI/UX optimization testing, you can use another qualitative tool called Crazy Egg to do A/B testing.
- Heat maps can visually show the user’s focus, observe the click status, page scrolling status
- Screen recording allows you to observe how users interact with page elements, and you can even see unexpected operating behaviors
- You can take the initiative to survey users on the website and collect users’ feedback on the website experience
- Provide a free version, which can record up to 2000-page views per day
How to combine the strengths of each tool?
- Before the establishment of the website, use SimilarWeb to do market research: query the ranking and traffic structure of potential competitors, and understand which traffic channels the industry focuses on, as a reference for marketing planning
- After the website is established, use Google Analytics to establish a comprehensive understanding of the source of website traffic and other data: find valuable or potential traffic channels, and strengthen the investment of marketing resources
- After the website content is complete, use Mixpanel and Hotjar to optimize the conversion process: After the website traffic reaches a certain scale, the next stage of the goal will be focusing on the conversion rate increase. Through an in-depth analysis of user behavior and funnel tracking, we can find feasible ways to optimize the conversion rate, and perform UI/UX AB Testing with tools such as CrazyEgg or Google Optimize to continuously adjust the test
Start website traffic growth! 2 ways to increase traffic: digital advertising, SEO
After understanding how to use website analysis tools to query and track website traffic, we are finally here to introduce ways to increase website traffic. The two common methods are: “digital advertising” and “SEO”.
(image source: https://instapage.com/blog/facebook-ads-for-ecommerce)
1. Digital advertising: short-term rapid increase in traffic
Digital ads include Google Ads keyword ads, network ads, or Facebook ads, Instagram ads, etc. The difference between digital advertising and traditional advertising is that it can track users’ digital footprints, find users who are more interested in products or services through the method of focus, and carry out accurate advertising and exposure.
The advantages of digital advertising are budget flexibility and high setting flexibility (ad content can be adjusted in real-time for testing), which is a common way to quickly increase website traffic in the short term. However, you will need to pay for each click or exposure, which may be a considerable cost in the long run.
After you have finished placing the ads, you can further use remarketing ads to target users who have visited the website or added to the shopping cart but have yet checked out to promote the advertisement again, to improve the conversion opportunities of products or services.
2. SEO search engine optimization: bring stable and free long-term traffic
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to adjusting the website by understanding the operation rules of search engines, to improve the website’s ranking, exposure and traffic on search engine results pages.
The biggest difference between SEO and Google Ads keyword advertising is that you don’t have to pay for the search engines, but through the long-term operation of specific keyword rankings (more than 3-6 months), to bring stable and free organic traffic to the website.
How to increase website traffic through SEO? Here are three directions:
- Build a blog and write high-quality content: Content management is one of the most important ranking items for SEO. Compared with the blunt product introduction, writing articles on related topics have more opportunities to communicate with potential consumers and answer their questions. Hubspot research has pointed out that, compared to websites without blogs, providing rich and interesting content regularly can not only increase the traffic of the website by 2 to 3 times, but also help to increase the reputation of the brand.
- Create a search engine-friendly website: Search engine crawlers will crawl and index the content of the website by reading its programming language, and then display the data on the search results page. Therefore, to ensure that the Google search engine crawler can understand the content of the website, it is necessary to make some website technical settings that are friendly to the search engine, such as building a website sitemap, adding structured data grammar, and website speed optimization.
- Write a clear page title and description: Title is the title of the page, and Description describes the information provided on the page. Writing a clear and attractive Title/Description can not only help search engines to determine the relevance of keywords and web content, but also increase the user’s click-through rate on search results pages and bring more traffic.
After reading this article, do you have a clearer understanding of how to query and analyze website traffic and the secrets of growth? Website operation is a long-term journey. It requires continuous tracking, dynamic adjustment, and optimization of the website in order to stand out from the competitive online market.
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If you want to promote the growth of website traffic but don’t know where to start, Skipfour provides professional consulting and all kinds of eCommerce services. With more than ten years of service experience, we have helped numerous customers to increase web traffic and revenue. You are more than welcome to contact us! If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, like our Facebook, or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news!