Having a great website and having a successful website are two different things. Your site may look great, with a great layout and call to actions in the right places, but this doesn’t make your site successful. Sure, if I am looking to purchase from a website, I’m more inclined to choose a site that’s pleasing on the eye with a simple and smooth sequence of pages, that’s a given. But what can you do to monitor and make sure your website is converting traffic into sales? There are many different ways to review where you’re doing well, and where you’re doing not so well. Of course there are lots of companies and individuals out there who I’ve used in the past to keep an eye on my own websites in the past, but it’s actually quite interesting to do these checks yourselves without even paying. There are 5 categories in which visitors fall under. Each category is viewable in Google Analytics too.
- Organic search – those who have found your site by searching keywords and then choosing your site from the Google search results list
- Referral – those who have been redirected from other sites
- Direct – those who went straight to your webpage due to prior knowledge of your site
- Social – those who found your site through social media
- Paid Advertising
Keeping a close eye on all 5 types of incoming visitors is essential for both building and sustaining a successful site. The primary benefit of this is that you are given a visual guide that acts as open feedback; you can actually see where your visitors are coming from. This enables you to see where you’re doing well, and where you can improve.
If you invest a lot of time and effort into social media, you’d expect to see a higher percentage of your visitors coming from social media sites. It’s a simple concept, but mastering how to use sources such as Google Analytics to both monitor and manage your site can take a bit of work and a bit of getting used to. You can’t just divide your attention between the 5 traffic categories in a 20% each ratio. 20% of your visitors aren’t likely to come to you direct due to the fact that they require prior knowledge of the site, which unless given a direct link by a friend or colleague, they probably found your site using one of the other search categories.
After you have learned how to monitor your site’s traffic sources, you then need to learn how that traffic behaves on your site. To get the best results, you should send traffic from each traffic source to specific landing pages. That way you can measure conversions more accurately and learn what you need to change to suit each traffic source.