Analyzing Web Traffic – An Easy Place to Start

If you’re like most people, you know just enough about Google Analytics to talk about it in meetings. In fact, I would say most marketers know even less than that. Google Analytics is such a comprehensive platform, offering data about pages and pages of your website, that trying to sift through the back end may seem like an impossible nightmare. So, if you’ve just begun playing around with your website’s analytics, and you’re trying to get familiar with the different filters – good for you! You’re on your way to understanding audience activity and interaction with your most public-facing digital tool. You can use this behavioral information to identify strengths and weaknesses of your site and its pages and work to optimize. The trick is – how do you define the efficacy of your pages, and what can you take to improve each page’s metrics? Well, the two key elements you’ll need to consider are traffic and conversion.

Traffic

Traffic in this context is the flow of users landing on your website, or certain specific pages, and where they go once they arrive. In Google Analytics, you can view many different elements of traffic, including where a user is coming from, where they go after they arrive on a specific page, their age, location, browser and even their IP address. We’re going to keep it simple; we’ll be looking specifically on those incoming folks. We want to know how many users are coming to your specific pages, and what they are doing once they arrive.

Conversion

A conversion on your website can mean many things, depending on the goals of that certain page. In layman’s terms, it means that whomever has visited a specific page has done what you want them to do on that page – they have completed the page’s call-to-action. This could be a white paper download, signing up for a newsletter, registering for a webinar, etc. Together with traffic, conversion is the most important factor in analyzing the performance of your site.

Using Traffic and Conversion to Categorize Pages

Once you break down the analytics of each page, you’ll find that all pages can fit into one of the 4 following quadrants. I’ve drawn an image below to help illustrate these categories.

Explaining the Quadrants

  • High Traffic & High Conversion
    • These are the stars of your website’s show. What you’re doing on these pages is working great! Your audience is flowing into the page and they’re doing exactly what you want them to. Great job!
  • Low Traffic & High Conversion
    • These pages are performing well in terms of conversion – but there isn’t much traffic coming into them for some reason. What can you do to increase relevant traffic to this page, and therefore increase an already high conversion rate?
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  • High Traffic & Low Conversion
    • Yikes! This is red in the above for a reason, and is a real missed opportunity for your brand! Take a closer look at the page; is this high traffic page missing a call-to-action? Is it the wrong call-to-action? Certainly, add an offer to this page if it doesn’t have one, or rethink the current offer. For some reason, this page isn’t resonating with your audience. A conversation with the marketing and sales team or agency will help you determine the cause of this low-performance page.
  • Low Traffic & Low Conversion
    • These pages are likely the less important pages of your site – pages like the ‘About’ section, or management bios, etc. There is nothing innately wrong with these pages; unless you’ve designed the page to include a call-to-action, or are expecting conversion, you can generally leave these pages alone.

Overall, this exercise will help you identify which pages need work and which are performing well, or as expected in the case of low/low pages. From here, your marketing and sales team, together with an agency if applicable, should work to identify the most important pages for improvement and strategize how to optimize each. Good luck!

Yours digitally,

Colleen

There’s nothing more fun than web traffic right, Colleen?