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How to Measure Your Website’s Traffic

Measuring and monitoring your website traffic can help you determine the performance of your site. Learn how to get started here.

Having a strong online presence is important for just about any type of business. Whether you're trying to draw in local, national, international, or online traffic, you don't stand a chance if people can't find you online.

And even if you already have a strong online presence, there's still another question to consider: are you getting the right kind of traffic to your website? But then again, how would you even know if you're getting the right traffic? The answer is to track visits, types of visits, and activity on your site.

There are many ways to check website traffic, know what kinds of users find your website, and improve outreach efforts, brand awareness, and the performance of your website with the data you gather. Here, we'll review how to measure your website's traffic and offer valuable tips to increase it.

What is website traffic and why is it important?

Website traffic is the number of visitors that find your website. There are different types of traffic, and the amount of traffic you get can make or break your online business.

Many visitors may find your website. However, if they're not the right types of users, it may not impact your bottom line. It may even hurt your business, but we'll discuss that more in-depth later on.

When we talk about "the right type of traffic," we're not being discriminatory. We're saying that there are visitors who want what you're selling (whether they know it or not), visitors who don't want what you're selling, and visitors who are indifferent to your products or services.

There are more types of traffic than just these three. But the point is that you must draw in the right kind of traffic: users who want what you're selling and who sought it out intentionally. To learn whether you're pulling the best crowd, you need to measure website traffic and optimize your pages and content.

Reasons to measure your site’s traffic

There are many ways to analyze website traffic and measure how your online presence affects your business, and traffic is just one of them. It certainly should be high on your list of priorities when it comes to setting up metrics. Most of the other metrics you'll establish and track will revolve around analyzing traffic.

Here are a few important reasons to measure website traffic.

Learn the expectations of your audience

Monitoring the behavior of the people who visit your site can give you important clues into what they want and how to give it to them. For example, if visitors spend a lot of time reviewing your FAQ page, consider creating blogs dedicated to answering their most pressing questions. If you want to learn more about what your website’s audience wants to see, ask for feedback. Listening to their feedback also helps ensure you can tailor your content to their needs, and it makes them feel like you care about their experience.

Determine how users find your site

Figuring out where the users who are interested in your products or services come from is important. It can tell you how they spend their time online and help you learn where it's best to advertise. It can also strengthen your sales efforts when you know how your products and services fit into their lives.

Focus on features and topics your audience wants

If your audience has questions about the things you sell, you want to be able to answer them. By monitoring how they interact with your site, you can learn what features and content they like best and use most. Many shoppers know what they want, but they may have one or two questions that need to be answered before they can justify buying. If you answer those questions, you might land the sale and secure their trust.

How to measure website traffic

There are various ways to measure, monitor, and study the traffic that comes to your website. Learning how to check website traffic starts with the following steps.

Identify the necessary tools

There are many tools you can use to measure your website's traffic. The most powerful tools are available through comprehensive online marketing management services like Google Analytics. These services bundle all the tools and techniques you'll need to monitor your website traffic. Plus, they can help you identify which areas of your website need attention.

You can also check the traffic of your website using Mailchimp. Our free website reports allow you to review the performance of your website on a simple, yet detailed dashboard. Not only will you be able to keep an eye on traffic, but you’ll also have the tools to track other vital metrics, like pageviews, unique visits, and subscriptions.

Keep track of your goals

Once you begin to gather some actionable data, it's a great idea to start developing goals around them. For example, if you find that users are coming from a specific part of the web, and you want to focus your branding and outreach at those locations, you'll have to start gearing all of your efforts toward that goal.

When you have a goal that affects multiple aspects of your business, it's important to track it, especially if you want to stay on-brand. Goal tracking becomes even more critical when you have more than one goal and don't want to cross the streams.

Review your findings

Before you can develop your goals, you'll need to make sense of the data you've gathered, decide what the numbers mean, and determine what to do about them. For example, suppose that your landing page is getting a lot of views, but your sales page is neglected. It's a good idea to do something about it. Naturally, your priority should be to update your landing pages so that more users make their way down the sales funnel.

What to look for when analyzing website traffic

When analyzing your website's traffic, you may be overwhelmed by the different metrics available. However, the metrics surrounding website traffic can help you identify ways to improve it and generate more sales.

Here are a few of the most important metrics to look for.

Average time on page

This is a measure of how long users stay on your site, which can provide insight into how different pages perform. Landing, product, content, and other types of pages have different linger times. Keep in mind that the amount of time someone should spend on a page may be unique to the particular page and your site. But there are industry standards you can use to compare.

Visitor type

We've talked about the right and the wrong types of visitors, but you want to focus on new and returning ones.

  • New visitors: These may still need convincing before they click "buy." New visitors may also have a specific product in mind when visiting your site. Does your site recognize and cater to new visitors, or does it let them slip through your fingers?
  • Returning visitors: Returning visitors are more likely to make a purchase. Are you answering their questions and trying to improve their experience with your brand, or are you leaving them to wander?

While we've introduced a few ways to classify your visors, you can categorize them any way you see fit. You may want to use the information you gather on your site to create a set of visitor types that more closely matches your true audience.

This idea is related to audience segmentation, which is important, especially when you have an established crowd of dedicated buyers. Mailchimp can help you segment and target your audience for more successful marketing campaigns that can drive traffic to your e-commerce store.

Bounce rate

Often confused with average time per page, bounce rate tracks how long users spend on your site in total. When visitors arrive on your landing page and navigate to your blog before looking through your sales pages, the bounce rate isn't measured in full until they leave your site altogether.

Bounce rate measures the average amount of time a visitor spends on your site before leaving. Are they showing up, becoming frustrated, and then immediately leaving, or are they hanging around–and if so, how long?

Getting the bounce rate of your site down is about knowing who your true audience is. It also revolves around knowing what they want and giving it to them before they decide to move on to a competitor. An important part of reducing bounce rates is understanding how your visitors are finding your site.

Traffic source

Your website’s traffic can come from different sources, including:

  • Organic: This is traffic made up of visitors that perform a web search and find your site through organic search engine results. When you understand how search engines work, and your SEO strategy is effective, organic traffic can drive people who want what you sell to your site in a natural way.
  • Direct: Direct traffic is a measure of brand awareness. Brand awareness is how well-known your brand is. Direct traffic often comes from people who know your brand and don't have to do any additional research to find it. While it can be challenging to track, it's not impossible.
  • Referrals: The source of this type of traffic typically comes from other people, such as influencers promoting your brand or individuals recommending you to a friend. Usually, the only way to know if you're getting referral traffic is to poll users. In many cases, you can use referral links to see where this kind of traffic is coming from.
  • Social: This traffic often finds your website via your social media presence. For example, advertisements that appear on social media, hashtags, and so forth. It's an important metric to track, even though it's difficult to do so. This is because visits that come through this medium can be mixed with other traffic sources. You can narrow it down to users who interact with your social media pages before moving on to your website.

Total number of visits

This is the total number of visits to your site. It's a pretty straightforward metric of all the traffic you get–regardless of where it comes from.

Conversion rate

This is how many people come to your site and become a customer. It can also be the number of people who visit your website and perform a desired action, like answering a poll, leaving comments, filling out a form, and so on. However, it means finalizing a purchase in most cases. Sometimes conversion rates include the number of clicks made before making a purchase, but not always.

To convert website visitors into customers, make sure to look for selling opportunities. For example, you may want to include more CTAs in your blogs or leverage abandoned cart emails to remind shoppers of what they left behind.

Exit rate

This is the rate of visitors coming to and leaving a web page compared to the total number of views for a site. Exits are often tracked per page rather than per site. It compares activity on one page of your site to other pages. If you're running a business with a sales page, you'll almost always have at least a landing page and a product page. In this case, the exit rates of one page compared to another will tell you a thing or two about how your pages and site are performing.

Other key metrics to track

The metrics we've discussed so far are some of the most important, common, and recommended ways to measure website traffic.

In most cases, these will be enough to help you get a thorough understanding of your website traffic. However, they're not the only metrics that can allow you to gain insight into the performance and health of your website. Here are a few others.

Lead generation costs

Otherwise known as lead generation ROI, lead generation costs is a measure of the time and money you put into bringing potential buyers to your site. The purpose of tracking it is to see whether or not you're getting the sales you need to justify it. You might think you're doing well, but if your costs outweigh your sales, you may not be making a profit.

Top visited pages

This is a ranking of which pages on your site get the most attention. This can provide more information as to what your audience is looking for. To get usable metrics, it helps to ensure each page is different from the others.

Track your website’s traffic with Mailchimp

Tracking your website's traffic can provide you with a lot of valuable information that can help you improve your site to boost revenue. While it can be done manually, you can easily track your traffic and get the most out of your data with innovative tools.

When you create a website with Mailchimp, you'll have access to an easy-to-read analytics dashboard and comprehensive SEO tools. This way, you can ensure your website receives quality traffic.

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