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Data & Analytics

Get Comfy with Your Site: Data You Should Check Each Month

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Users are actually telling you how to improve your inbound content marketing

Inbound marketing is driven by content. Content is driven by storytelling. Maybe one day we can beam it directly into the minds of prospects, but until that day comes, we depend on bringing prospects to our website. Is yours doing the job?

The stats will tell you – that is, if you’re paying attention. Thanks to technology, you don’t need to be a brainiac to interpret what they’re telling you. The story they tell helps you make adjustments that bring about a happy ending, but only if you’re paying attention.

Three key questions

Website analytics reward you with insight into visitor behavior. The data provides perspective and answers to these important performance-related questions:

  • Is my website growing?
  • Is my website converting?
  • What are visitors doing on my website?

These are broad questions, and analytics can help you dive deeper. Growth is good, but what content is driving it? What percentage of the growth is from new visitors? Conversion is often your goal, so where and when is it happening – or not happening?

Drawing more prospects is a shallow victory if they don’t stay to engage with the content you’ve created to help convert them to customers. Where are they going, and how many pages are they viewing?

Get comfy with these five metrics

  1. Visits: This is your “big picture” statistic. It’s the total number of website visitors during a given time frame. You want that number to increase over time, naturally, and that tells the story of growth. But some types of growth are better than others.
  2. Unique visitors: This statistic measures each visitor just once during a given time frame. Why do you want to differentiate between unique and repeat visitors?

    In a perfect world, a prospect (user) makes a purchase on their first visit. It’s more likely that they’ll come back a few times before that happens. Growing overall visits is a good initial step, but it’s good to know if they’re fresh eyeballs or folks coming back for more.

    Your website keeps track of visits by giving each visitor a cookie. If they return before the cookie expires, you’ll know they’re not a new unique visitor.
  3. Page views: Nothing tricky about this. The statistic measures how many pages were looked at by your visitors. An increase in this stat is a likely indicator that your content is resonating.

    Comparing this metric with conversion or sales will tell you whether the content is accomplishing its objective in moving customers further along the sales funnel.
  4. Average duration or average time spent on the site: How long do visitors stay? The total time on the site divided by the total visits give you average time on the site. The longer they stay, the more engaged they are. It’s a good thing.
  5. Bounce rate: This is the balance to the amount of time spent on the site. Your website’s bounce rate is the percentage of total visitors who leave after visiting only one page. It doesn’t matter how long they examine that one page, either.

    A high bounce rate is indicative that your visitors aren’t finding or are not pleased with what they see. It’s important to know the real cause here. You might actually have awesome content but poor website performance. Neil Patel has collected some sobering statistics about slow websites, noting that a “One-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversion.”

Where, oh were?

What’s happening on your website is important, but you’ve also got to know and measure where visitors are coming from. Your website analytics will keep track of four main sources.

  1. Search: Google is king of the mountain, but it’s not the only search engine out there. They trail far behind, but Bing, Baidu, Yahoo and Yandex round out the top five search engines.

    These four non-Google sources represent nearly 20% of global searches. There’s much insight to be gained by how you’re found on these search engines, particularly whether it’s organic or because you paid these search engines to be found.
  2. Referrals: Consider this to be the word-of-mouth of the internet. Another website has sent you a visitor. How can you use this as a marketing advantage?
  3. Direct: Bookmarks make up the majority of this source, but there are still those who will type a short and memorable URL into their address bar.
  4. Other: These are produced by your email campaigns, as well as social media links.

Interpreting the numbers

Regular checks of your analytics reward you with answers to crucial questions that go beyond the three we already shared. It’s great to know how search engines are contributing to your website’s growth, but what keywords are searchers using? You’ll want to incorporate the most popular keywords when creating new content.

And speaking of content, what are the most popular pages people seek out on your website? They’ll want more, and you’ll know where to keep your focus.

If you’ve got it configured correctly, Google Analytics can provide you with these stats – and much more. HubSpot took a stab at demystifying this powerful tool. The most useful part of this in-depth piece looks at Google Analytics Reports.

If you are looking for help with content creation, social media, landing pages, etc., let us know! We’d love to get to know you and see how we can sprinkle some bacon on your digital presence.

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