Analyzing Your Website Traffic to Understand User Experience

Looking at your website traffic is something you should do on a regular basis so you can better understand how your visitors navigate through your site and why they do the things that they do. Things such as average page views, bounce rate, average time spent on site and top content are all things that should give insight on what your users like and what they don’t like. Since you are likely the owner or manager of the website you are running, you will never truly be able to simulate a user experience on your own simply because you know alot more about your product than your customers do. Below are a few things at when analyzing your traffic:

Bounce Rate:

Bounce rate is the % of times a user enters and leave on the same page. Depending on your industry and the nature of your website, this % will vary. Obviously the lower the better but to really understand why they are bouncing take a look at the average time spent on each page. Are they reading your information, getting what they need and then leaving (spending 2 minutes or more on your website), or are they coming and leaving fairly quickly? If they leave quickly than you need to most likely re-arrange things in a fashion that the user will see what they came for and get more information. If the user comes, stays for a little while and then leaves without requesting more information, than you need to either give them a little less information or give them reasons to navigate through the rest of your site a little. Soft sells or calls to action is high trafficked spots on your website will help. Using key areas in your website real estate to try and get the user to do something rather than using these spots for information purposes. Ask them to join your email list to get free information regarding what they came to your site for.

Average Page Views:

If you have a low average page views number than your content probably needs to be re written or moved around. Try possibly taking a survey of some sort seeing what your current customers are most interested in about your service, or why they use you or your product. Take this information and structure it in a way that the users can navigate through your site and not get all the information they need on one page but enough to keep them interested throughout the whole site. As you see this improve, start implementing calls to action in certain spots as well.

Search Engine Traffic vs Direct Traffic:

This is a little more advanced but one way to try and increase conversion is showing different content based on the source of the traffic. People who are coming directly to your site usually (not always) were referred by someone or have a little more information than usual about your product or service. Possibly think about making the conversion funnel for these visitors a little shorter as they probably don’t need as much information, they just need a little nudge to contact you. Search engine traffic is usually visitors that know what they need or want, just looking for a person to buy it from. Present yourself in a fashion that will showcase your product, it’s features and how it will solve your customer’s problem and then give them a call to action on why they should contact you, buy the product or get more information.

There are ways to detect this in your code and doing it safely. Don’t redirect them to certain pages as if done incorrectly Google may flag you for cloaking. Simply make your page dynamic in a way that you can display information that is more beneficial to the user based on the information you have gathered about the source and other details.

SEO Tips for Business Owners

Are you a business owner that doesnt have a full time web or seo person? Here are some tips that can help you improve your rankings that you can do on your own.

1.) Get your vendors or customers to put a link on their point to your website.

Getting 1 way in bound links for relevant websites is very important and can make a big difference. Links should only be from relevant website and the link anchor text should closely match the keywords that you would like to rank well for. For example, if I wanted a customer to post a link back to my website, it might say “Website Design & SEO” and if you click the link it opens my home (epicwebaz.com).

2.) Update your website on a regular basis with fresh compelling content

Google an all major search engines don’t like old stale websites. Search engines love fresh content that isn’t found anywhere else on the internet. Don’t ever duplicate anyones content and always make sure that you are writing your own content. Copying content from other web pages is considered duplicate content and is an easy way to get penalized or even banned from the search engine. One way of of adding fresh content is setting up a blog (wordpress, joomla, etc..).

3.) Social media

Most all social media is free, so you should always take advantage of it. Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in etc… can be a valuable tool for most business’s i. Following basic marketing practices with these is essential.

  • Only post business related information
  • Offer deals or discounts to try and guage ROI from these services
  • Use common sense when utilizing these tools, everyone can see what your posting so keep it clean.

Also, checkout HootSuite.com, this tool will help you manage all your social media and integrate it into one dashboard.

4.) Use Google Analytics, it’s free and powerful

Google Analytics gives you valuable information about your website such as keyword traffic, referring websites, bounce rate, etc… This tool is free and fairly easy to setup, contact your webmaster and have them install a small piece of tracking code on each page you want to track and just sit back and wait. After a few days you can analyze your traffic and make changes to your content to target different visitors.

5.) Don’t use a lot of flash

Flash looks great, and if used in moderation can make a website really pop but is also a double edged sword. Search engines at this point in time can’t really index websites that are all flash because they contain no text. The basis of search engine algorithms is that they crawl every website on the internet, index the text and rank you based on certain factors in relation to that text. If there is no text to index, then you can’t rank for anything. If you have a full flash website, just make sure you have an html version made and modify your robots.txt file to exclude the flash version from being crawled. Having an HTML version is also handy for people with slower connections.

I will be adding more tips as I go, but here are a few free resources that can be used to help your website rank better. These are intended for anyone with basic computer/internet knowledge. If you would like a free SEO or website analysis please call me.

Thanks

Nick Julia

Office: 623-252-3584