Most webmasters, for as long as the WWW has been a thing, have worked hard to increase traffic to their websites. Usually they recognize that more traffic doesn't necessarily equal more sales (hopefully) and perhaps they do know that increasing traffic at least increases the chance of a new sale.
Even when your goal is brand awareness and not sales or leads, increasing your traffic means that you increase your footprint.
The problem with traffic is that the quantity of visitors on your website is not necessarily an indicator of how well your website is performing. It's like the body mass index (BMI) of the marketing world. It's sort of an indicator.
Just like BMI doesn't measure body types, body fat percentage, healthy weight distributions and other key health indicators, quantity of visitors tracked will not give you an accurate read on the health of your website.
One of the best, free tools on the web to analyze user statistics, Google Analytics, allows you to achieve a better understanding of how users are not only using your website, but how they are arriving there in the first place. This could be through a number of means, including the percentage of users coming from search engines, other websites, or through traffic directly to your URL. You also can find out about how users are navigating the internal pages of your website, where they are dropping off, and whether or not they are completing your desired goals.
In my opinion, there are three key things you need to understand in order to successfully manage and improve the traffic on your website.
- Traffic Sources: Understanding from where your traffic comes allows you to modify tactics that aren't working and continue to improve those that are. If you are getting 90% of your traffic from social media, you might consider working on improving your search engine placement (or vice versa).
- View Where Users Leave: Discovering what pages where users leave your website can be very insightful. In fact, if they are leaving too fast, or bouncing, there might be problems with your advertising sources or the way your website is configured. If they are leaving after completing your primary goal then there is little concern, however if they are dropping out in the middle of the process, there may be things that you can do to better retain users.
- Set Conversion Goals: Setting goals for your users is also very important. You can monitor the percentage of users who are filling out your contact form, making a purchase, or downloading an item such as a Whitepaper.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your analytics on, now.