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February 21, 2022

How to Monitor Your Website Traffic: A Simple Guide

To stay ahead in the highly competitive online business space, you need to measure the success of your marketing strategy.  

The only way you’ll improve results and increase conversions is if you track your visitors and evaluate what they do when they land on your website.  This will show you which of your tactics are working and which ones haven’t performed.  It’ll help you identify trends and ensure your resources and budget are being allocated optimally.  

How to Monitor Your Website Traffic

The most important element here is keeping track of your website traffic.

Luckily, there are plenty of powerful yet easy-to-use tools which allow you to measure and analyse traffic.  You can then use this vital information to make improvements to drive business growth and increase revenues.

Google Search Console

An important first step is setting up Google Search Console.

Google Search Console is the only place where you can find a list of the search terms that Google is ranking your website for.  It’s also the only place that gives you the number of clicks on each keyword, you can’t find this information at all inside Google Analytics. 

Once Google Search Console has been set up and verified, you can link it to Google Analytics.  Once the two accounts have been linked together. you can then find information on website traffic under the section ‘Acquisition/Search Console/Queries’ section in Google Analytics.   If the two haven’t been linked, you won’t see any information on keyword data on Google Analytics. The old version of Google Analytics (Universal Analytics) is being replaced with Google Analytics 4. If you haven’t upgraded to GA4 yet, you really should, you can find out more in our “Why You Should Upgrade To GA4

Google Analytics

With an SEO strategy, it’s always best to set goals, especially around the growth of organic traffic to your website and conversions from organic traffic alongside this.  This enables you to analyse the different elements of your campaign against your objectives and determine where your resources are being allocated optimally.  As mentioned earlier, measuring website traffic is the most crucial metric and is the starting point for further analytics.

However, as we all know, stats and numbers only tell half the story.  The real value in measuring your website traffic comes from delving deeper into the data to uncover meaningful insights such as bounce rates, page views and conversions.

Here are some other key things which you should track in order to boost traffic and increase sales.

  • Organic search traffic
  • Traffic Source
  • Page views
  • Bounce rate
  • Conversions
  • Visits (also known as sessions)

Organic Search traffic: This is the number of visitors who land on your website from unpaid sources (typically after discovering your webpage in the organic search results on Google, Bing etc). In Google Analytics click on Acquisition/All Traffic/Channels to see how much traffic you have coming from organic search from all search engines. 

Traffic Source:  This shows exactly where traffic is coming from.  You can see which elements of your digital marketing yield the most traffic and which are therefore the most worthwhile. This is one of my favourite reports. You can find this in Google Analytics under Acquisition/All Traffic and then Source Medium. Take note of the columns in this table that shows you bounce rate, pages per session and average session duration for each source of traffic to get an indication of the quality of the traffic. If the bounce rate is high and the website visitor leaves straight away then the traffic is not good quality. Bear in mind that sometimes if you see a high bounce rate and low average session time from a Direct source of traffic, this is often bot traffic. 

Page Views:  Every time someone loads – or reloads – a page in their browser, it registers as a Page View.  

Bounce Rate:  This relates to the number of visitors who land on one of your web pages and then leaves without clicking through or interacting with any other pages of the site.  A low bounce rate generally indicates that your site is engaging, appealing, relevant and of help/use to visitors.

Conversions:  A conversion is when a site visitor completes a desired action.  This could be anything from visiting a particular page, clicking on a call button, requesting a call-back, filling in a form, submitting contact details, spending a certain amount of time on a page, sharing content, clicking through to your social pages etc. I would highly recommend taking the time to set up goals in Google Analytics. 

To conclude…

Monitoring website traffic is undoubtedly the most crucial diagnostic tool in any SEO campaign  It’s not difficult to do and with tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics, it’s possible to get quality information that can help you maximise the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts. If you’re just getting started with SEO find out more with my free Starter Kit.

To discover more about these tools and how to use them effectively, you may also be interested in my online course, The SEO School.  It’s a really helpful, easy-to-follow and hands-on course that takes you through all the key elements of SEO so that you can boost your traffic and get your website where it belongs – at the top of the search engine rankings. 

To find out more, please visit The SEO School or email me via the website.  I’d love to hear from you!

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