Do you know where your website traffic comes from?  Having an up-to-date website with engaging content is important but being able to track and analyze website traffic is a task that all small business owners should also put at the top of their ‘to do’ list.  Small business owners need to know more than just how many visits/hits their website receives in a month.  Understanding traffic sources, demographics of who visited the website,  and how visitors are accessing the website (i.e. desktop vs. mobile device) are a few of the key factors for determining  how successful a website is and can provide insights into areas where improvements can be made.

According to a recent infographic by HostGator, there are 3 key considerations when it comes to understanding your website traffic:


1.    What Are Your Traffic Sources?

    • Search engines are a popular medium for driving traffic to a website as 93% of online time begins with a search engine (i.e. Google, Yahoo).
    • Organic search results are more popular with individuals using a search engine to find information. One study discovered that 70% of links search users click on are organic (i.e. a listing that appears due to the relevance of a search term) instead of a paid advertisement.
    • The source of your website traffic comes from a combination of sources including: 1) organic search results, 2) paid search results, 3) referral traffic, 4) direct traffic, and 5) non-consumer traffic (i.e. bots). Business owners need to pay attention to the multiple sources of traffic to determine which source(s) is most effective in reaching current and potential customers.
    • Non-consumer traffic (AKA bot traffic) is essentially traffic artificially generated by automated bots/spiders.  Non-consumer traffic can skew your results and can lead to wasted money on advertising. 


2.    Visitor Demographics 

    • Understanding who is visiting your website will help small business owners tailor any content, special offers, or resources (like eBooks, datasheets, videos) to specific demographic groups.
    • Did you know that there is a difference between men and women when it comes to the type of websites they are motivated to visit?  According to one study, men are more likely to visit websites for entertainment, games and music while women are more likely to use social networking sites.


3.    Visitor Behavior

    • Researches have discovered that the popularity of a specific online activity depends on age group. For example, a recent study found that 69% of the Older Boomers age group surveyed go online to buy a product while only 48% of the Teens age group surveyed go online to buy products.
    • Understanding that online activities differ between age groups can help small business owners make decisions when it comes to the type of content that they highlight on their website.


Website Monitoring Tools

Google Analytics

  • One of the most popular website monitoring tools on the market is Google Analytics.  According to Google, over 10 million website use Google Analytics.
  • This service provides a variety of detailed statistics about a website’s traffic, traffic sources, insights about how visitors are using your site, customized reports, and more.
  • Google Analytics is available in 2 versions: Standard (free) or Premium ($150 annual flat fee)

* HubSpot

  • HubSpot makes analyzing data easy by offering a user-friendly interface to view all of your website traffic data.  
  • HubSpot customers have access to reports that summarize data including traffic sources, page performance, landing page analytics, email marketing analytics, calls-to-action analytics and more.


Tips for Improving Website Traffic

  1. Use headings containing important keywords
  2. Ensure website content is relevant to potential queries/searches
  3. Establish a presence on major social media sites (like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ etc.)
  4. Include social sharing buttons beside/below content
  5. Build an audience for your social media
  6. Focus on posting quality content on your website that engages visitors
  7. Post fresh content on your website on a regular basis
  8. Create a guest blog post for another website to increase exposure for your company website
  9. Ensure that your website has a good layout and loads quickly
  10. Give visitors the chance to subscribe to your content (i.e. blog, newsletter)


 For more information on the topic of website traffic, scroll through the HostGator’s infographic:

A Roadmap to Your Website

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.