This is a guest post from community member, Seth Leonard. He’s got some great stuff for you today.
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Recently I was speaking with a friend who wanted to get more out of her website. She was only bringing in one or two new clients a month and wanted to know what she could do to dramatically increase that number.
To answer that question I first needed a better understanding of her website visitors. Only then could we work on improving her results (which we did).
And that’s exactly what I’m going to share with you today: what you need to know about your website visitors in order to maximize your results.
We’ll start with a few key website analytics and what they mean for your success. Then I’ll show you how to start tracking them yourself.
Let’s begin with…
The Number of Visitors
Many people use this number as a gauge of their popularity. And while this is a good way to know if your website is growing, it’s far more valuable to think of your visitors as real people, each one a potential customer.
For that reason, I like to track the number of my unique visitors.
That number then becomes my baseline for assessing the effectiveness of my site. In the case of my friend above, if her website was only getting 1-2 unique visitors per month, then she would be converting 100% of her visitors into clients, which would be great. Then the issue would be getting more traffic.
And if she was getting 1,000 unique visitors a month, she would be failing to convert a huge portion of her traffic into clients. Then the issue would be improving her website conversion.
Failing to convert your website visitors probably means that your website needs help. Look at your content, design, and other elements you use to entice visitors. See what you can do better. But poor conversion could also mean that you aren’t getting the right website visitors.
Getting the right web visitors is actually more important than getting a large number. What’s the right kind of web visitor? Someone interested in what you’re offering.
If you run a dog walking business called “Padded Feet” and you’re getting lots of visitors searching for padded running shoes, it probably doesn’t matter how amazing your website is, they’re not going to buy what you’re selling.
I recommend tracking broad categories of traffic sources (search engines, social media, links) as well as individual websites and search keywords that send a lot of traffic your way.
If you are getting traffic that doesn’t match what you’re offering, make sure you’re promoting yourself accurately, and in places appropriate for your website.
You should also stop spending time on sources that are not delivering visitors to your website and invest your time and effort in those sources that are actually getting results.
One really good way to determine the quality of your visitors is to understand what they do when they get to your website. If they only visit one page and leave, then either you don’t have the right audience, or you’re not conveying your value well enough.
This is why tracking the paths your visitors take can really boost the effectiveness of your website.
Pay attention to the number of visitors who make it to the page(s) you most want them to see. If you have an order form, how many people are seeing it? If you have people signing up to your email list, how many are doing so?
Constantly (and I mean constantly) work to increase the number of people getting where you want them to go. Ensure that you are driving them to the right pages via your navigation, links, sidebar, etc.
If they still aren’t getting where you want them to go, make sure your traffic sources are delivering the type of visitors who would want to get to those pages.
How To Set It Up
The easiest way to track any of this visitor data for your website is to use
Google Analytics. You can sign up for a free account here. All of the numbers I mentioned above can be found quite easily using Analytics and the screenshots I used came directly from my account there. If you’re using WordPress, you can easily install the Google Analytics code using
That’s it. Three numbers you can start tracking today that will tell you where you should be focusing your efforts, and how you can boost the results you’re getting from your website.
Once you start digging into the world of tracking, it becomes a really fun way to learn more about the people you are serving. You’ll also get a great deal of satisfaction out of seeing your numbers climb!
What indicators do you use to assess your progress? How can you use the ideas above to get a better understanding of your visitors and your website performance? Let me know in the comments.
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Seth Leonard trains and mentors people who want to build dynamic, successful websites. Right now on
his blog he is offering the free guide, Seven Hidden Laws To Building A Dynamic Website.