How to measure website traffic?
If you have a website, whether a business, personal or corporate blog, it is important to understand how your page visits should be measured . Website traffic analysis provides, on the one hand, very valuable information about who visits your site, how they interact with it and, secondly, it helps you make good decisions to improve the performance of the site.
Without intending to make a complete guide, since the topic is complex, we are going to set some guidelines for correct traffic measurement.
Table of Contents
Why is it so important to measure web traffic?
1. Performance evaluation
Let’s start from an initial mantra that may seem obvious: “what is not measured is useless” , in the sense that we will not know what the performance of something is if we do not carry out an adequate measurement that is scaffolded on KPIs (key performance indicators). performance) well thought out. In the case at hand, measuring web traffic, we can only correctly evaluate the performance of a site if we know: what attracts visitors? How long do they stay on the page? Which pages are the most popular?
Could we add more questions? Of course, depending on the degree of analysis we want to reach.
Identifying the audience is essential since this information will help us create valuable content that is more appropriate and appropriate for those who visit us and, therefore, establish more effective marketing strategies.
A web page is permanent advertising content 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The analysis of your traffic will help us refine the target to which our SEM and Social Media Ads campaigns will be directed, in addition to the valuable content that we want to disseminate on Social Networks.
The biggest mistake we can make is to maintain the belief that once a website has been designed and uploaded to the Internet, we have already finished that process and we can let it sleep waiting for the returns. On the contrary, since one of the characteristics of “digital” is its permanent dynamism, the website, based on traffic analysis, must be constantly optimized based on who its visitors are and what interests them most. .
4. Measuring the success of the strategy
If online marketing campaigns have the objective of bringing visitors to your website where you offer services or to your online store where the conversion consists of selling your products, it is obvious that a good measurement of the traffic that these campaigns provide will help optimize the results. ads in particular or the SEM or Social Media Ads strategy in general and, therefore, the investment.
Tools to measure web traffic
We already have the arguments to understand the importance of measurement, now comes the time to know the tools that we have at our disposal knowing that within a while we will have to update this content because new tools will appear.
1. Google Analytics 4
Our old well-known Google Analytics, updated in 2023 from Universal to the current version of GA4, is one of the most used and recognized web traffic analysis tools among digital marketing managers to work on web analytics .
It is a free tool that offers a wide range of metrics and data, from the number of visitors, to geographic location, time spent on the site, most viewed pages, among many other KPIs.
2. Google Search Console
This is another of the free tools that Google makes available to us. In this case, Google Search Console focuses on the organic visibility of your website in Google search results by providing information about the keywords that generate traffic to your site, crawl errors and the position of your site in the results. search. It is a particularly useful tool for the SEO optimization of a website.
We have before us a web traffic analysis tool focused on keyword research, website audit and competitor monitoring. Therefore we can obtain information about the performance of our website by comparing it with those of competitors, in addition to being able to discover and expand keywords with options that we had not considered.
Key metrics to measure web traffic
It is time to present the key metrics that we must analyze to effectively measure web traffic.
1. Visits or Sessions
We start with the most basic, the visits. A visit or session is the interaction of an individual user with a web page during a specified period of time. In other words, how many times users have visited your website.
2. Page Views
This concept indicates how many pages of your website have been viewed in total during a specific period of time . This metric is useful for understanding what content is most popular among users who have visited it.
3. Unique Users
With this metric we count the number of different people who have visited our page in a given period of time, thus arriving at the actual number of people who interact with our site.
4. Bounce rate
With this KPI we measure the percentage of visitors who leave our website by viewing a single page, without further interaction. We thus know that a high bounce rate means that the content of the page or its design needs urgent optimization.
5. Time spent on the Site
The more time a user spends on our website, the greater their commitment to our brand and their clear opinion that the content is attractive and valuable. This metric represents the average length of time a visitor spends on the site.
6. Origin of Traffic
It is very important to know the origin of the traffic on our website in order to establish an optimal online marketing campaign. This metric can be divided into three main categories: organic traffic that comes from search engines, referral traffic, which comes from other websites, and direct traffic, that is, users who directly type the URL of our site into the search engine. .
With this term we group any specific action that we want users to perform on our website , from filling out a data form, making a purchase in our online store or subscribing to a newsletter to receive information and/or commercial offers. The monitoring we do on the conversions achieved helps us evaluate the effectiveness of our website from the parameter of the set objectives.
Organic Search Engine Positioning or SEO is essential. There are a series of keywords that can generate traffic to our website. It is, therefore, very important to identify them in order to optimize the content of our website and thus increase visibility in search engines . That is to say, if a keyword can illuminate with a very precise focus the place where our needle is located within the haystack of the Internet, isn’t it logical to use it?
Steps to measure website traffic
We already have the tools and metrics, let’s now review the protocol that we must follow:
1. Analysis Tool Configuration
Once we have chosen the tool we are going to use, it is important to carry out a correct configuration, ensuring that all the data we need is collected.
2. Establishment of Goals
Defining the specific objectives that we want to achieve on our website is very important, otherwise, if we want to make a comparison that serves as an example, it would be sailing without a compass, that is, without a destination. Increased sales, increased traffic, increased dwell time, increased forms can be good goals to work with.
What good is all of the above if the results are not monitored? Very little. It is not enough to configure the tool, the biggest mistake is forgetting about it. Reviewing the reports that the tool offers us is one of the regular and obligatory actions of every digital marketing manager. A good analysis of the results can lead to good decision making when establishing strategies, proposing optimizations, etc.
4. Strategy Adjustment
The data collected are the “arguments” to maintain or change a strategy. The principle is clear, “change what doesn’t work, enhance what does.” A high bounce rate does not indicate that something is not right and we should review the content because something is happening. However, a high rate of traffic that generates conversions tells us to invest more.
5. The Competition has something to contribute
Permanent monitoring of the competition can provide us with valuable ideas when optimizing our website. We cannot make the mistake of believing that beyond the limits of our website the world does not exist. Let’s remember that idea that we have advanced on some occasions: digital marketing is in permanent movement and whoever stays still disappears.
The health of our website is based on continuous measurement of its traffic. This monitoring of the performance of the website, the audience and the effectiveness of digital marketing strategies provides us with more than valuable information so that the actions we carry out are the most convenient and that our business continues to be successful.
We must not forget that it is very important to use the most appropriate tools and, above all, be up to date in terms of the improvements they offer us, almost obsessively avoiding being outdated.
Time is valuable and even more so if we dedicate it to analysis . A digital marketing manager spends most of his time analyzing reports and drawing conclusions to launch actions that improve results. After all, digital is in constant motion and a manager must be as well.