As we mentioned many times on this blog and in our marketing materials, your website is the most important component of your digital presence and strategy. It should be serving as a hub for other accounts and services you own online, such as social media accounts and email campaigns. All of the traffic you receive from those accounts and services should be funneled back to your website to convert more visitors into clients and customers. You likely have a good idea whether or not your website is successfully working as whole, but what if some sections or components of it are more successful than others? How can you tell whether certain parts of your website may have to be redesigned or replaced? The following tools can help you measure the popularity of each page in your website.
Utilizing Your CMS Admin Tools
The first step to understanding how your clients and website visitors are using your site is to utilize the tools you already have available as part of your Content Management System (CMS). Your CMS doesn’t just provide the foundation and structure of your website, it also manages and monitors your site on an ongoing basis. By logging into the admin console, you can access data and statistics that provide a basic picture of how many visitors you have and what pages are accessed most frequently. If you are unfamiliar with the admin tools available through your CMS platform, or if you don’t have to the time to access this data and study it, your website administrator can access, collect and analyze the data for you.
Integrating Your Website With Google Analytics
While your CMS can provide some meaningful statistics and data, the Google Analytics service can provide a lot more information about who is visiting your website, how and from where they were referred, and which pages of your website are being visited the most. Google Analytics is also integrated with AdWords, so if you’re using the AdWords service, you’ll be able to track even more information about the effectiveness of your marketing and your website. The Google Analytics service is free for most websites, although it does require integration into your CMS platform – if you use WordPress, there are a number of plugins available that make integrating your website with Google Anayltics convenient and relatively easy.
Google Analytics metrics that you should actively monitor to gain a clear understanding of your website’s traffic:
- Visits: This basic but important metric measures how many times your website has been accessed.
- Unique visitors: This metric only records how many unique users visited your site. If one person accessed your site multiple times a day, they are only recorded as one unique visitor.
- Pages per visit: This metric will record how many pages each of your visitors have accessed during a session.
- Average visit duration: This metric will measure how long a visitor spends on a website.
- Bounce rate: This metric measures how many visitors “bounce” from your website, or abruptly leave completely from the first page they accessed.
- Percentage of new visits: This metric measures how many new visitors visit your website. Depending on if you want to attract new visitors or have the same visitors frequently return, you may want to maximize or minimize this metric.