Many of us browse through our website statistics and find the results interesting. We may even murmur an “mm” of appreciation or “oh” of surprise. But what concrete conclusions can you draw from the number of visitors? Or how can you effectively optimize your website based on the statistics you see?
In this article, we take a closer look at each of the stats in our new Statistics View and Boost App, and explain how you can avoid some common misinterpretations.
Number of visitors
The number of all numbers—visitors are a clear indicator of the success of your website. A high (or increasing) number of visitors suggests that the content of your page is highly relevant—no complicated math required here. But not all visitor numbers are created equally
In short: More visitors mean more customers, readers or prospects. So if you manage to increase your traffic in a certain amount of time, you’ve turned on the right screws with relevant content, SEO, or great marketing.
Good to know: Despite the simple calculation of “more visitors = more success” you can’t always compare different websites. You might measure the success of a “niche” website in other ways than a well-known travel blog. In other words, if you have a smaller audience, your number of visitors per month doesn’t have to be four digits. Success is relative to your industry.
Referrer / Sources
People often overlook the sources (or referrers) of website traffic, but they’re an important part of your statistics. Referrers tell you where your website visitors come from–these are the sources of your traffic. Maybe it’s Google, maybe it’s another website that has recommended you and provided a link to your website.
Your sources show you where you’re getting good publicity and where there’s still potential. For example, if you get a lot of visitors from Google, your SEO is probably working well. If Google isn’t sending you much traffic at all, this might be an area where you should focus some attention.
In short: Referrers are a valuable piece of information. By knowing how and where users have found your site, you will find out where there’s potential for optimization.
Good to know: It’s important that the sources of traffic you tap into are consistent with your target group and your project. Ask yourself where you find your target group and how you want to address them. For example, if you sell organic baby toys, a place like Mumsnet could be a great source of traffic. If you’re not currently receiving many visitors via referrers, traffic sources offer a huge potential for your business.
Looking at the number of visitors alone is no guarantee that you’re reaching the right people. This is why you need to take a look at the relevance of your website. In general, you can assume that the longer visitors spend time on your site, the more relevant your content is to them. This also increases the probability that visitors are the “right” kind of customers for you, and that they’ll take the action you want them to take, whether that’s making a purchase, downloading your album, or just getting in touch with you.
In Jimdo Dolphin and the Boost app, we measure “relevance” by looking at how long visitors stay and how many pages they visit while they’re on your site. So you can see at a glance how relevant your content is to visitors and you can follow the evolution of whether relevancy is going up or down. This helps you to continually optimize your content.
In short: The more time visitors spend on a particular page, the more interesting the content is for them. Therefore, the length of stay is a meaningful indicator to determine your website’s relevance. If you’re seeing that your relevance is low, it might be time to review your content and make sure that it’s valuable, interesting, and easy for your potential customers to use.
Good to know: The length of stay alone doesn’t always give you the full picture of the relevance of your entire website. For example, if your website is a Contact page with details of your company, it’s totally fine if visitors don’t spend much time on this page—as long as the number of visitors remains stable. This is the case with many craft shops or restaurants.
Both Jimdo Dolphin and Google Analytics show you which pages are especially popular. So you have a clear insight into which content gets the most clicks and on which pages.
In short: If certain content works well continue to post similar content and expand on this. It’s useful to take a look at what your popular pages are so you can learn lessons from what works well and apply it to other pages. You can also try adding important announcements and CTAs on popular pages instead of unpopular ones.
Good to know: If you have a blog, you’ll know that certain posts attract all the clicks while others tend to live in the shadows. This is normal, but you might try to analyze which aspects (theme, heading, images, style) of a popular post can be transferred to other posts or pages.
The period comparison feature is a goldmine of information to help you continuously improve your website. By setting specific time periods in the statistics and then comparing them to each other, you get an idea of whether or not you should make changes to your website. For example, add new items, or store products that could attract more visitors.
The period comparison feature can be used to draw effective conclusions, especially if you take the trouble to log changes to your site.
In short: Seasonal ups and downs occur in almost every website. So don’t panic when things aren’t going so well. Pinpoint the month when the most notable up and down peaks occur then try to match this with a certain event or season. For example, maybe you saw a peak around March and early February, then a decline after mid-February. This could be due to people searching for presents around Valentine’s day.
Good to know: When comparing the time period don’t forget that external influences can also play a role in your success. For example, website owners often see fewer visitors during the summer—when people are simply spending less time on the Internet. Similarly, events such as a football World Cup can be a blessing for certain sites ;-)
What statistic do you find the most interesting? And do you regularly use the numbers to adjust your website? Let us know in the comments!