Traffic is something that is talked a lot about online, and with good reason as it is vital for all sites. That being said, people tend to focus heavily on “how many” and often overlook “where” your website visitors are coming from. I feel that this is a mistake, which is what I want to talk about in this post.
So Where Are My Website Visitors Coming From?
Many experienced website owners will agree that one of the most important pieces of information you should learn (and keep an eye on) is where your website visitors are coming from. If you can tell where your website traffic is coming from, you have a better overall understanding of your site as a whole.
Key information that you will want to learn about your site includes;
Where in the world your website visitors are coming from,
What websites are sending you traffic (known as referrers),
Which social media sites send you the most traffic,
Which keywords & keyphrases are sending you the most traffic,
Which type of device (desktop, mobile, tablet, etc) are people viewing your site with,
Which browsers (Chrome, Safari, Explorer, Firefox, etc.) are people viewing your site with,
This information will give you a MUCH greater picture of how your website is performing online, as well as allowing you to see key areas that you can improve upon.
By far the easiest and most effective way of learning this information is by setting up Google Analytics for your site. A vital tool for any site, it allows you to monitor all the above mentioned info, as well as statistics like; number of visitors, pageviews, bounce rate, average time spent on a page and much, much more!
Where In The World Are Your Website Visitors From?
This is by far my favourite piece of information to take a look at for a site. I find it amazing to learn just how far reaching a website can be, as you can often be blind to that when sat at a desk all day. Seeing that your site is getting lots of hits from other countries from all around the world can really inspire you to push on and create an even better site.
With Google Analytics, not only can use see your site traffic statistics from each individual country, but you can also view continental traffic, sub-continental region traffic and even traffic from individual cities!
So, why is this information important? Well, not only does it give you a more accurate representation of who your site visitors are but it allows you to tailor content to a more targeted audience.
For example, let’s say that you ran a sports blog. You may tend to write a lot of posts on Football as that is what interests you, but having checked your Analytics and found that the majority of your visitors were from India, you may want to focus more on sports that they like (i.e. Cricket).
Not only that but knowing where your visitors are from, you can work around national holidays and even work them into your site somehow. Why not run a promotion around Thanksgiving for your American readers, mention the Chinese New Year for your Asian readers (which is on a different date that our New Year) or get into the spirit of Bonfire night for UK readers. All that helps to reinforce your relationship with your global readers, not just the ones who you “think” are visiting your site.
Which Websites Are Sending You Traffic?
Take a look at your Analytics data to see which websites are sending you the most traffic. You may find a new site that has linked to you, written a review about you or mentioned you in a post.
A good thing to look out for is “how” these sites as a whole are sending traffic to you. Let’s say that you had 100 sites linking to you, but 99% of that traffic was coming from one single site. That would tell you that;
You need to get more links to try and diversify (as if that 1 link were to disappear, you’d lose out on a lot of traffic),
The site sending you so much traffic is clearly a great site to try and get mentioned more on.
This is a great way to look at improving your linking strategy. Find what is working and try to replicate that, and for what isn’t working try to concentrate on different methods.
Which Social Media Sites Send You The Most Traffic?
Social media should be a key part in your marketing strategy, but that doesn’t mean that you should be spending equal amounts of time on each. Doing that would eat up a LOT of time, which could be better spent doing other things, such as creating content.
Depending on your site, you may find that despite your best efforts your Twitter campaign just isn’t sending you any traffic, whereas Facebook is. If that’s the case, you may be better off spending more time on that instead.
Looking at it a different way, you may feel that you need to step up your efforts on the social sites that aren’t working so well. Maybe try marketing yourself in a different way and switching up your daily routine.
Which Keywords & Keyphrases Are Sending You The Most Traffic?
Finding out what your most popular keywords & keyphrases are can really help you. Not only will you see how people are finding you on the search engines, but it gives you a better idea of what you should be aiming for more of in the future.
For example, let’s say that you run a cooking blog. You may write on a whole host of different cooking recipes, but learn that the keywords/keyphrases that are sending you the most traffic are ones about baking. In that case, perhaps you should spend more time writing baking recipes as that is clearly what is bringing in the traffic.
Which Type Of Devices Are People Viewing Your Site With?
The internet is changing! More and more people are browsing the web on their smart phones or tablets whilst on the go. This means that it is VITAL that you site is responsive (mobile friendly) for people to access.
Checking your stats can help you see whether there is a problem with your site that you may not be aware of. You may notice that your mobile visitors have significantly dropped in the last month, which could indicate there is an issue that needs fixing. Alternatively, maybe you are only getting visitors from iPhone users, which may mean there is a problem for Android users getting on your site.
This information can be key if you can’t check your site manually. Personally, I use an Android phone, so it’s good to check that iPhone users can access my site.
Which Browsers Are People Viewing Your Site With?
If you are like me, you tend to use the same browser most of the time. There are lots of different browsers that people use, so it’s good to know that your site works across all of them. Now, whilst you should check them yourself (especially when making design changes to your site), looking at your Analytics data can help you out.
For much the same reasons as checking different devices, it just helps you to see if there are any problems occurring on your site. You may notice a significant drop in traffic for Internet Explorer users, which would probably indicate a problem. The faster you can spot the problem, the faster you can get it fixed.
Learning exactly where your visitors are coming from is extremely important for your site’s success. It gives you a much better understanding of who your overall audience is and, more importantly, areas that you can look to improve upon.
Always remember that a site is NEVER finished, it should always look to evolve and improve upon itself. Only then will you continue to move forward and keep growing your site.
I hope you enjoyed this post. If so, or if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.
Matt Smith is a professional blogger and the founder of Online Income Teacher, a site that teaches you all about setting up a website and running it online. When not creating new posts and tutorials for his sites, Matt loves watching the latest sport and cooking up some tasty food.
You can follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
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