Amount of Traffic
This one is the obvious question that everyone wants to know. The number of visits you’ve received in the last week, month or quarter is a quick snapshot into the success of your online presence. Looking at the changes in your traffic over time can also be insightful. Is your traffic volume increasing, or decreasing? Are there seasonal trends that you were not aware of?
This is also a metric to check when reviewing the effectiveness of various marketing efforts. Was there a traffic spike around the timing of your press conference? Is that expensive online directory that you signed up for sending you the desired amount of traffic? If your marketing efforts aren’t performing, then they need to change.
Diversity of Traffic Sources
It is important to receive traffic from a variety of sources in order to diffuse risk in case one source is no longer available. For example, if Google changes its algorithm and your website goes from #1 to #378, you don’t want Google to be your only source of traffic.
The proportion of direct traffic that you receive is also insightful. Direct traffic comes from visitors typing your URL into the browser to come directly to your website. If the only traffic you’re receiving is direct traffic, this means that the only people finding your website are people who have already heard about your company; your website isn’t helping your business get discovered. However, if you aren’t receiving any direct traffic, it may be an indication that people don’t know about your company, and you need to improve your brand exposure. If you’re an established company, it could indicate a reputation problem and people who know you don’t want to visit! Ideally, you want to be receiving some direct traffic, and some traffic from other sources.
Quality of Traffic by Source
The traffic report can also show you how engaged your visitors are with your website. Length of visit and number of pages viewed is a good indication of visitor engagement. For example, a high number of one page visits may indicate that visitors are not finding what they are looking for. You can also review the quality of visits by source; this will allow you to focus budget and efforts on increasing traffic from the sources that deliver the best quality of traffic, in addition to the highest volume of traffic.