Stop Wasting Your Time Looking At Your Website Traffic Stats
When I first started blogging I was obsessed with my website hits.
I’d write a post, share with some friends, post links on other sites and blogs, and then constantly monitor the numbers.
They’re very attractive.
“Ooh look, 25 visitors today! That’s 25 people that like my stuff!”
It’s gratifying feedback, but what does it really mean?
Joe Polish of I Love Marketing Podcast jokingly describes website hits in the following way:
H.I.T.S. — How Idiots Track Success.
I laughed when I heard that because I’ve been guilty of tracking my success with traffic. It’s like trying to become more popular in school… what does it really get you?
I should mention that tracking visitor numbers itself isn’t bad, but they should be used in context of your goals. And some other helpful metrics can help, too.
Decide What Your Goal Is
If your main goal is getting someone to call you for a free consultation, then traffic isn’t your success metric. Don’t think about getting more traffic for now.
Concentrate on making your site motivate people to call you.
Give valuable content, show your knowledge on the topic, and put your phone number with a call to action in a very clear and visible spot.
And see how you do.
If you want more people to call, you can do a better job of motivating people OR you can get more people to visit.
The Smart Way To Track Visitors
But wait, didn’t I say earlier not to track this?
Yes. But I also said you can use this metric in context with your goals. Now traffic is in service of getting more calls.
Let’s say you decide to hand out 25 business cards with your web address on them — every day for a month. You find various meet-ups, events, and parties.
When that’s done, you can take a look at your visitor stats over the past month. Did the number of visitors go up?
If so, your promotional tactic is working. If not, that’s a good sign you should try something else.
Other Helpful Metrics
Like I said before, know what your goal is. Then figure out what actions will support that… and find the metrics that you can track.
Here are a few trackable items that may help:
Social shares – How many shares does your post/page have? This is somewhat representative of how valuable a piece of content is to your audience. Make this easy by adding social share buttons to each page.
Comments – Do people leave comments on your blog posts? This can be a great goal if you want to cultivate community and discussion on your website.
Email Sign Ups – When someone opts in to your email list, they’re telling you that they like what you’ve got and want to hear more from you. That’s gold! These are the sorts of people you want to invest in finding.
Sales – This is one you should pay close attention to if you have products you’re selling on your website. Keep track of what promotional actions affect your sales numbers.
If you’re using Google Analytics, you can track a lot more than just traffic. You can see where visitors are coming from, how long they stay, and which pages are most popular.
Use the above examples and ideas as a guide to get clear on your goals, and then find the best way to measure your efforts.
What questions do you have about analytics or measuring your goals? Leave a comment below!