(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – As a small-to-medium business owner, your website is hopefully measured by some kind of analytics platform. The most important thing to measure for determining the success of you business site is the amount of traffic you receive. Depending on the tools you use to measure your traffic, it can be confusing to understand the different “types” of data a website receives. In this article we will touch on the main categories you will find in your website traffic analytics.
This is the simplest form of traffic you can dissect, because this is the portion of your audience that has directly typed your website URL into their Web browser, instead of clicking through from other channels. While it is great to have an audience seeking out specifically your website, you definitely want to filter out any visits from yourself or your employees, as they would likely be visiting the site this way as well, and a lot more often.
Referral traffic is when your website is linked from other websites on the internet. For example, if you manage a local bakery, and a local news website writes an article about small businesses in the area and links to your site, any user who reads that article and clicks through to your bakery website will come through as a referral in your reports. By being able to track which websites your visitors are being referred from, you can keep tabs on where your business is being mentioned. Sometimes if a user clicks a link from one of your e-mail marketing campaigns it can also display as a referral, but other times e-mail traffic can be displayed in its own section.
One of the biggest goals for any website owner is to generate a lot of search traffic. Fortunately in almost any analytics tool you are able to measure this, which can act as a guideline for improvement. Not only can you measure how much traffic comes from search engines, but you can determine which search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.). Perhaps most importantly, you can see what search terms are being used to drive users to your website. You may have designed your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy around a certain set of keywords, so now you can evaluate how successful those keywords have been. Sometimes you are unable to see exactly what the search terms that brought users to your website are, due to privacy standards, but you can at least see how many total visitors you have received through this avenue.
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