web analytics
Marketing

Website Analytics: Measuring Online Traffic & How to Use That Information

There’s no point in trying to market your business if you don’t measure the results of your work. How else are you supposed to know which efforts have been successful and which are underperforming? In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to track, test, and evaluate how your users interact at all stages of the marketing funnel, which will allow you to pinpoint what factors lead to sales.

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Statcounter

Statcounter is a tool that lets you see who visits your website, where they came from, what keywords they might have entered into Google, and what pages they visited. With Statcounter, you can get a detailed look at how people are moving through your website in real-time.

 

Want to play around and take it for a spin? They have a free demo account here you can experiment with. On the sidebar go to Recent Activity > Visitor Paths and you can see what each user does.

How To Set It Up Statcounter

Statcounter is free and simple to set up and will guide you through the process after you sign up with a detailed installation guide but you can check their tutorial here.

 

Make sure you also remember to sync it with Google so you can import your keyword data and see what searches people are visiting your site from.

Google Analytics & Tag Manager

Like Statcounter, Google Analytics is free and helps you track people coming to your site. With Google Analytics, you can see which web pages are most popular, what web page made users decide to perform specific actions like signing up for your service, and where on the web people are coming from when visiting your site whether it’s social media or a blog post.

 

Google Tag Manager, meanwhile, centralizes all your tracking codes. So, if you need to install other tracking codes like Google Analytics, or Facebook pixel, you can use Google Tag Manager. Tag manager has some other cool features, like being able to set schema markups for individual pages, but we would encourage our more advanced users to look into that separately.

How To Set It Up Analytics

Hootsuite has a great, highly detailed step-by-step tutorial that will show you how to set up Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics on your site here as well as connect these tools.

 

But to get started, you’ll want to download and install the plugin Site Kit by Google – Analytics, Search Console, AdSense, Speed. You can learn more about installing plugins in our website overview here.

Using Google Analytics

Most people find Google Analytics a little intimidating because it has so many features and the way it’s arranged can be a little convoluted. But in reality, there are only a few pages you’ll want to check regularly. We’ll walk you through each.

 

Want to play around with Google Analytics without messing up your account? You can access Google’s live demo account here.

On the side bar, you’ll see several different sections:

Realtime

Realtime lets you see what users are doing on your site in realtime. Statcounter’s Visitor Paths offers a similar view.

Audience

Audience gives you some basic information about the people that are on your site.

Acquisition

This is a detailed view of where your traffic is coming from. You’ll see 6 main types of traffic:
Organic
Traffic that comes largely from search engines like Google and Bing.
Direct
Traffic that came to your site directly, as in by entering your site URL directly into their browser.
Paid Search

Just like it sounds, this is traffic coming from any ads you may be running. It isn’t always the best at showing you what keywords users came in through. But if you look under Keywords and Search Queries in this section, you’ll be able to find more detailed information.

 

Under Queries, for example, you can see what searches people came in through and how many people saw your page listed on Google, clicked onto your page from that search, and the average CTR and your position for that keyword.

Social
Traffic that came from social media sites like Facebook
Referral
Traffic that came from other sites linking back to your site.
(Other)
Traffic Google is unable to categorize.

Behavior

In this section, you can check how your site pages are performing including how many page views they got, how long people are spending on your site, etc.

Conversions

Conversions are your goals, or the specific actions you want users to take on your site. You have to set these up manually.
Conversion Events
With conversion events, you’ll be able to quickly look and see how many times users performed the actions you wanted and whether those numbers have changed.
How To Set Up Goals & Conversion Events

You can learn more about setting up goals and conversion events here.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console lets you see what words and phrases people are searching for when they discover your website as well as how many people clicked the search result for your website vs. skipping over it.

If you go to Performance on the sidebar, you’ll be able to see how many people saw your site listed on Google’s search results (impressions), how many people clicked through to your site (clicks), the keyword they were looking for, and even how high you rank for that keyword on Google if you export a report.

How To Set It Up

You can find a detailed tutorial on how to set up Google Search Console here. Once you’re finished, you’ll have access to the dashboard and its tools as well as Search Console Insights, which gives you an overview of how your account is performing.

 

You’re now well prepared to start measuring the results of your marketing efforts. We hope that you’ve found this guide helpful, and that you’re feeling a little more confident about setting up your website data tracking system. Ready to start driving traffic toward your business?

 

Head back over to our Marketing Playbook for more information on how to get your business noticed online, and in your community.

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