Alright, so your business launched an awesome new website that you’re so proud of and you’re telling everyone about it. But do you just sit back, cross your fingers, and hope people visit?
 
Not at all.
 
Now that you’re website is live, it’s time to check on how your visitors are actually using it and make sure your website is doing the work for you. Today, I’m going to be sharing 4 of the best ways to monitor your website traffic beginning from how people search for your website, how they get to your website, and what they do when they get there.
 
Most of these platforms are free or offer some free important features. These statistics can tell you what your visitors are looking for, what they are and aren’t attracted to, and even help you make better business decisions for your ideal audience overall.

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics | Rose and Pixel | Web Design and Branding
Google Analytics Sidebar Overview
Let’s begin with the magical beast that is Google Analytics. I promise it’s not as scary of a word as marketing agencies make it out to be. The main purpose of Google Analytics is to allow you to analyze how your website visitors interact with the content of your website. I’m sure there are in-depth courses that can explain the ins and outs of the entire program, but today I’m going to make it simple and just go over the basics.
 
Google Analytics is set up with a sidebar divided into seven sections ready to go with information about your website.
Google Analytics | Rose and Pixel | Web Design and Branding
Google Analytics Home Tab
1. The first tab, Home, gives a great overview of the following:
  • Active Users – how many people are currently on your website in real time
  • Session Duration – how long users stay on your website
  • Acquire Users – what channels your traffic is coming through
    • Direct – these users directly entered your website address directly or has your website bookmarked (This is great! It means a website visitor was specifically looking for YOUR business!)
    • Organic – this traffic comes from using keywords in a search engine to find your website
    • Referral – your visitor landed on your web page from a link through another website outside a search engine
    • Social – this type of traffic was gained through a link on a social media platform
  • When – displays your most popular days and times for visitors to your website (This is important to use for things like sales, important announcements, and blog posts!)
  • Pages – what pages on your website are getting the most views

2. I’m going to skip over the second section, Customization, because this just helps you customize the layout of your Analytics dashboard. There is no information to analyze here.

3. On to tab number three – Realtime. Here you can view what are the most popular pages, keywords, locations, traffic sources, and more all in that specific moment. This is great for high traffic websites that have numerous sources leading to their website.
 
4. Audience is next and it shows the behavior and demographics of your websites visitors. It can be as detailed to even show your new vs. returning visitors, their age, gender, device and operating system!
 
5. The acquisition tab shows exactly how you’re gaining your website views through the channels we discuss previously. Here you can set up a goal for what you want your visitors to do on your website (sign up for an email list, buy a product, visit a specific page) and track how many of these viewers are “converting” – a term that here means they’re doing exactly what you want them to do on your site.
Google Analytics | Rose and Pixel | Web Design and Branding
Google Analytics Behavior Flow
6. The Behavior tab is a great tool to use to see how your visitors move through the pages of your website. It shows what pages your visitors start off at and the series of pages they visit after that.
 
7. Lastly, the Conversions tab gives a more in-depth analysis of the goals created in the Acquisitions tab we previously discussed. For example, I can set up a goal to see how many of my website visitors visited my Book Now page and filled out the form to inquire about services. Goals are popularly used in association with digital advertising. So if someone clicks on a Facebook ad that takes them to a page where a conversion goal was set up, this can show the ROI, or return on investment, to compare how much was spent on those ads versus how many new leads the business generated.

2. Google Search Console

Google Search Console URL Inspection | Rose and Pixel | Web Design and Branding
Google Search Console URL Inspection
Up next is Google Search Console, which doesn’t show how users interact with your website like Google Analytics, but how search engines interact with your website. Google Search Console is great for new or recently updated websites because it basically let’s you say “Hey Google, I updated my website. Take a look at my pages so you can update how they appear when people search for them.”
 
 
Google Search Console is great for telling you if you have any errors like an incorrect URL or failed mobile usability.
 
Google Search Console Sitemap | Rose and Pixel | Web Design and Branding
Google Search Console Sitemap
Firstly, you’ll need to submit a sitemap of your website to GSC that tells Google all what pages are included on your website, their hierarchy, and how often they’ll generally be updated. The overview of GSC shows you how many total impressions your website is receiving, your position in the search results, and what people are searching for that leads to your website. If you ever have a page that gets changed or updated, simply use the inspection tool to tell Google that specific page has content that needs to be view, or “crawled” in Google’s terms, again. 

3. HotJar

HotJar Heatmaps | Rose and Pixel | Web Design and Branding
HotJar Heatmaps*
Hotjar is a newer friend of mine and definitely one I had to mention here. Hotjar works a lot like Google Analytics and shows how visitors are using your website, except that Hotjar doesn’t show it by numbers and charts but by visuals. The platform is set up into two different traffic avenues – behavior and feedback. 
 
With the Behavior functions, you can view the following:
  • Exactly what links on a specific web page are most popular with a heatmap screenshot of your website
  • View website visitors movements through session recordings
  • See if goals are achieved by conversion funnels 
 
These are so important to track what areas of your web page are the most popular, how your visitors are moving within each page, and how long they stay on your website.
HotJar User Recordings | Rose and Pixel | Web Design and Branding
HotJar User Recordings*
With Hotjar’s Feedback tools, you can receive feedback on just about anything on your website:
  • Incoming Feedback – allows visitors to comment on specific areas of your website
  • Feedback Polls – give your visitors a simple questionnaire asking about their website experience and what can make it better (I use these all the time on client websites and they help so much!)
  • Surveys – gather insights from your website visitors
 

*Image credit via www.hotjar.com

4. Bitly

Bitly Link Tracking | Rose and Pixel | Web Design and Branding
Bitly Link Tracking*
Bitly is great little tool to track any form of link to your website. Let’s say you send out an email with a link to buy your latest product. How are you going to know how many people clicked that link to visit your product page? That’s where bitly comes in. You submit your regular URL, Bitly converts it into a bit.ly link, and every time someone clicks on it, Bitly stores traffic information.
 
This platform also offers link shortening which is great if you want to include a link on a website like Twitter but are limited to the amount of characters you can post. Linking to your blog post titled “10 Ingredients You Thought Were Bad for You, but They’re Actually Not” might just be a little too long, but using Bitly’s link shortener, you can lead your viewers to your new post only using a couple of characters!

*Image credit via www.bitly.com

4 Ways to Monitor Traffic on Your Website | Rose and Pixel | Web Design and Branding

Wow, we’ve come to the end already? But we were having so much fun talking about analytics! Haha, I know analyzing statistics of your website viewers isn’t the most glamorous task in the world, but it is one of the most important when it comes to seeing how your website is or isn’t working for you and your customers. I hope a little insight on these 4 platforms helps the task be a little less daunting to help you feel more connected to your audience and what they want. Because, at the end of the day, helping them get what they want, helps you get what you want to create a successful, thriving business.

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