Monday, January 21, 2008

Website traffic - Measuring the influence

When people write/blog/comment about your company, they often link to your site and quite often they link directly to the specific content they are interested about.

So how do you go about measuring this?

Use your analytics! Your website analytics package should be one of the first places to look. If you don't have an analytics package, don't be put off by the cost. Google Analytics is now one of the most popular methods of tracking site usage, and its free! Yes, if you have less than 5 million page impressions a month (or more in some circumstances), then you can use Google's analytical tool, to measure all common key site metrics for no cost.

One metric that all decent website analysis packages provide is 'referred sites'. This will show you the sites/pages where visitors are coming from (unless they are secure sites, as this information isn't allowed to be passed on).

It is this figure that will identify your key influencers, giving their web address as well as the level of traffic you get from them.

It will, if you also filter & sort your data, tell you their activity, including the answer to the popular question "What do they do when they get there?".

It also can give you insight into:

  • Did the 'bounce' right off and go somewhere else?
  • I so where? (a competitor? back to the referring site?, etc.)
  • Did they go on to another page in your site (if so, which one?)

However, not all the traffic you get from your influencers is equal. For some in-bound links to your site, you will get more traffic; for others you will get higher quality contact/leads/sales (and for others you will get a higher position in the search engines).

Its understanding and measuring this sub-division of traffic & users that will give you insight about what to do about the situation going forwards.....

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