Growing Website Traffic and Conversions with Google Analytics

To get more sales-ready leads from the website, we need to get more visitors to the site and, in turn, more conversions from these visitors. Google Analytics is a handy tool to take us there. Best of all, it is free!

The path to digital success lies in reviewing website traffic sources, on-page engagement, keywords, events, conversions, and more. All these insights will be revealed in Google Analytics!

Traffic Sources and Referrers

Knowing the source of website traffic is of course valuable. More valuable is knowing which sources are sending qualified traffic to the site. Google Analytics offers detailed insights into various traffic sources, including:

Organic Search: Visitors who find the site through search engines. This is typically the most valuable traffic source especially if the search intent is commercial for example seeking a new vendor or product to buy.
Direct Traffic: Users who navigate directly to the website URL by typing it into the browser tab. Essentially, this includes all traffic for which the referrer is unknown. Direct traffic is no fun to deal with as there is typically little to no insight on how to grow this traffic source.
Referral Traffic: Traffic from links on other websites. This is also valuable traffic as inbound traffic and visitors from high authority sites are an important ranking signal for SEO. Referral traffic from review sites like G2 and Trustpilot is typically qualified traffic just like organic search. Moreover, it is always interesting to see who is sending folks over to our site.
Social Media: Visitors arriving from social media platforms. This is certainly valuable traffic as social media visitors additionally provide an SEO boost. Social media engagement – likes, shares, and replies – may not immediately send traffic but do lift the domain’s visibility and help SEO.
Paid Traffic: Traffic from paid advertising campaigns. This is the only key traffic source, as the name implies, that is not free. We will want to pay close attention to this source to make sure that ad dollars are not getting wasted.
Bot Traffic: This deserves special mention! There are the super valuable bots from search engines, crawlers like Googlebot. But on the other hand, there are the malicious bots and others that generate click fraud. Per Cloudflare, over 40% of all Internet traffic is comprised of bot traffic. This traffic is unwelcome!

End of the way, we want more of the right kind of traffic like organic search, social media, and referral traffic but none of the evil bot variety!

Engagement on Page

Once visitors make it to the website, we need to understand how they interact with website elements like buttons, banners, menu links, videos, images, and text. Key engagement metrics include:

Engaged Sessions: The percentage of total sessions where visitors spend significant time on the site and perform meaningful actions like viewing several pages, clicking on menu links, viewing videos, downloading content, and so on. These are the visitors most likely to convert on the site and become leads.
Average Engagement Time: How long, on average, visitors actively engage with the site. What we don’t want is traffic that spends very little time and bounces away (unless they submitted a form on the way out!). They were either the wrong type of visitors or the website did not meet what they were seeking.
Session Conversion Rate: The percentage of total sessions that resulted in a conversion. This is of course a valuable indicator of the robustness of the website and the efficacy of campaigns in driving visitors to the site.

These are some of the key metrics that provide insight into the strength and weaknesses of the website, what is working, what isn’t, and what are the areas that need to be investigated.

Keywords Analysis

Keyword analysis plays a critical role in driving organic search traffic. Google Analytics, in conjunction with Google Search Console, provides insights into the keywords that bring visitors to the site. The focus is on:

Branded vs. Non-Branded Keywords: Branded keywords imply searchers who are already aware of the brand. But non-branded keywords represent the new organic visitors who are discovering the site for the first time. If growth is what you are looking for then non branded keywords are the way to go.
Top Performing Keywords: Keywords that drive the most visits. These are the keywords for which the site is doing well. But equally important are the keywords for the site is getting little to no visitors, that is where lots of work needs to be done.

Optimizing content for the right keywords and identifying new keyword opportunities is a strategy that is directly aligned with the growth trajectory for the business.

Tracking Conversions

Conversions are the goal of any website, and Google Analytics provides robust tools to track and optimize them. From the business point of view, there are two types of conversions. Micro conversions are the white paper downloads, downloads of gated content. Macro conversions are the real deal, the “I want to talk to you” form fills, qualified opportunities that are just one step away from revenue. In an e-commerce context, they are the purchases on the site. Key conversion metrics include:

Conversion Rate: The percentage of visitors who complete a desired action.
Conversion Events: Specific actions defined as conversions such as purchases or form submissions or e-book downloads.
External Conversion Paths: The journey users take before converting, including the channels they used and the number of repeat site visits.
Conversion Funnel: The journey users take on the website including the pages they visited and the content they viewed before converting or dropping off.

Google Analytics is a powerful tool for understanding website performance and driving growth. It provides the insight to make informed decisions that boost success and set your business on the path to growth.

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