No matter if you operate an ecommerce store or content-generating website, traffic statistics are an integral component to business success. But how can you analyze website traffic?
Accurate situational awareness and analytics provide administrators with the resources to quickly detect operational issues and security threats; network traffic analysis tools provide this visibility and insight.
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a comprehensive website analytics and traffic tracking tool with an array of insights and data visualizations. The platform can help you pinpoint the sources of your traffic, discover how visitors engage with your site and which pages are most popular; all this allows you to optimize content for your audience while simultaneously increasing website performance.
Google offers a free version of software, designed to accommodate beginners as well as more experienced users. One such advanced feature is called user behavior flow, which lets more experienced users understand visitor patterns across your website and what actions visitors are taking; additionally it shows which pages are most visited while which ones have less traffic so that adjustments can be made accordingly.
Unique visitors are another useful metric, measuring how many distinct devices and browsers a visitor uses to visit your website. It differs from total visits which includes all sessions and pageviews regardless of device used; thus resulting in falsely high numbers of unique visitors if individuals access your site more than once using one device.
Checking Google Analytics’ Acquisition tab, you can see which visitors come from social media platforms such as social media sites like Twitter or search engines such as Google. This gives valuable insights into how visitors are discovering your brand and which campaigns are the most successful. Custom reports allow for instantaneous visualization of data such as conversion rates, revenue generated and clickthrough rate rates among other metrics.
2. Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools are free web tools designed to show how Google perceives your website. By giving an accurate representation from their viewpoint, these tools give an understanding of how your visitors see your page as well as if any malware infections may threaten traffic loss or ranking problems on your site. They even tell if there’s been any potential malware infections on it so that you can take appropriate measures against any future issues that might affect it negatively.
Activating this tool is very straightforward, taking only minutes to set everything up once completed. Once set up, however, the information it offers becomes invaluable – particularly given Google’s recent decision to report organic keyword data as (Not Provided). Thus having this behind-the-scenes view of traffic becomes even more critical.
Google Webmaster Tools’ Links to Your Site feature deserves particular mentioning, as this allows you to monitor who’s linking to your website, their total link count and any type of anchor text used when linking back. This data can provide invaluable insight for link building activities as well as identify any low quality links which could harm search engine rankings of your website.
An important feature of this service is the error reporting function, which allows you to see errors being reported by Google on your website and take measures to resolve them. These errors could range from broken links or issues preventing it from being indexed; so be sure to regularly review this aspect to ensure everything runs smoothly on your site.
3. Google Search Console
Google Search Console (GSC) is one of the most effective SEO tools that’s completely free, featuring numerous tools that help analyze website performance and enhance SEO efforts.
GSC gives you an in-depth view of your performance in search engine results, which is invaluable when trying to pinpoint any drops in rankings. Furthermore, you can compare performances over the last year for specific URLs all in one graph – perfect for pinpointing any changes made that might have had an effect on SEO efforts.
GSC makes it easy to identify keywords requiring additional attention. You can do this using the Pages and Positions report, where you can filter by query to quickly see which pages are performing well and click on ‘position’ column to view which queries your website ranks for; this can be extremely helpful in finding any low-hanging fruit that can be optimized in order to rank higher in search engines.
GSC can also be used to detect emerging trends in your organic search performance. If you’ve just launched a product or blog post, use GSC Performance reports to see how search engines are receiving that content and adjust keyword targeting, rewrite copy or optimize internal navigation accordingly.
GSC accounts can also be integrated with Google Analytics so you can directly collect search data in GA and gain a deeper insight into remarketing campaigns, which often have longer lead times than other traffic sources.
4. Google Adwords
Google AdWords allows you to easily track and optimize conversions that matter most for your business, making the most of digital marketing efforts to increase sales or other metrics that matter for your organization.
VWO and Google Analytics offer you advanced tools that allow you to set tracking parameters that allow data to flow back and forth between AdWords and various analytics tools, like VWO or GA. With the latter tool you can also easily set custom segments in VWO so visitors from AdWords see different content on your website based on what search terms they used in order to reach it. This enables you to tailor content based on user behavior.
Search Queries reports in Google Ads offer invaluable insight into the search queries that triggered your ads, helping to expand and refine your keyword list and increase quality score. Often more useful than Search Terms reports due to its more flexible presentation of data.
Link your Google AdWords account with Google Analytics so that you can effectively analyze the traffic driven by your ads. With this data in hand, you can adjust bids and ad texts accordingly to reach those most likely to convert while also changing times and dates when your ads will run – and using remarketing campaigns against visitors who have previously visited your website or store will increase chances of conversion while making ads more cost-effective.
5. Google Trends
Google Trends is an invaluable tool that provides marketers with some of the most crucial traffic insights. While it doesn’t provide precise search volume numbers like some paid SEO tools do, it does provide invaluable data that helps marketers monitor keyword performance better and optimize keyword usage strategies.
One of the most useful features is being able to track how interest in a search term has evolved over time, providing your business with a great opportunity to adapt content strategies accordingly.
Viewing search trends by region can also be immensely useful, providing an indication of search popularity across platforms and regions – something which may ultimately determine the success of marketing campaigns.
Google Trends can also help you analyze the search performance of your competitors, helping to identify which keywords and search terms work well in their campaigns, so that you can incorporate them in your own campaigns.
To use this feature, enter any keyword or phrase into the search bar and click “Compare”. You will then be shown results based on which queries are performing best for your competitors as well as their peak periods and level of interest in them – for instance “women’s blouses” show strong seasonal demand from late July and early August which you can use to help plan and execute PPC and social media marketing strategies more effectively, as well as identify customer needs that you were unaware existed before.