Knowing where your web traffic is coming from
Website traffic analysis
Page views is the most accurate data as it is based on analysis of your webservers, rather than cookie based tracking that other analytics packages provide. A total number of visits on its own is not a good indicator of effectiveness – image a store getting loads of people through the door but nobody buying anything.
Average logon time and new versus returning visitors
A more useful indicator of effectiveness is average logon time. This tells you on average how long a visitor stayed on your site. If you have interesting and engaging content, then it is more likely that visitors will hang around longer. It is also likely that they will return – so the split between new and returning visitors is also important.
Most analytics packages also show you exists per page. The higher the exit, the worse the page is at keeping the customer’s attention. High exit rates (also known as bounce rates) from your homepage are particularly important to spot, as most of your traffic will pass via your homepage.
Referrals and keywords
Next you will need to look at where your traffic is coming from. Referrals show you the website and webpage that is driving traffic to you site. This will show you how effective your marketing activities are, how much traffic comes from directories versus search engines, and split your search engine traffic into paid and free (organic).
Next you need to dig deeper into the data to look at the individual keywords that are driving traffic. At this point SEO techniques are required to optimise your site for specific keywords to appear higher in Google rankings.