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Visitors

The Visitor summary report tells you how effective your marketing efforts are. Specifically how many visitors the website is receiving. It provides a comparison of your traffic over time and an insight of seasonal trends. It also tells you where the traffic has come from and what your visitors are doing when they arrive at your website.

For most people this summary is all that you need to help you make informed decisions to optimise your website. If you would like to see more you can drill into each section of the summary by clicking the full report link.

How many people visited your website

A visit is is when a user comes to your website. One person might visit your website 5 times and view 10 pages each time. This will count as 1 unique visitor, 5 visits and 50 page views.

It is important to know just how many visitors you are getting to your website. You may ask, What is the "Normal" or "Average" amount of visitors? This depends on so many things: your industry, your business model, your target customer, your marketing budget etc. The important metric here is the trend, you want to be working at increasing your visitors over time. You want to check the success of your campaigns. For example How did that newspaper ad go? What about the radio advertising?

You also want to identify if there are any seasonal or event trends that affect your website visitors. How many visitors during Valentines day? At Christmas time? etc.

It is also good to know how many of these visits are new visits, ie. have not been to your website in a while, and how many are returning visits.

You use different techniques to increase new visits than you do for return visits. Usually return visits are more valuable as they indicate repeat business.


 

How do people find your website?

It is important to know where your website visitors are coming from, so that you can determine the sources that are and are not working.

To find out where your visitors are coming from look at the How do people find this website section of the Visitor summary. This shows websites that link and have sent visitors to your website. It also shows the most popular search engines and search phrases.

You can then investigate each of the websites that generate the greatest amount of visitors. You can find out where your link appears and work out ways that you can enhance your link to generate even more visitors. You can find the exact page from a website that links to you by doing a Google link search IE. link:www.zeald.com

Because search engines are the primary method for generating visitors to your website, you need to be continually optimising your presence on the search engines. The search engine section tells you exactly how many visits each search engine is generating for your website. More importantly it tells you which search phrases your website visitors are using to find your website. From this you can determine:

  1. What products or services your customers are particularly interested in
  2. What phrases your website is currently optimised for. You should do a test search using the top phrases to find your link in the search results. Ask, can you optimise them and make them more appealing?
  3. What language your customers are using to find your website
  4. How many visits are related to your branding efforts, i.e. many searches for the phrase "Zeald" tells us that people know our name and are looking specifically for our business.


 

Who are your visitors?

It is good to know a little bit about your visitors. In particular, where they are from. For example, If we sell rubber ducks only to New Zealand customers, and we find out that most of our visitors are actually from America, this will help to explain why our conversion rate might be low. It suggest that there might be something not quite right with our marketing efforts, or that we might want to start delivering ducks to the US.
This is also where you can find the technical profile report which provides a more technical information about each visit, as well as information about the various robots that have accessed your website . This report is probably not very useful in terms of optimising your website. Don't get too concerned with understanding the data presented here unless you have a specific reason to.

 

What did your visitors do when they visited your website

It is important to know how many pages your visitors viewed before leaving. If they arrived at your landing page and left again, this suggests that the landing page could do with some improvement. You might want to keep an eye on the % of visitors that viewed one page then left. This is also known as the bounce rate and you want to work at reducing this rate.



What pages did they enter the website on?

It is important to know what the visitors did when they landed on your website. This is the first page that a visitor sees when they arrive at your site, and arguably one of the most crucial, as it must capture their attention with well written text and headlines, convincing them to push further into your site. A poorly written landing page that doesn't capture the visitors interest will cause them to leave the site and move onto the next.

What pages did they exit from?

In the full report you can find: It lists the pages that are the last page visited before a user leaves the site. A page that has a high user exit rate can be due to one of a number of reasons:
  • The text on this page may be poorly written with no 'grabbing' headlines which engage the user & convince them to dig deeper into the site.
  • This just may be a natural exit point for a visitor. Perhaps they have gained the information they were after and so they are now leaving the site. A common example of this would be a 'Contact Us' page where a visitor finds your contact details and exits the site, having found what they came for.
  • This may be a common entry page. Entry pages such as the homepage will often be the most common exit page as people browse through multiple sites and dig deeper only on those they feel will best serve the purpose they are after.
You could use the information from this report to track down pages with poor sales text that are failing to keep visitors on the site. Addressing text and headline issues on these pages can assist you to keep visitors on the site, moving through the site to ultimately complete whatever the objective of your site is (enquire, purchase etc).


If you would like an even more detailed report, you should use Google Analytics
We have plenty of great ideas for improving traffic and conversion rate in our Tips to improve checklist


Frequently Asked Questions

Why don't my visits/page loads match my "third party reporting package" (most commonly google analytics)?

Javascript-based externally hosted tracking systems such as google analytics are not generally measuring the same thing as the website's traffic reporting. 
  1. Google Analytics uses javascript and cookies to track javascript-enabled clients
  2. The website's traffic reporting analyses hits on the server to track all website requests to the server
Because these are different things, you can't really compare the actual numbers you get from one with the other.  You analytics numbers will usually under-report page loads and over-report visitors.  What's important is the trends (do you google analytics figures go up or down?)

Some other differences:
  • Analytics is javascript based, so it does not see hits by clients without javascript (eg people with js off, certain privacy extensions and tools and robots and spiders etc)
  • Analytics uses cookies exclusively for tracking visitors (we use a combo of cookies and ip address), so will often overcount visitors

I got hundreds of visitors that all only accessed one page?

This is most likely a robot or spider.  Our system detects many spiders and robots that properly identify themselves when they access your site but unfortunately some (mainly robots that spammers use to attempt to exploit forms on your website) will not identify themselves as a spider.  You need not be concerned about this traffic, as in most cases these spiders are simply testing for security holes (and not finding any).

What is http://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/

Referrals from g.doubleclick.net are clicks on your AdWords ads showing on the content network - specifically, ads showing on publisher sites in the AdSense program.
That being said, you should practice URL tracking for all your online campaigns such as Google AdWords Facebook advertising etc. Doing this will automatically measure actions associated with the referring link in your reports. This means the referrer domain will be of less importance.

You can setup link tracking with your zeald website manager or using Google Analytics you can tag your URLs.


I'm worried that me and my co-workers are distorting the visitor numbers

The website doesn't track admin as visitors, so if you always use the admin/login address then it wouldn't count you.

If you or your staff browse the website like normal then it will count each person as 1 visitor, and that only counts them as 1 person for a whole month. It does keep adding up the "visits" though.

It's not really practical to block IP addresses because people's IP's get reset all the time, and if you have staff logging in from home then you would constantly need to update the blocked IP lists.

At the end of the day we think there are more important things to worry about, such as working on your SEO and online marketing :)