First, What is User Traffic?
When you click a link and go to a website, you are considered a visitor to that website. Google counts how many times someone visits your website by a tracking code for new and returning visitors. The number of visitors over a time period (we tend to do monthly) is what we refer to as user traffic.
Google gets a lot of information from a user’s visit to your website. They will find out if a user is a new or returning visitor. They will track the amount of time a user interacts with your website, which is called a session. Then Google gives you the total number of visitor sessions in a time period. Google will also track how many pages a user looks at in a session, which is called pageviews. If a visitor goes to your website and doesn’t interact with it, it’s considered a bounce session. Google then calculates the percentage of single-page sessions with no interaction in a statistic called bounce rate.
How does FireSpike use this info?
So you can see: an increase in user traffic is normally a good thing, except when your bounce rate is high. That is, having a lot of user traffic isn’t helpful if those users don’t want what your website is offering. Bounce rate tells us if people are finding what they are looking for on your website. If the bounce rate is high, that means most of your website visitors leave before looking at anything on your website. When looking at your bounce rate, lower is always better. Returning visitors tend to visit twice the number of webpages, but that doesn’t make new visitors bad. Increasing your brand’s visibility will lead to an increase in new users and those new users can be turned into returning visitors, and then turned into customers. Having a 50/50 split of new and returning visitors is considered the ideal percentage.
Why do you want this info?
This base information Google collects from users visiting your website can show us trends when compared over time. Month-to-month statistics can show us smaller trends but comparing year to year we can find seasonal trends. It also allows us to track how various campaigns are doing—whether it’s a general brand awareness campaign or a targeted service/product. User traffic can show us where a website is weakest and needs more work.
So remember: having lots of user traffic is only a good thing when your site visitors stay on your site and don’t just bounce away!
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