What’s up, fellow web owners? Do you ever check your website statistics? If you snort and sarcastically say, “Duh,” then good for you, because I teach a lot of folks in our Search Engine Academy SEO classes who have never, ever looked at their website stats.
And that, my friends, is not a good way to run your online presence.
Let’s start off by saying everyone should be capable to looking at some basic information on a somewhat regular basis to get a sense of what’s normal for their website analytics versus a problem. Here are the parameters that should be monitored for your website’s health:
- Number of visitors
- Bounce rate
- Time on site
- Number of pages viewed
- Referring sites and search engines
Naturally, there are tons more performance indicators you can view, but these are pretty basic and easy to understand, am I right?
So let’s say that you get a sense of the average number of visitors over a given period of time. While we would all like to see that number continue upward and to the right, it’s inevitable that it’ll go up and down. What if it goes down and stays down? What if it goes to nothing?
There are several reasons why your visitor count could drop off. You could have gotten caught in an algorithm change. Maybe a manual penalty has been assessed against your site. Possibly your site got hacked. Whatever, you need to investigate and discover the cause.
Suppose you had a decently low bounce rate, and all of sudden it skyrockets. Once again, make sure your site hasn’t been hit by a search engine. What if your server is down? How would you discover this?
If the time on your site degrades, this is probably in coordination with a drop of visitors. Many of these metrics integrate, so there are some common causes; see above.
The same goes for the number of pages viewed. An additional culprit could be your content is stale or outdated. Make sure you keep your web pages updated with fresh, interesting, recent and relevant information.
Check out referring sites to make sure the ones that send you traffic are legitimate, complimentary sites – related to your business industry. If you see a domain or URL that looks way out of place or just not right, click on it and make sure a spammer hasn’t put your link on his site. Dog forbid, the same goes for pornography sites. Use Google Webmaster Tool’s disavow process to weed these out, because they’ll get you dropped in rankings, if not outright de-indexed.
You can learn a whole lot more about website statistics (AKA analytics) when you join us for a Search Engine Academy class near you. We can go over your site’s analytics and answer your questions.
Until we meet again, stay safely between the ditches!
All the best to you,