Google Analytics 101, Direct Traffic and Your Website
If you are developing a web platform then chances are you have heard the words “Google Analytics” said a lot. Regardless of your involvement in your site’s style, layout, and SEO, analytics is something that you need to be
After you set up your GA account, you have a dashboard, which is a monitor of your website’s activity. It doesn’t have a historical backlog; it begins to take data the moment you create an account. It measures a lot of different metrics, but the key one to focus on is traffic. You need to know where your website traffic is coming from so you can target your marketing accordingly.
There are several different types of web traffic sources. This article focuses on what your direct traffic is. These are the users that come directly into the address bar of the browser of choice. This is the top level traffic that you want to focus on because these users aren’t just looking for something in general along the lines of specific keywords. They are directly interested in your business. The other types of traffic to be aware of include search, referral, social, and other users.
As mentioned, search traffic is those people looking for particular keywords. For example, if they type “carpet cleaning San Diego” and that is relevant to your business than they should come across your company as on the options. Social traffic comes from your social media accounts typically Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, these are great backup ways to drive users to your site.
Referral is when your site is mentioned on another typically as either a reference or suggestion while "other" is a catch-all remainder category that of traffic that usually doesn’t fall into these other more easily measurable metrics.
Why Direct Marketing is Key
So the three main types of traffic are direct, social, and search. The problem with search traffic is that it might get users on your platform, but they might not necessarily be customers. Likewise, social traffic is similarly good at generating leads, but direct traffic has a much higher conversion rate which is the whole point of maintaining a website.
How to Improve Direct Traffic
Oddly enough, one of the best ways to get direct traffic to your website is by resorting to some traditional types of advertisements. It’s all about getting users straight to your site. (Sidenote, be sure your website URL is easy to spell and remember!) Email and mail promotions are an excellent way to get your name on there, and email lists are another great way to gain data about your customers to create more tailored promotions and products for them.
Business cards, print advertisements, and old-school word of mouth advertising
Final Tip: Excluding Internal IP Traffic
As you are designing your website and testing out pages, there will be a certain amount of traffic. On your GA Report, it’s going to look like a lot more traffic than may have necessarily have been there.
For this reason, you need to be sure to create an IP address filter for any internal users so that you do not conflate your data with real users vs. you and your design team enabling to focus on your exact audience.
Analytics are Your Best Friend
It cannot be said enough how incredible analytics are. With Google Analytics software you can understand exactly how well your website is doing so you know what is direct traffic, what are the other types of traffic, and what you need to do to make the most out of your online platform. From here you can design a truly effective SEO strategy that will boost your company’s brand visibility so that you can reach the broadest audience base possible.