How well do you know your traffic?

A while back I published a post discussing StatCounter as a way to track visitors coming to your website. I also use Google Analytics but like the feature-set offered by both of these services. I’m not going to say that one is better than the other since when compared side-by-side there are a number of features that StatCounter offers that Google doesn’t, and vice-versa. Maybe later I’ll do a post comparing the two, for now let’s leave it at "these are the two main services you can use to track visitors on your website."

Now back to the title of this post, "How well do you know your traffic?" As a domain investor or flipper, or maybe even just speculator it is absolutely essential to understand who is coming to your website, and how they are getting there. If it isn’t yet, this should become one of your main daily obsessions – if it’s not then it will be challenging to grow a solid user-base. So what do you need to know about your traffic?

There are two very important pieces of information that I look at specifically when analyzing traffic to my domains – referring address and time on site. What these two pieces of information tell me are who is sending me traffic, but this isn’t all that I am interested in. I want to know who is sending me traffic that is actually taking the time to stay on the site and look around, maybe click some links, etc. This boils down to, "Which sites are sending me the highest-quality traffic?"

If you do nothing else but look at these two metrics – you can greatly increase the monetization of your website. You’ll want to look at where most of your traffic comes from and come-up with ideas to generate more traffic – maybe do a link exchange with another site, write a blog and link to your site, add your site to a directory. The important practice to begin is that once you have completed the event that you think will bring you more traffic you then need to analyze that traffic and see how valuable it actually was. You may find that a particular website of yours does better when listed in directories than blogs, or vice versa. The important thing to realize here is that by understanding your traffic and which website are providing high-quality visitors you can optimize your traffic.

Most SEO experts talk about optimizing your content and using tools like WordTracker to get the best content possible to rank well on search engines. This is great advice but only tells you half of the story. By taking a closer look at the traffic that comes to your site(s) and understanding where they come from and how long they stay you can greatly increase the rate at which you monetize your site.

So if you haven’t already, head on over to StatCounter or Google Analytics and setup an account. Start adding your sites and understanding your traffic. Remember, knowledge is power and by understanding your visitors you’ll have the power to make more money with your domains.

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Alan May 23, 2008, 6:39 pm

    I started using Google Analytics about six months ago. Just cut and paste some code on your blog or website and presto, you can slice and dice your traffic at least 100 different ways. The only downside is the data is one day old.
    If you have a blog, however, you can use Feedburner for free and get real time visitor traffic results. Another great company owned by Google.
    I just have this nagging feeling that the king of search also slices and dices the Analytics data, Feedburner stats and Gmail content and plugs it into the fabled search algorithm.
    Am I just paranoid or may there be some validity in this argument?

    Reply

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