Seeing as we just passed over into another new year a few weeks ago I am sure the last thing you want to read is another post about New Years resolutions. Instead I wanted to walk you through looking at your website’s performance over the past year, understanding why people came to your site and what you are going to do this year to keep them coming back for more.
If you are reading this article and asking how to do a comparing your site based on date and you’ve been using Google Analytics all you need to do is go to the date range area in Google Analytics, select the “Compare to past” check box and enter in a second date range and click the “Apply” button. From here, all your site’s stats will be in a comparative format.
Get a clue!
If you’ve never used a web analytics package like Google Analytics to track your website then I have to ask “Are you okay?” Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool and probably one of the most touted of all web analytics tools. If you haven’t added a web analytics tracking platform then stop reading this article because you probably won’t find the next few things that I have to talk about useful since you need to have been tracking your website for some time to really get some use out of what I am referencing.
Get the big picture!
Taking that 10,000 foot view of what’s going on can help you drill into specific strategies and initiatives that you want for your online business in the coming year, it allows you to set goals for what is going on on your website and you can quickly see how you’re online business did in the last 12 months compared to previous years. If you are looking at the metrics below that are produced in Google Analytics you can see that growth or decline can easily be seen, measured and understood.
As you can see from the metrics above, my site while the traffic is small compared to other larger sites still saw significant improvements from the year before. Without this type of fast analysis as a test to see where a site is heading, its hard to say how many visitors your site receives and from that the percentage of people that convert. Now will my site see a 171% increase in visitors this year? Well your guess is as good as mine on that but if it did then I could start to predict that this year my site will have close to 60,000 visits this year.
If you haven’t already installed a web analytics tracking software like Google Analytics then this should be the first step that you take to understand where and how people are finding you. If you’ve already got a web analytics package installed on your site then spend some time figuring out what your site is missing, what strategies you could put in place to make it more successful and perhaps even do some year to year analysis to see if there are any trends that you can spot to help improve the growth of your website’s traffic.