Tracking site visitors prior to its potential purchase is an essential consideration in the world of e-business, which is increasingly marked by competitiveness and the need to stay up-to-date with the latest tech developments. Visitors that come to the site you evaluate for buying are not only defined by their “visiting” attribute, and they should be observed as potential leads and customers, with their particular backgrounds, behavior, habits and interests. Therefore, having adequate insight into their activities on the website of your interest can make the difference between making a poor or future-proof investment decision. Let us look at the ways by which you can avoid straying off the safe website acquisition path.
Choosing Adequate Tools
Keeping tabs on website visitors’ statistical data is one of the facets of the holistic approach to evaluating the site traffic itself. Having access to the Google Analytics account of the site you want to purchase is of great help as it is bound to ease your unearthing of various gold nuggets of data. While being by no means perfect, it is still a popular, free and robust enough a tool to track visitors. Also, feel free to consider its competent alternatives as per your preference.
Yet, platforms sometimes suffer from a certain data fatigue, stemming from the overabundance of available information. Despite the efforts to make it as accessible as possible, it is necessary to focus on the visitor tracking essentials in order to avoid being swamped by numerous tables, figures and charts.
A Matter of Time
First of all, you need to be aware that each consideration involving tracking of visitors has to take into account the time factor. All of the site’s visitors interact with it within specific timeframes within which you can observe and study the trends related to them, such as their numbers. All of the proper analytical tools, (including Google Analytics of course), allow you to select a specific timeframe and compare it to another period in the past. Thus, you are able to monitor the progression of both trends and the site itself for various data ranges, such as comparing week with a week, the same month in different years, etc. On the most basic level, you need to track the total number of visitors’ sessions within a specific period, while paying attention to its increases and drops.
How ‘Old’ is The Audience?
Moving beyond looking at the audience through the prism of timeframes, there's also the consideration of the visitors' “age”. Tools such as Google Analytics and others allow you to determine what portion of the site’s traffic is new as well as what is the ratio of its returning visitors. Determining the percentage of new sessions versus the “old” ones means establishing the level at which the site manages to draw new visitors over time. Simultaneously, the higher the percentage of the returning visitors the better. This is particularly true if you consider acquiring a website dedicated to ecommerce, as the customer’s loyalty is an important indicator of the overall quality of the site.
Source: Kelsey Advertising
Session Related Metrics
More advanced metrics related to tracking the visitors include average pages per individual session, as well as session duration. The first metric refers to the number of viewed pages within one session during a visit to the site. It helps you determine the popularity of individual pages and their role in the overall performance of the site. Tools such as Google Analytics also offer you to check the number of page views per visit. Tracking session duration, on the other hand, means that you will be able to determine whether visitors spend their time on the site while interacting with its content or are just engaged in casual browsing.
Completing the study of visitors would be impossible without checking their bounce rate as well. As this value refers to sessions in which users visited the site and left it without accessing any other page, this metric will complement the data on visitors’ sessions and give you a bird’s eye view of the way in which visitors engage and interact with the site you want to buy.
Visitors Re-Visited: Traffic Sources and Devices
Tracking visitors also means that you need to know how they came to the site in the first place. Establishing what drove the traffic to the site you plan to purchase is a key consideration in the sense of devising future optimization plans as well. Now, it’s time to turn our attention towards website traffic checkers. For example, Google Analytics covers this in its “Channels” section, which shows the prospective website buyer whether the traffic originated from organic, direct, social network source or as a result of referrals. Establishing whether the site is mostly found by means of web search or via social network linking, for example, allows you to appraise the effectiveness of the site’s current marketing and SEO practices and individualize your approach to the visitors themselves.
This is further complemented by establishing what device visitors used while they were accessing the site of your interest. Upon determining the percentage of users who interact with the site by means of desktop PCs, tablets or smartphones, you’ll be able to better evaluate the site’s content in the light of it being adapted to various types of audiences and devices.
More advanced tracking of visitors’ activities on websites involves content tracking by means of heatmaps, for example. This analytical feature makes it possible for you to see what areas of the site visitors click on as well as the range of their scrolling. In addition to being able to determine where the visitors spend most of their time on the site, some platforms allow you to select this feature for various devices they use as well. These data allow you to appraise the overall user experience of the site’s visitors and determine its potential for increasing conversions beyond its current level by means of better placement of CTAs, for instance. In any case, useful tools for this type of tracking are Hotjar, Mouseflow and InspectLet, but you are free to explore alternatives as well.
Among all relevant statistics you need to check, website’s visitors constitute the nucleus of its lifeblood in form of traffic. Tracking each and every feature related to their interaction with the site entails the use of various web analytical tools, as well as a dedicated approach to the matter. This is not without its rewards, as being familiar with the site’s visitors means knowing the heart and soul of the site itself, making the procedure of entire site acquisition infinitely easier and future-proof .