Without visitor tracking, I bet you are. Running a website without analytics is like working in the dark.
With visitor tracking, you can find out how many people are visiting your site, where they’re coming from, and more.
These insights will help you grow your website faster, get more traffic, publish better content, and generate more sales.
And it’s easy enough that a total beginner can get started in minutes.
Let’s begin with the most obvious reason for tracking your visitors.
1. Find out how many people visit your site
Without knowing how many people visit your site, it will be impossible to understand how well you’re doing.
At the very minimum, you need to know how many people view your site. Most analytics tools will include both the number of unique visitors that arrive on your site as well as the number of pages they view.
Independent Analytics, for instance, records both of these values and displays them prominently in the dashboard.
A dashboard like this will help tremendously with your ability to gauge the success of your website.
But knowing how many people visit your site is just a start.
The next most important reason for adding analytics to your site is finding out where your visitors come from.
2. Figure out which marketing tactics are working
People don’t magically arrive at your site.
You have to go out and promote it using tactics like social media marketing, search engine optimization, and guest posting.
These tactics require big investments to pay off, so you want to track your results closely. If a tactic isn’t sending enough visitors, you should drop it. On the other hand, there are likely some tactics working better than you expected, and they deserve additional investment.
Once you see your site’s top referrers, you’ll know exactly how to proceed with future marketing endeavors.
A website that sends you a visitor is called a “referrer.”
3. Discover the countries where you’re popular
When promoting your site, you probably have a picture in mind of your average visitor and where they’re from.
For lots of new site owners, it’s surprising to see just how diverse visitor locations are. Most likely, people are already finding your site all around the world.
For some websites, this information can be very profitable.
For example, an eCommerce store accepting only credit card payments may find that 15% of their visitors are from Germany, a country where credit card use is minimal. In this case, offering an alternate payment method could offer a significant boost to checkout conversions.
4. Get new product & content ideas
Most likely, your website publishes some kind of content regularly, whether it’s blog posts, products, or a newsletter.
Coming up with ideas for new content is one of the biggest challenges for marketers these days. While there are social media tools that can help with inspiration, the most valuable tool at your disposal is your own analytics.
If you’re not sure what to write about yet, check which posts are most popular on your site right now. You never know what’s going to resonate the most with readers until after it’s live, so it’s important to view your analytics and find out what content has been most successful.
Then you can create similar content and greatly improve the odds of publishing a high-performing post.
5. Track your traffic cycles
Expecting the same results day after day is a rookie mistake.
Most websites have traffic cycles that ebb and flow throughout the day, week, and year. Understanding these cycles will help you time the publication of your content and set your expectations properly.
For example, look at the shape of this analytics chart:
See how it goes up and down every week?
This is from a website on a professional topic, so the majority of visitors show up during the work week and not on the weekends.
Armed with this knowledge, it becomes obvious you shouldn’t publish a new article or send a newsletter on a Saturday.
This is unique to every site. You might find the best time to publish is actually Saturday morning.
Similarly, you may see seasonal trends where your traffic as a whole rises and drops for months at a time. It could be worthwhile to time your marketing efforts throughout the year so that they’ll have maximum impact.
The only way to know for sure is to start tracking.
Start tracking your visitors today
As you can see, tracking your visitors can have enormous benefits for your website, from the way you market it to the content you create.
If you don’t already have an analytics solution for your site, give Independent Analytics a shot:
It’s free, has zero performance impact, and doesn’t require any configuration. Or, you can follow this brief tutorial on adding analytics to WordPress to see how it works first.
Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions or comments, you can drop a note below.