This blog was originally published on Cupcakes & Websites website here: The Largest Canadian Google Analytics Study Ever Done
For this study we wanted to compare data from 2015 to 2016. Over those, only 57 qualified (had enough traffic over a two year period) to make the cut. If the website wasn’t setup until after 2015 we didn’t include the data as it is incomplete. Next years study (or later this year, we’ll see) will be even bigger!
What did we find?
Average number of visits to a website:
2016 – 14,267
2015 – 15,700
A decrease of 10%
A decrease in average traffic would indicate you can’t have the “build it and it will come” attitude. You have to be doing something on your website that gets people to come back again and again. No you don’t need SEO (search engine optimization) if you’re creating amazing content for your intended audience.
Monitor you traffic. One past almost client (they never said yes) asked if they could talk to us about their “new” website and why they lost 80% of their traffic. Get a monthly report from your website provider at the very least just to ensure someone is reading what you publish!
Average number of visits from search (traffic from Google):
2016 – 7,513
2015 – 6,150
An increase of 18%
Ever since we’ve been measuring websites in Google Analytics it’s always been an anomaly about how much traffic comes from search. And not just our website, EVERYONE’S, yes yours too! You just need to understand better what Google is looking for. Search in powerful, if someone if looking for what you sell, the odds are they will search for it eventually. Make sure when your potential customers search for what you provide, you come up!
Everyone needs a Google Strategy.
The average growth (loss) of traffic:
Total traffic – (10%)
Organic traffic – 18%
Facebook traffic – (.08%)
Traffic fluctuates. Google gives you some tools on seeing what the average search volume is for specific terms over the twelve months of the year to see when search peak.
In the real world if your store has a better location, if you can get in front of more people, if everyone can recognize your store from a mile away, you have a distinct advantage.
The Internet doesn’t work that way.
If you rent space in the West Edmonton mall beside a popular retailer you’re sure to increase your foot traffic. The catch is, retail space beside Holts, the Disney or Apple store will come at a premium.
When you build a website it’s like you put your store in a farmers field somewhere near Grenfell, SK. As your site acquires more links, is updated more often, you move closer and closer to a bigger town (more “traffic”). The front page of Google, the epicentre for qualified traffic, takes time and deliberate effort to get to the front page of and every day it’s getting more and more competitive.
The front page of Google is a zero sum game…
as one website goes up, another has to go down. All four major players in the market can’t rank number 1. As one company builds links and increases their rankings, other websites feel the equal and opposite reaction. If you don’t start being proactive about your online presence you’re going to see you traffic decrease from Google.
And I’m not sure if you’ve checked your traffic sources report in Google Analytics lately, Google organic search is probably your websites largest traffic provider. Might be a good idea to build a strategy to increase that traffic from Google.
You could advertise on Facebook or LinkedIn or reddit or the Leaderpost.com. Telling more people to come to your website should help you get closer to your goal.
You have defined a goal haven’t you?
OK we may need to take a step back here. No one really “needs” a website, think about it.
You need a contact us page so people can get a hold of you. You need a products page so people can see your new products regularly. You need a staff page so potential customers can see ‘who’ they’ll be dealing with if they so choose to set up an appointment. But no one really needs a website, a website is a tool, a tactic within a strategy. The sooner you recognize this the sooner you can being to use your website to its full potential.
No one really needs a website, companies need to be found, they need to be searchable, within a couple words hopefully. So that in the moment when your next customer has a problem, they pick up their phone, pull up Google and search for (insert your company’s keywords here) “funny marketing speaker Regina” and boom you’re right there.
Infographic by KISSmetrics
Brandon recently completed a website for Regina Culture Days titled “iHeartCulture.ca“. Then they did the most important thing, they gave me a reason to check it out.
I love when people actually care about their website.
On their launch day at the downtown city square plaza you couldn’t miss this bus:
“Win packages to Saskatchewan Festivals. To enter visit IHeartCulture.ca”
They didn’t go the “field of dreams” route with their website like so many do. Spending a small fortune, you know, the if you build it they will come mentality. Stop it!
Building a website is easy. Getting people to your website again and again is difficult.
You must try harder every day to get people to your website. Obviously you’re going to need to measure what people are doing once they are on your website, but that’s for another blog post you silly nilly!
Good on you IHeartCulture!
The other day going a bunch of websites that Brandon had built a while ago we started noticing something odd. Whenever we would Google the obvious search terms that a website should be ranking for they turned out to not only rank but usually rank within the top 3.
And yes I checked the actually universal search terms not just the Google results on my laptop. Any time you Google something it’s customized based on your past search, location, and activity on Google+. For a true search you must turn off personalization.
Here are some examples: Read more
Have you ever heard about a company and look up their website to find what looks like a Chimpanzee’s art project in MS Paint? Five years ago you could get by without a website and still do business just fine. Today very few companies can get by without having something resembling their brand online.
Today just having a website doesn’t suffice. If Google can’t find your website you’re not going to acquire search traffic. If you’re not putting anything worth while on your website no one’s going to care (no your newsletter doesn’t count as something people care about).
People buy from people and companies they know, like and trust. Here are six things you can do to make your website stand out and be more trustworthy.
1. Have your contact info (e-mail and phone number) very easy to find on every page. Make it easy for people to ask a question. If it’s difficult to find your contact info it feels like you don’t want me to contact you. Unless of course you in fact don’t want people to contact you ignore this one and move on to two.
2. Give your “About Us” page some love. Of the websites analytics I’ve seen, the About Us page is by far the most popular page other than the home page. Your potential customers want to see who you are before they do business with you. The more the can find out about you before you meet the better. Lots of pictures and video if at all possible.
3. Have blog posts that get comments, Retweets, Likes, Shares, etc. The more social shares and comments a website has, the more you know people actually give a damn about what they’re writing about.
4. Have links to your company/personal Twitter accounts, Facebook Pages, Google+ Pages, Pinterest Pinboards, LinkedIn Pages. But only on the very important caveat of “if thou shall keep a link to a social network on thy website, be certain to stay active on thy social network”.
5. Display badges of associations, affiliated websites, and awards you have won. If you’re a home builder a link to the Home Builder’s Association makes a lot of sense. Being on the AdAge Power 150 or completing a course in Google adds a lot of credibility to your company. As long as it doesn’t seem sleazy or to cheesy, include your Best Employer award, Your Customer Service Award, Your JD Power & Associates, heck if you win a Juno, put er up! If you’re winning awards you must be doing something right, right? If you’re associated with websites that add to your credibility ensure images and links to those sites are visible.
6. Include testimonials either on the home page or one click away. People often hide their testimonials or keep them on a page deep in their website. If you’re as good as you say you are, other people will say really nice things about you. Put what they say on your homepage. There’s no more powerful marketing than a recommendation from someone with authority.
If you’ve had a website built recently you should be able to request Google Analytics to be installed and you given access to for free or a relatively cheap price. It literally takes 15-30 minutes for a developer to set up, depending on if he takes a break 10 minutes in to eat a doughnut or not.
Google Analytics is your command central for your website. You can tell where people found your website, what they searched to find your website, the pages they visited on your website, and a whole lot more. Below are 5 of the first reports I started using. Please ask if you have questions!
1. Traffic Sources Report
Why is it important?
Below are some of the more interesting/creative/weird/awkward/amazingly designed websites I’ve found over the past few years. If you have a really cool site you’d like to share please leave a link in the comments below, I’d love to see it.
Now put a helmet on cause your mind is about to be blown….
1. Musical Hands? I don’t even know what the heck this website is called but you can make music with the touch of a button(s).
2. Koala’s to the Max is a website that, well not at first but after you do some work, reveals something. Go on try it out, you’ll be hooked.
3. Interactive Triangulation is a website where, well, you interact with triangles.
4. Eye Candy is a psychedelic journey best viewed after a Cypress Hill or Neil Young concert.
5. Don’t Click It is a website where you navigate around by moving your mouse, not clicking at all. It’s difficult, try it out.
6. Avoid the Red Dots, that’s all you have to do, check out this website.
7. Larry Carlson’s Medijate is a wild cross between One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and a tight and bright party. Make sure your speakers are one before you visit this site.
8. RainyMood.com is a website that just plays a loop of rain. Why you ask? Well it’s relaxing of course. Who doesn’t like to fall asleep to the sound of rain?!?
9. Simply Noise is a free site that plays, noise. Yup, white noise, pink noise ans brown noise. You can make it oscillate like a fan or put it on a timer for nights when you can’t sleep. First a Rain site now a noise site?!? WTF people? I’ve had it on for the last half hour (brown noise) relaxing. giver it a try.
10. Auditorium is a game using sound, I warn you – it’s addicting.
Do you have a site that’s fantastically awesome? Share the link in the comments below.
Me love you long time.
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