17 min read
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Updated: May 06, 2022

How to Measure Website Traffic for Improved Performance

Most law firms say their websites don’t help get more business. How do you measure website performance? Here's your guide on the best metrics to watch.

When a client tells us their website doesn’t get the volume of traffic it needs to improve revenue, the first thing we ask is: How do you measure website performance, if at all?

Effectively, every company that wants to succeed has a website. And yet, the vast majority don’t actually measure their traffic correctly.

This means their websites are merely digital brochures, with little attention paid to how visitors interact with the information on the site, or if it is intentionally designed to entice prospects to act.

Not happy with your website performance?

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Not happy with your website performance?

Once you implement a high-performance website with an SEO strategy that improves traffic data, you might want to hire a digital marketing agency to ensure your results keep improving.

A reputable agency will also be able to provide you with website metrics, including monthly traffic reports, to determine how to maximize cash flow and continue improving website analytics that matter.

While this article gets a little technical, it will be your golden ticket to review expectations with your web design and digital marketing company, as well as your overall marketing strategy.

Although experts will always implement traffic-driving tactics, it’s empowering to know what questions to ask, so you know where your money is going. It also means dishonest marketers won’t sham you.

Let’s dive in.

  • Knowing What You Want to Achieve

    Setting the right objectives will become the foundation of your marketing efforts and website development.

    You should hope to have a great SEO strategy that attracts more traffic and converts visitors into business opportunities. When you put your goals under the spotlight, you can start to measure what you really care about.

    Before you get started on improving traffic statistics, make sure to measure and establish your benchmarks, such as:

    – Number of visitors

    – Number of leads/inquiries (phone and contact us form submissions)

    – Cost per lead (CPL)

    – Close rate (number of inquiries it takes to get one new client)

    – Average revenue per client

  • Review Industry Standards

    Do you know what traffic stats mean? As in, do you know what your industry’s standards are for poor, average, and good traffic?

    You’ll want to use industry-specific research as an example, such as this report by Word Stream, to learn what a good conversion rate is.

    For instance: A typical conversion rate on websites for lawyers is around 2.07%. Let’s round that down to 2%. That means two people out of 100 website visitors pick up the phone or fill out the “Contact Us” form.

    Now let’s say 1-of-3, or 1-of-4 callers become clients.

    In that case, you need 200 user visits to get one single client.

    Once you have the benchmarks of these engagement metrics, you can decide what to improve and by how much. Do you want to triple that conversion rate from 2% to 6%? Or do you want to double your website’s traffic?

    If you want 15 new clients a month, but you only have 1,000 website visitors converting at 2%, for example, you have to boost website traffic or your conversion rate…or both.

    For reference: A high-performance website can convince about 10% of all visitors to call. Can you imagine your website performing like that?

Different Types of Website Traffic

When you understand the different traffic sources, you can better plan your advertising campaigns and SEO efforts. But first, you need to know there are five types of website traffic:

1. Direct Traffic

This is when visitors travel directly to your website by typing in the URL directly into the browser, or have a bookmark for your website saved. The majority of direct traffic comes from returning visitors.

The quality of your services, the types of products you offer, the customer service you provide, as well as online brand exposure all play a part in direct traffic. The better your business, the better your direct traffic.

2. Referral Traffic

This is when website traffic comes from users directed to your website through external links or other websites, without searching for you on Google. For example, when a visitor clicks on a link shared on social media platforms.

To improve referral traffic, you should focus on creating valuable content and marketing it across social media platforms. Influencer marketing can also increase website page views and unique visitors to your entire website.

3. Organic Traffic

Organic traffic refers to the number of visitors who reach your website through search engines like Google that don’t click on paid search ads. Improving this source of traffic is the primary goal of inbound marketing.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the best digital marketing strategy to bring in the most traffic over the long term. However, it can take a few months after implementation for traffic data to improve.

4. Social Traffic

This is any traffic that comes from social networks and social media platforms. For example, a person who clicks on a Tweet or an Instagram post and then arrives at your website. Social traffic measures the performance of social media campaigns regarding the ability to generate website traffic, as well as conversions.

Social traffic is important because the more places you can connect with your audience, the better. Social media marketing is especially significant to connect with your target audience and build customer relationships.

5. Paid Traffic

This traffic is generated when a user clicks on a paid ad on a search engine results page for a particular search query. The ad is created, and paid for, by the company using an ad platform like Google Adwords to try to appear first in search engine results pages (SERPs).

The only way to improve paid traffic is either by increasing your bidding amount or via A/B testing to see which advertisements attract your target audience best. Remember, paid ads are always a short-term strategy, and should never replace your SEO efforts.

Popular Tools to Track Website Traffic

Google Analytics is still one of the best and most powerful tools to track website traffic. With Google Analytics, you can monitor and analyze how much traffic your website receives.

It provides an enormous amount of information about who is visiting your website, what they are looking for, and how they are getting to your site as well as other metrics.

Other notable applications to help you start tracking your website traffic include; Crazy Egg, Kissmetrics, Ubersuggest, Semrush, and Ahrefs.

If you want to measure your website traffic for free, then Google Analytics is probably your best bet. It also integrates seamlessly with Google Ads, which allows for more centralized traffic data.

How to Measure Website Traffic from Different Sources

The great thing about most analytics tools is that they’ll most likely categorize different traffic sources for you. Each tool has unique features that set it apart, and most experts use multiple to check pages viewed, top referring sites, popular pages, click-through rates, and so on.

Digital marketing experts will also use multiple tools to check traffic estimates for their competitors. We always recommend using more than one tool as you’ll get more accurate results.

Depending on your marketing goals, and how often you share content; you might want to check your website traffic daily or once or twice a week. Regardless of whatever schedule you decide, it’s important to adhere to it to ensure you receive accurate traffic stats.

Important Website Traffic Metrics to Measure

  • Number of Unique Visitors

    This is what we’re talking about when we refer to website “traffic.” Your traffic is the measure of how many unique visitors arrive at any one of your landing pages.

    SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is the linchpin to greater visibility across Google, meaning your website will show as a relevant result for more users searching for services you provide.

    There are literally hundreds of metrics in play that tell Google how much of an expert you are in your field. The more of an expert Google thinks you are, the more search results you’ll show up in, and the more organic traffic your website will receive.

    And more traffic = more leads = more sales = more profit!

    ONLINE SEARCHES

    Often the best way to improve organic search traffic is through content marketing, especially blogging. When you blog, you constantly publish content on the web that is valuable to potential customers.

    When prospects click to read your blog, they should be directed to your website. This signals to Google that your website is relevant, and therefore drives more traffic, and creates returning visitors.

    Doing this consistently will improve your Google ranking and organic search traffic.

  • Bounce Rate

    The “bounce rate” measures when someone looks at whatever landing page of your site they land on, and then decides, “Nah, not for me.”

    And they leave.

    You’ll see numerous articles talk about 50-60% average bounce rates. Your website should continually strive to engage visitors beyond looking at a single page.

    Is your website designed deliberately to encourage positive user behavior? If visitors are bouncing quickly off your site, talk to your web design and development company, or contact us.

  • Dwell Time

    Google cares about bounce rate, but it also cares about how average visit duration. This is an indicator of whether the content users find there is valuable or not. And that’s how Google decides if your content is “relevant.”

    The more time users spend on your site, the higher your Google ranking will be and the more of an “expert” you’ll be indexed as.

    bounce rates

    And the higher your rating, the higher you’ll show up in search, and the more total visits you’ll get.

    As long as you maintain longer dwell times, the effect will snowball, and you’ll have killer search rankings to show for it.

    So, make sure that the content on your website goes beyond basics and really expands into answering the many common questions your prospects and clients have for you. FAQs, for example, provide an excellent framework for developing content that attracts large volumes of website traffic.

  • Traffic-to-lead

    Traffic-to-lead is a fancy way of talking about conversion rates. And there are two conversion rates your company needs to focus on: desktop and mobile.

    Imagine it. You have a killer web design, and desktop visitors are converting at 10%. But then, on mobile, you’re only converting 2%.

    Looking at today’s statistics on website visits from mobile devices, this would mean you’re missing out on half of your business.

    That’s why we look at both desktop and mobile “traffic-to-lead” conversion rates.

  • Lead-to-opportunity Rate

    This is an internal metric for your web design and digital marketing agency. Not only are you measuring website traffic, but here you’ll measure whether that traffic ends upbringing in real opportunities for you to serve new clients.

    If you haven’t seen these numbers before, ask your digital marketing company today where your website stands and what their goals are over time.

  • Cost-Per-Lead (CPL)

    Here’s where you keep your pulse on cost. If your marketing costs are climbing, but your client flow is doubling, cost-per-lead (CPL) calculations will keep costs in perspective.

    This is one of the most important metrics in web marketing. You could even argue that it’s what all the others boil down to:

    Are you getting new clients in a cost-effective manner?

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Hire a Professional Marketing Agency to Measure Organic Search Traffic

Know these metrics and work with your marketing agency to improve incoming traffic. Now that you know how to measure website traffic, you need a plan, with clear business objectives, to ensure you meet your company’s KPIs.

Start by downloading our checklist to see what a digital marketing plan needs to be successful.

And always keep measuring along the way. Remember: “When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, then you know something about it,” Lord Kelvin.

If you want the Comrade team to help you improve your company website performance, schedule a website traffic consultation.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you would like to discuss your project, reach out to our specialists.

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About the Author
Sasha Berson
Sasha serves as Managing Partner and VP of Client Solutions for Comrade Digital Marketing, a Chicago-based marketing agency dedicated to solving client’s most pressing digital challenges.
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