According to studies by BIA Kelsey and Google, 97% of consumers go online to research products locally and 90% of consumers use search engines to conduct research on local businesses.  This means that potential customers are finding your local business website through various online searches.  It’s important to understand the analytics and insights as to how customers are finding you, so you know how to optimize your website for search traffic.

Google Analytics provides a great tool that allows you to identify the customers finding your website by a host of factors.  It’s as easy as dropping a simple line of code onto your website.  Get started with Google Analytics by heading here: http://www.google.com/analytics/.

The success of your local business website is dependent on attracting the right kind of visitors and making sure the content on your website ultimately drives them to making a purchase or coming into your store. Here are the key metrics to understand when looking at your Analytics:

Visitors and Unique Visitors

Clearly this is the key indicator of how many people are arriving to your website.  Unique visitors tells you how many customers came to your website in the previous thirty days.  While this is a very important factor, it’s important that you look beyond this statistics to understand more about your website visitors.

Visitor Demographics

As a local business, it’s important that you are attracting the right type of visitor.  Looking at demographics allows you to make sure that the visitors coming to your website are from your city or town, which makes them potential customers.  Those that came across your website from some random city far-away, are most likely not potential customers.  It’s key that you make sure the right consumer finds your website.  If not, you should be evaluating your SEO/SEM strategy.

Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate measures how quickly someone came to your first page and left your website.  If your bounce rate is high, that means your content isn’t enticing visitors to say on your website to learn more about your business.

New vs. Returning

This figure differs depending on your situation.  A local bar owner is probably much more focused on having new visitors (i.e. potential customers) coming to his or her website on a monthly basis.  A store owner with an online store might be more interested in returning visitors. This lets them know they are getting repeat visits (and sales) from their loyal customers.

Mobile

recent study says that nearly 30% of consumers are searching for local businesses on their mobile phones.  Looking at your % of mobile visitors will tell you the importance of having a mobile-optimized website.  If visitors are forced to pinch their mobile screen and scroll around to read your website content, their most likely going to give up and not come to your store.

Visitor Flow

Visitor Flow is a way to track what visitors do when they arrive to your website and where they go.  If you are a hair salon or eye doctor that allows customers to book appointments directly on your website, it’s important to understand if visitors are getting to your appointment booking area or if they are dropping off before making appointment.  It may mean you need to alter the content of your website.

Traffic Sources

There are four types of web sources people may find your website:

  • Direct: The consumer typed in your web address.  This means they most likely already new your website or guessed your website because they intended to arrive.  In terms of Google Analytics this is the least important to measure.  What’s more important is identifying how potential customers are finding your website.
  • Search: Search traffic measure the various keywords customers are using in Google or Bing (for example) to find out about your business.  If you are a Plumber in Boston, most people will be searching for “Plumbers in Boston”.  It’s important to find out if you are showing up in search results for those keywords.  If not, it probably makes sense to analyze your website content and SEO.
  • Referral: Referral traffic comes when someone clicks through to your website from another website. In terms of local businesses, this usually occurs when someone discovers your business on a business listing directory service like Yelp, Citysearch, YellowPages or some other website.  To increase your referral traffic it’s imperative you have up-to-date content on the nearly 45+ local business listing directories.
  • Social: This is traffic that is coming from Facebook and Twitter.  If your business is active on social media, then this is great way to verify engagement with your Tweets and Posts.  If this is number is low, it may make sense to switch-up the content you are sharing.

Managing your website’s analytics and using search engine optimization (SEO) to increase traffic to your website is important tool in driving prospective customers to your local business.  If you need help with any of the above, and in particular, Mobile websites, Increasing web traffic and optimizing your website for search, feel free to contact us at UPlanMe Consulting, our full-service, local business digital marketing company.