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Monitoring Your Website?

Angela Brennan
VP, Web Development

Websites are essential for your organization and your brand, and not providing a good user experience could lower your credibility. Improve your website by monitoring and segmenting your traffic and conducting a content audit.That is why it is imperative that you are continually improving and monitoring your website beyond just outages and page load time and also monitoring your website’s traffic and content: a responsibility often filled by the marketing department.

Monitoring Your Traffic

At this point, your website most likely has some tracking code implemented that shows you how many people have visited your site, what keywords they used to get there, which pages were viewed, etc. But unless you’re breaking out your traffic by key audiences and their interaction with your website, you might be missing out on some important information.

Monitoring traffic by audience is important because not every audience acts the same way. For example, your internal audience will want different content and navigate your site in a different way than your external audience. Your paid search traffic will also respond to your site differently than your direct traffic.

Without understanding the differences in your audiences, it can be difficult to make informed decisions and answer questions such as:

  • Does traffic from social media sites act differently than traffic from search engines? Is Facebook different than Twitter?
  • What are the most popular landing pages? Do those pages contain important information that is easy to find?
  • What is normal traffic on the site? Are there times when you have more than normal or less than normal traffic?

If you are using Google Analytics, as so many are, breaking out your audiences can be done by creating new views and applying filters to those views. Consider breaking out audiences by paid search traffic, search engine traffic, referrals from social media, mobile traffic, direct traffic, internal traffic, and external traffic.

While different audience views is extremely helpful, it can also be useful to utilize some type of event tracking. Event tracking is the ability to track interaction or activity with a page element such as a button click, downloading a file, viewing a video, scrolling down a page, or abandoning a form. Google Tag Manager has made the task of tracking events much easier by allowing non-web developers to change tags whenever needed. This means that marketers can track events like outbound link clicks, mobile phone call clicks, email link clicks, or file downloads without having to involve a web developer.

The combination audience segmentation and event tracking can now help you answer questions such as:

  • What PDF is downloaded the most?
  • Who accesses that PDF?
  • What audience is more likely to click a specific button or link?

This will provide some understanding of who is visiting your site and what information they are accessing.

Monitoring Your Content

Along with monitoring your website traffic, you will also want to monitor your website content to make sure that you’re staying relevant and everything is accurate.

You can find and fix misspelled words and broken links easily, so this is a great place to start. For a quick check, there are several free tools that you can use such as Broken Link Checker, Dr. Link Check, Dead Link Check, SEO Chat, and Internet Marketing Ninjas.

Your tracking code is another place that can help you monitor your content. First, look into pages where users drop off your site. Higher exit pages that aren’t the natural last step in a process (‘thank you’ or ‘confirmation’ pages) can signal pages that have errors or pages that need to be edited or deleted. Second, review pages that have no traffic. These dead pages could mean that it’s time to remove the page, merge the page content with other similar content, or edit the page to become more relevant.

After some of these easier content updates are identified, work on long-term plan: a content audit. Content audits review your site pages for relevancy, accuracy, and consistency, which increase your SEO and elevate your content marketing. It means going through all of your content to see if, among other things, it is up-to-date, consistent, using best SEO practices, and supporting your goals and the process can be very tedious. There are many tools on the market to help and here are just a few:

Again, monitoring your website’s traffic and content is crucial for your brand. Your website needs your attention in order to grow and evolve.

See other blogs about website development and management:

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