How to Measure Website Traffic Easily

April 24, 2024

It is vital to know what draws visitors to a website and how to convert them into customers. Analytic services are very important for measuring this type of situation to ensure everything runs smoothly and to prevent or fix situations where traffic goes down.

Addressing how these metrics work can help you monitor performance, compare yourself with the competition, and improve.

Once everything is planned out, specialists can monitor such metrics and prevent any issues from happening, especially those coming from Google Search Updates. This can prevent further ranking hits and ensure a steady recovery in the short term.

How is Web Traffic Measured?

It’s necessary for website users to have the proper tools to check how many people are clicking on and visiting their website. Multiple external third-party tools, like Ahrefs or Semrush, help experts estimate.

On the other hand, Google’s official analytic platform, Google Analytics, is perfect for this type of measurement, assessing marketing efficiency. It provides the real traffic numbers that websites need to monitor and improve.

Every agency and SEO specialist must know three important metrics when measuring users, sessions, and engaged sessions.

Users

Unique website visitors are known as “users” by Google Analytics. When these people enter a website, they’re assigned an ID that tracks their return visits if they ever do it in the future.

These mechanisms of identifying users with IDs mean that it’s always more likely that a site will have several sessions higher or equal to the number of users. Experts must review the Traffic acquisition report to see how many people have visited lately and how they found the site.

Using Google Analytics 4 is greatly recommended because it makes it easy to see how much traffic is repeated and identify new visitors.

Sessions

When a user visits a site, Analytics adds it to their list as a “session.” A session begins on the first page a user sees and ends on the last page they see before they close the tab or become inactive. Sessions end if the user is away from the keyboard for 30 minutes.

Engaged Sessions

An engaged session is when a visitor stays on a site for at least 10 seconds, completes at least one conversion event, or views at least two pages from the entire site.

All of the mentioned metrics have relevant information that can be valuable for understanding how users arrive at a site and what pages they’re reading. While sessions and users measure different things, they follow very similar patterns.

Different Types of Web Traffic

While tools like Google Analytics have different ways to measure traffic, they also utilize a group of variant types to categorize website traffic. These tools break down into groups or categories called “sources” or “channel groups.”

Segmenting web traffic into different categories helps to analyze and answer specific questions in digital marketing and for many other reasons. Tracking these reasons and sources helps specialists see which platforms generate the most traffic.

Organic Search Traffic

One of the most known sources of web traffic is organic search traffic, which comes from search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Organic search traffic is considered one of the key performance metrics for SEO, measuring the volume of clicks from SERPs.

Direct Traffic

Google Analytics defines this web traffic as visitors who arrive at your site by directly typing the URL or through saved bookmarks. It means no SERP or search is involved.

Referral Traffic

Referrals measure the traffic from users who come to your site after clicking a link from another site. They’re called referrals because they’re like recommendations from another web page.

These recommendations are essential for sites, SEO and Google because browsers consider them a significant indicator of whether a site is credible, trustworthy, and valuable for users.

In addition, it can have a direct impact on search rankings. These types of hyperlinks are known as backlinks and are essential for specialists to create a successful SEO campaign.

Referral traffic is precious because it sends potentially interested customers to your site from other websites they trust, allowing you to get your content in front of people qualified for what you’re looking for.

When the users trust the backlinks created from it, the credibility is further lent to your content, as if it was a recommendation from a friend to another to try something new.

Organic Social Traffic

Users’ flow from social media platforms is known as organic social traffic. It happens when a user clicks your site from a Facebook page or a tweet from X. Analytics will automatically attribute it to social traffic.

While many technically call this category referral traffic, Google understands that social media plays a wider and more unique role in advertising and marketing; thus, it is split from the other category.

Reasons for Website Traffic Going Down Due to Google

Acknowledging the different types of web traffic and how it’s measured is undoubtedly important, but more is knowing the reasons behind Google’s reasoning for taking down content. Many updates tend to affect this, so experts must be prepared for anything.

Core updates keep Google rankings in constant flux, and what ranked perfectly last year isn’t guaranteed to work correctly this season. Because of this, many businesses have been wiped out, and agencies must improve their strategies to keep up.

Algorithm Updates

One of the most common reasons why website traffic takes a hit can be due to an algorithm update. Still, not all of these patches noticeably impact the rankings. Only those known as broad updates are the ones that shake things off occasionally.

These updates are infrequent, but their primary goal is to find underperforming sites and shuffle them close to the top of SERPs.

When this happens, sites ranked higher take traffic away from their competitors. While this could be considered a penalty for the website owners, it’s only boosting a site that should have been rated higher from Google’s perspective.

Site Penalties

While algorithm updates can lift any type of website up, the main goal of site penalties is to knock off improperly built sites. Most penalties are applied at once, targeted at particular websites, and applied manually by Google’s site reviewers.

Most of these actions are taken when sites employ prohibited content and black-hat SEO strategies such as keyword stuffing or page cloaking.

How to Recover from Updates

If your website was hit with some of the mentioned changes by Google, hiring a marketing agency to help you with the reconstruction process is highly recommended. Penalties take months to recover and even start from scratch in some extreme cases.

Most cases are solved by removing the offending practice content and then petitioning Google to make a new review. If the issue is related to an algorithm change, experts must take another approach.

Figuring Out the Reason

Knowing how to measure website traffic also means acknowledging that every change Google makes has an intention behind it, and many traffic fluctuations can accompany it.

Most cases are related to undesirable techniques and low-quality content production, like AI spam. Site owners and specialists must read the updated changes to respond appropriately.

Determining the Needed Changes

Once the specialists know the reasoning behind Google making changes and affecting the site, determining how to align to those new changes is a vital priority. When updates are content-focused, creating high-quality content is the go-to option.

In some cases, updates are centered toward link-building strategies, meaning many link farms or private blog networks are erased.

Last but not least, sometimes updates focus on delivering better site performance. This means raising the bar regarding stability, upload speed, and loading times must be improved.

Creating an Action Plan

After addressing what needs to be changed, SEO specialists must implement a strategy or plan to implement those changes and get the website back to the top rankings. Determining how the content production will be handled is an important aspect of this step.

Creating additional angles while using relevant keywords and making blog posting more regular overtime are some of the most common plans for making a website successful again.

SEO agents must also develop newer link-building strategies and eliminate older, low-quality ones. This includes placing attractive links with great content, professional networking, or offering expertise in exchange for links.

Improving load patterns or reducing media size is a must-try option in case performance must be boosted. Agents like Kala know about many other technical SEO tricks and tips that can improve the site.

Conclusion

The question of how to measure website traffic isn’t answered quickly. It is crucial to understand online presence first, then optimize a site’s digital strategy and improve its rankings.

Using web analytics tools such as Google Analytics combined with other great tracking key metrics like page views, unique visitors, and conversion rates helps to gain valuable insights into user behavior and engagement.

Last but not least, implementing the services of a specialized agency like Kala for regular monitoring and analysis of your website traffic will empower your brand to make informed decisions to enhance UX, drive more traffic, and ultimately achieve your objectives.

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