The Digital Bit: Measurement 101 - Why Site Traffic Works
The internet will never stop presenting new challenges and new opportunities for businesses of all kinds. Measuring this new reality will always be a critical function, but one with inherent simplicity if you step back from more elaborate tracking services with extensive coding, reporting and cost. Site traffic, defined basically as homepage analysis, is independently simple and can serve essential needs like tracking ROI, audience activity and even competitive comparisons. Here's a five-piece review breaking down this low-hanging fruit:
- Easy access, whether through in-depth Google Analytics or third-party platforms like Similarweb, you can track virtually any domain on the web. At a minimum, by researching one URL in Similarweb, you gain enough information for a basic profile of the online audience - who visits the website, where they came from, how much content they consume and what they do when they leave. By tracking this month-over-month, benchmarks for success are created to correlate with other business activities like marketing and communications.
- Site traffic has universal recognition across any group - internal, external, in finance, retail or otherwise. Five thousands business leaders acknowledged this versatility when they ranked site traffic as the number one tracked metric for B2B success in the 2015 Content Marketing Institute report (link here, page 15).
- Site traffic reflects the health of an organization's critical owned properties. Are audiences spending a lot of time, interested in your voice or leaving before the page even loads? These results are not only a reflection of the website, but the business overall. Granted, certain businesses will have less relevant audiences online (few prospects are researching private equity investments on a homepage) but this is a diminishing trend. To everyone else, the website is the gateway to opportunity, and should be optimized for maximum engagement and retention with audiences.
- The benefit of the bottom line. PR, marketing, and evolving trends in social media are ultimately tasked with funneling audiences closer towards a business objective. Tracking this entire process is valuable, but on the internet it always ends at a core website for purchase, content viewing or download, or any other ultimate conversion. This last step ultimately ties together the ROI and efficiency of your efforts, while also providing the valuable audience profile that can be reverse-engineered for improved outreach.
- As far as Moore's law, this is a core metric that will not fall victim to evolving technology, but rather will measure and determine the success of evolving technology.