Free Tools and Tips to Increase Your Website Performance
When it comes to improving website performance, getting found more in search engines and increasing visitor traffic to your website, the strategies to achieve these get complicated quickly. Some terms you will encounter include search engine optimization (SEO), keyword analysis, meta tags, title tags, and other digital marketing buzz words. But the question is what is important when it comes to increasing your website performance? In this article we outline the important tools and strategies to increasing website visitor traffic.
Google Analytics is a free tool Google offers to help businesses track their website performance analytics. We recommend adding Google Analytics to your website. It is the best way to get free, accurate and detailed information about your website performance and visitors. With Google Analytics, you can track how a visitor came to your site, how long visitors stayed, what pages they looked at, and what kind of content kept them there.
When reviewing data from Google Analytics, review these five key areas:
Study Bounce Rate: A website or a web page’s bounce rate is a good indicator of whether the website or page is engaging. If there is a high bounce rate for a web page is very high it shows the business that users are not engaged in that page. From here this tells us that the business should go back to that page and make it more engaging. You can do this through adding pictures, videos, interactive features, links to other pages, or even by just more clearly defining a call-to-action (CTA).
Examine Behavior Flow: Behavior Flow is an amazing feature offered because it goes beyond the raw data and shows a visual diagram of user’s journey through a website. This feature can show businesses how a user got to your website, what pages the visited in and in what order, and also what page they left the website. However, if you want to look at the raw statistics you can access this data by going to the Behavior section on Google Analytics and selecting “Site Content”. From here you will be able to see a websites top viewed pages, landing pages, and exit pages with each of their specific user data.
Analyze Traffic Channels: Another important insight Google Analytics allows you to see is your traffic channels, which is where your users are coming from to get to your website. Traffic channels are broken down into four categories which are organic search, direct search, social, and referral. Each of these channels are important in determining your next steps to get users to your website. For example, if a business has a low number of users visiting their website from social this means that they need to create or update their social media profiles and start promoting their business on these platforms. The same logic can be applied to determine whether a business should invest in advertisements on search engines or social media.
Investigate Audience: When creating a business plan a majority of the time there is a defined target audience. Google Analytics gives a business the tools to see if they are reaching their target audience. This tool categorizes individuals based on age, location, and interests. It is really important for a business to track who their market is because they might be missing out on a really important key demographic for their business. For example, if a business trying to target a majority of women but two-thirds of their audience is male then they are not reaching their target market.
Look for Trends: It is highly important to look for trends in data. If a business were to put out an infographic, they might see the visitors to their website increase significantly. Noting this trend is important because a business is able to see what type of content generate visitors for their business. Also, it is important to look at day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month, and year-to-year trends. A business might see that during the holiday season from November to January they are not receiving many visitors. Looking back at the past five years of data during this time it might show that this is a slow time for the business. From here the business can strategize what they should do in order to increase visitors during this time period whether it be more targeted content or advertisements.
Other Tools – Google Search Console, Google Tag Manager and Keyword Planner
Google Analytics is not the only tool to increase website performance. There are a variety of other free, powerful tools meant to increase your website performance and lead to the online success of your business.
Here are three free tools to help your business:
Google Search Console: Google Search Console is another free website service offered by Google. It allows a business to check where they rank on Google in terms of their website. This tool also gives businesses tips on how to optimize the visibility of their website. Click here to learn more about Google Search Console.
Google Tag Manager: Google Tag Manager is an extension of Google Analytics. It allows businesses to track more data through tags which are measurement codes on a business’s website. To learn more about Google Tag Manager click here to download a free eBook/guide.
Keyword Planner Tool: Google also offers a free Keyword Planner tool that is attached to their free Google Ads platform. The keyword planner tool provides keyword ideas and estimates traffic in order to help businesses build Search Network campaigns. To learn more about Keyword Planner click here.
Don’t Forget to Embed the Appropriate Code on Your Website All of the tools mentioned can help increase your website's performance, but they can only do that if they can read and understand what each of your web pages are about. That is why it is so important to embed certain language into your website.
I recommend you embed the following on your website:
Meta Tags: Meta tags are an HTML element and are snippets of text that describes a page’s content. These tags are do not appear on a web page but are in the page’s source code. For example, if a business had a website focused on selling hockey equipment their products page would include keywords such as hockey stick, hockey gear, hockey jersey, hockey bag, hockey pucks, and other keywords about the products being sold.
Title Tags: A title tag is another HTML element that specifies a web page's title. Title tags are not displayed on the page but are instead in the page’s source code and are displayed on search engine results page as a clickable headline. Following with our hockey example, a good page title for their products page would be something like, “Company Name - Our Products”.
Page Descriptions: A website’s page description is different than meta tags. A page description will be displayed on a search engines results page underneath the title tag. In the case of our hockey example an appropriate page description for their products page would be something like, “We offer a variety of products to offer our clients the ease of one-stop shopping. We offer everything from gear and equipment to apparel.”
Using these tools and tips will help you improve website performance, understand your customer’s and website visitor’s behavior and improve your sales.
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