Understanding how visitors flow from page to page through your website is absolutely critical to achieving your website goals. Like anything, the more you know about this subject the better decisions you can make for improving your website. Your website should be set up in such a way that you get your most important information on the web pages that are frequented the most.
Knowing the flow of traffic through your website will absolutely help you accomplish this. In this article we are going to discuss how to track visitor flow through your website, explain how to integrate your calls-to-action into the right web pages, review things that you can do to change the flow of visitors through your website if need be, and the benefits of doing all of this.
Tracking visitor flow through your website can provide you with some extremely useful information about your website traffic and how they move from web page to web page through your website. Understanding this flow allows you to revise the web pages that are being visited the most so that they include your most critical information and your calls-to-action. If your goal for your website is to have people sign-up for your email newsletter OR if you run an e-Commerce website and your goal is to drive traffic to your online store, how effective will you be at achieving your goals if the majority of your website traffic never lands on the pages that contain your call-to-action? Exactly. Not very effective. However, if you optimize the web pages that are visited most often to contain internal links, banner ads, etc. that display your call-to-action and link traffic to the most appropriate pages you will have greatly enhanced your ability to achieve your goals.
Perhaps the content of the web pages visited most often by your website traffic do not make sense to include our call-to-action. If this is the case, by knowing how visitors flow through your website you can effectively divert them from one web page to a web page that does contain your call-to-action. Again, putting yourself in a better position to achieve your goals. We will discuss this in more detail later in the article. For now, let’s move on to how you can track visitor flow through your website.
There are a lot of great reporting tools out there, such as Google Analytics that will allow you to track visitor flow through your website. Whatever reporting tool you are using simply log in and click around to see if that tool provides you with the ability to track visitor flow. If it does, perfect. Start analyzing those reports to see what web pages are being visited most and in what order. Here are the steps I would take when analyzing those reports:
Depending on the web pages that you find are the most visited, and the content that they contain, it may or may not make sense for you to add calls-to-action OR just divert them to the web pages that already have your call-to-action on them. We will discuss diverting traffic in the next section, but for this section, let’s discuss updating the most frequently visited web pages with a call-to-action. Again, the most important thing for your as a website owner is to achieve the goals that you have set for your website. In order to achieve your goals you have include a “call-to-action” which is basically a phrase or sentence that literally asks your website visitors to perform some sort of action. If you want people to sign-up for your newsletter your call-to-action might be “subscribe to our newsletter to receive special offers and the latest information about XYZ website”.
That call-to-action may or may not be on every web page. If it’s not contained on the web pages that most people visit when they come to your website then you are not going to get a lot of people to sign-up for your newsletter, thus you are not going to achieve your goals. So once you understand how traffic is flowing through your website you can look at the pages that most people visit to see if your call-to-action is included. If it is, but you’re not seeing results then you may have to tweak your offer, make it stand out more, etc. If it is not included then you need to read through your content to find a good place for it. The other option is to create a banner ad that goes into your sidebar which contains your call-to-action, along with a link to the sign-up page. Then you can drop the banner on every page OR at least on the web pages visited most frequently. By including your call-to-action on the web pages that are visited by the majority of your website traffic you are going to get many more people to sign-up for your newsletter.
As I mentioned above, once you know how visitors are flowing through your website you can then come up with a strategy for updating those web pages to include the most critical information. Depending on the content of the most frequently visited web pages sometimes it does not make sense to include your call-to-action within the website content. If that’s the case then you can simply divert traffic from that page to a page that contains the call-to-action instead of having them move on to yet another web page that also does not include your most critical information. For each web page that you are updating, follow the steps below to determine how to divert traffic from the web page to a different page that contains your most critical information.
As you can probably start to see, understanding visitor flow through your website can lead to some really great things for you. By either updating your web pages to contain a call-to-action or by diverting traffic to web pages that already have a call-to-action within them you are effectively getting more eyeballs to see your call-to-action, thus one could infer that you would get more people to complete your call-to-action. That’s really the biggest benefit of doing all of this. That said, here are a few other benefits of analyzing your visitor flow through your website:
Again, these are just a few of the benefits that you will receive by taking time to analyze visitor flow through your website. It’s definitely an activity that I do frequently for my websites and my clients websites. It helps me achieve my goals and it will help you too.
What do you think? Is it worth taking the time to analyze visitor flow through your website? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.