Like most sites, this site needs visitors. Visitors are the life blood of any site, particularly sites with an e-commerce element. Pixels are polished and code is put on a diet to make sure that visitors have an enjoyable experience when visiting.
There are many ways to study the viewing habits of your visitors, popular options seem to be Google Analytics, Go Squared & Chartbeat - these all offer historic, trending and realtime data. Here at Five Simple Steps, we use Go Squared. Measuring visitors to a site can be seen as vanity, and whilst it can be fun to watch little pins pop up on an 'interactive' map, it doesn't really tell the whole story. I prefer to look at more meaningful metrics.
'Sources of traffic' is particularly useful to see what has driven traffic to the site. Another favourite of mine is the 'visitors session' feature in gosquared.com, viewing a visitors path through a site can be very enlightening. This has helped me work out which content has value, and which content is simply a gateway to other, more meaningful content.
Since adding free video to the site I have been keen to measure engagement more effectively. Prior to adding video the average time on the site was around 3-4 minutes. With just over a week of data since adding video, the average time on site is now over 38 minutes. This is a huge leap in engagement.
The theory is simple, the longer a visitor stays on the site the more chance there is of them making a purchase. I am really not interested in pushing sales messages to our visitors, we simply want to give them a good experience and earn their trust. We know our books are great, I have faith that they will then sell themselves when presented in the best way possible. This kind of organic visitor growth (both in numbers and engagement) can easily be measured over time, providing glimpses into our visitors behaviour on the site.
Video has been a big hit for us and we will continue to add a new video every Tuesday at midday (GMT). Curation is important to us and we carefully choose each weeks video in the hope that our library will become an important part of our visitors learning and development. We are in this for the long haul.