Mash Snacks:

Is More Traffic Always Better?

Episode #002 | September 24, 2020

Mash Snack 1

September 24, 2020

Description

We get it, you want more website traffic. But, not all traffic was created equal.

Audio Transcript

Hello Mashers, it’s Bec Caldwell [SP] here and welcome to our tasty Mash Snack, a quick digital marketing tidbit to get you through your tea break. Pull up a chair. Welcome, welcome. So something we come across a lot here at Mash media is the idea of more traffic to your website means it’s better. It’s good, right? More traffic is a good thing. And yeah, a lot of the time, that is totally true. You want a lot of traffic coming to your website, more traffic generally means more customers are finding you. So if you’ve had SEO done or you’ve been working on your content on your website or you’ve just had a refresh, yeah, that’s an amazing indicator that you are really doing the right thing. But when is traffic not a good thing? When is more traffic not a good thing? Well, you’d be surprised.

There are quite a few reasons why more traffic is actually detrimental to your statistics. Now, it doesn’t mean anything’s wrong with your website. And nothing’s actually going to change with, you know, your customer base or how people find you. But what it will do is it’ll skew your results. So if you’re measuring your results based on traffic alone, and a couple of little things sort of sneak in, you’re not really getting the big picture. So let’s talk about what those things are.

Now, we use Google Analytics to track the traffic to our own site and to our client’s websites. It’s really user friendly. The reports are really easy to generate. And it also feeds into our reporting software, because we do use Google Data Studio, which is not a third party. It’s a Google product, but it just displays the data in a much prettier way. So looking at Google Analytics, sometimes we can see traffic that’s not real traffic. Now, the number one form of non-traffic that you shouldn’t be recording is traffic from your own stuff and friends and family. You know, when you’re checking a website, when you’ve rewritten something, or you want to see how it looks, you might give a phone call to a friend or a family member or talk to people around the office, “Hey, can you have a look at this, just let me know if it looks good?” And you’re gonna record a huge amount of extra traffic for that day that doesn’t necessarily mean your website’s been found online. It’s internal traffic, we like to call it.

And it just skews the results. So it might mean you’ve done a refresh this month. And then when you compare it to the next month, oh my gosh, my traffic has gone down by like 15%, 20%, what the hell is wrong? So one thing you can do there is install a filter in Google Analytics, you just go to the admin section, and all the way at the property or view you can see filters and we will be writing a blog on that and how to do that a bit later. So make sure you check back on our blog to find out how.

So the second one is bots. That’s right. Even your website, even if it’s just a blog, or you’re not that popular yet, bots will come to your website to check it out. Of course, the most famous one is the Googlebot, and that one is indexing your site and making sure that it’s in the Google index and able to be searched for, that’s totally fine. That generally doesn’t give you an extra visit. But there are other bots out there. There are bots that might come from another country. So definitely check country of origin, the language and the bounce rate, and the load time on site. You can then drill down into like hostname and IP and things like that. So you know exactly which bots are visiting you for no reason.

Now, some of the reasons they do this is to scrape content, things like that, and some of them just like spamming your site. We had a couple of clients get a lot of Russian visits. And when we drilled it down, sure enough, it was a bot. So while the person was controlling the bot, it’s not really on a tight leash. So you could get, you know, a couple of hundred visits from a bot that can just throw out your stats. So again, you can filter those out. There’s new bots all the time. So it’s not easy keeping on top of it, but again, look out for our blog coming up in the next week or so, and we will show you how to filter out bots and traffic from staff and friends and family. So that’s something to think about. So when you see your traffic falling month to month or really going way too high, have a think about where that traffic is coming from, and if it’s actually something you should even be recording or reporting on. All right. Thanks, guys.

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