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One success metric to judge a good website by is whether visitors come back for more. Assuming that your offering is designed for repeat traffic, then knowing how many users return and how often is useful in understanding how well your content is engaging them.
What I mean by “designed for repeat traffic” is: Are you expecting users to visit your site more than once in any given week or a month? If you sell white goods (fridges & freezers) you might expect to see a little repeat traffic while visitors decide on a make and model. If you sell cruises, for many they’re a “once in a lifetime holiday” so you wouldn’t expect the same user to be pinging your site day after day. If, however, you’re a blogger that posts every day and attracts quite a number of visitors, you’ll want to know if people are coming back a few times a week to read your thoughts and how long they take to return.
Understanding visitor loyalty is crucial to understanding whether you need to make changes to your content or user experience in order to keep users coming back.
How many times have you recommended a website to a friend or they to you? Can you remember why it was recommended? It may well have been because it was easy to use or the content was compelling.
I’ve been buying products from the same CD/DVD/Book site for years.
Because it has everything I need. Great content, competitive prices (notice I didn’t say cheapest prices), and quick, secure navigation. I might buy from them once a month and they know they’re doing something right because they’ll be tracking how many repeat visits on average they get and how often.
Once they know that number they can set themselves a GOAL. They can say, “for the next 3 months we’re going to try and increase our repeat visits by 10% per month.” They could create a special offer, maybe a discount on their customer’s next purchase. They could more cleverly target an email campaign to get people back in the door before each month was over. They could improve their ordering system to ensure nothing is ever sold out, or they could waive postage and packing for a certain period to encourage people to keep buying.
Repeat visits is one thing, but knowing how long people spend on your site and how many pages they look at is another. Some customers may come a few times a month and buy the same thing. They come in, they spend a few minutes doing whatever they came to do, and then they’re off again. If you track the metrics of length and depth of visit you’ll be able to set yourself some goals to engage your visitors more and get them to spend increasing amounts of time on your site and checking out more pages.
Think of it like a shop front. These guys are nipping inside your store doorway by just a few feet, checking out the merchandise and then taking off. If you know this is happening on certain pages or sections of your site you can create strategies to welcome and entice them deeper into the store. Try to get them to navigate to the back of the shop to see what else you have to offer.
adCenter Analytics lets you assess the level of user engagement and harvest valuable data from the Visitor Loyalty drop-down menu in the reports tab:
Visitor Loyalty Reports
Here are a few screenshots of what the reports might look like:
Depth of Visit Report by Pages
New & Repeat Visit Report
Recency of Visit Report
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