If you see me present in a group setting, listen to my website trainings, or read this blog, it won’t take too long for you to get the hammer over your head: REVIEW YOUR WEBSITE TRAFFIC. It has a story to tell and it has rich data for you to mine. For any personalized website review I do I always, always starts with the website traffic. It’s the raw, real story. Not some interpretation of whether your website is “pretty”, or has awesome marketing lingo on it to attract clients. It tells the brutal truth of what people read, where they go on your site, how long they stay, etc.
This is one of many little, funny stories I have from my own experience. I was looking at my traffic for the day on The First Dance, my wedding planning meetings marriage counseling website, and noticed about 30 or so people came to my site from another website. Cool, eh? Usually if someone links to me I’ll see just “one” hit from that site, and it’s usually because they’re testing to make sure the link works. But 30 in one day means there is some cool activity going on.
The problem? The reason for my anxiety attack?
It came from a website that had the word “hardcore” in it.
uh oh. My mind went racing. Did my website get hacked? Did someone redo my photo and make it really inappropriate? Am I now and unwanted star on the web??
I was so nervous I almost didn’t want to click on the link to discover what was going on. Is ignorance bliss? No, no, no. I have to protect my website and I have to know.
I willed myself to click on the link, which took me to the exact website page that linked to MY site. What was I going to find???
Oh?! All that worry for naught! It was actually a person planning their wedding, but who had a strong dislike for kids. I think the hard core was referencing just a “tough attitiude”. It was a blog. And in the blog, the blogger was asking about how to ensure kids don’t show up at the wedding.
The coolest part? One of his readers had Googled that very question, found MY website, thought it was SOUND ADVICE, then responded to the blogger with a summary of my advice, why the reader thought it sounded smart, and then LINKED to that page! This ended up resulting, over a few days, in a really good amount of website traffic that I would not otherwise get! And think about it. One person clicks on that link, likes what they see, then emails everyone they know who is engaged to check it out.
The web starts anywhere. It starts with someone Googling a question and finding you. It starts with them going to their trusted, favorite website, and finding a link to you (whether a paid ad, guest blogger spot, or someone simply links to you as a great find). Or it starts from your “offline” activities and word of mouth.
There are so very many ways people can find your site. Do you know where you’re being found??