“To know my company is to love my company.”

Managing your company’s reputation is something that I know that you invest a lot of time, effort and money in. Often times it’s just anecdotally that you can see the results.

One of the best measures for the health of your home improvement business and your marketing efforts includes the amount of direct traffic you get to your website. This information can tell you how well-known your business is and what people think of your company, as well as how effective your online and offline marketing efforts prove to be.

Direct traffic, as we mentioned during the kickoff of our series, represents website visitors that get to you directly by doing things like entering your web address into a search bar, searching for your company name and then clicking a link to a page on your website, or maybe even being redirected to your site via a tracking link that you have used in some other marketing platform.

Tracking all types of website traffic is easy via Google Analytics. Once you set an Analytics account up, your webmaster can insert special coding into your website, which gives you real-time statistics. The amount of available information can be a bit overwhelming, but traffic sources are the basis for most of the rest of the information and readily accessible. Another important piece of information regarding direct traffic that Google can illuminate includes the plot between new visitors and returning visitors.

So, what can you learn about your marketing efforts from these data points?

  • Consistent growth in new visitors can give you insights into brand recognition for your home improvement business in your market, as well as new opportunities that come from referrals. Also, if you drive prospects to your website via offline advertising it will be reflected in this number as well. (Pro tip: To get a better handle on which is which, use tracking URL’s that you can tie back to the offline promo that you are running.)
  • Return visitors can be an indicator of at least a couple of things.
    • Researchers who weren’t ready to make a decision the first (or subsequent) time, but liked what they saw enough to come back for more. (These folks are a big deal. They could have come from other sources initially but are really interested. Down the road we’ll talk about strategies designed to turn these from cold to warm leads).
    • Customer loyalty. When the customer is in the market for more home improvements they remember their experience with you and connect again.

One thing to be aware of—visits to your site by you and your employees are counted in that number. Your webmaster can make the necessary adjustments to make sure those visits don’t skew the data.

A minimum of 20% of your site’s traffic should come from the direct source. Those businesses that are in their market for a longer period of time, with excellent reputations and those with active offline advertising programs could experience up to 30-35% direct traffic.

Next time we’ll talk about the traffic source that can boost your search engine rankings more than any other.

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