5 analytics to know when measuring web traffic

How well do you know the people who visit your website? Do you know how they find you and what they do when they get there? You might already be measuring web traffic by keeping tabs on how many views you get each day but you could be tracking your user behaviour in far more detail. Website analytics—the measurement and analysis of all your website data—let you do exactly that. However, all factors are not created equal. Below we take you through the important factors to look at, why they matter, and what affects them.

measuring web traffic - engagement

FACTOR: Engagement

WHAT IT IS: The length of time that a person spends actively interacting with your website on their browser.

WHY IT MATTERS: While having a high number of page views can send your dopamine soaring (seriously, it trips the same pleasure centres as a workout, or a really delicious meal), that’s not really what matters. Ten thousand hits doesn’t mean much if each user only stays for the average 15 seconds. Yes, 15 seconds. That’s how long you have (according to this Time article) to get an investor’s attention before they move on to the next company.

WHAT AFFECTS IT: Engagement hinges greatly on content. Mainly, what type and what subject. People will more likely watch a video than read an article. Newsworthy subjects invite longer engagement than time-honoured topics. Design plays into it too, as user-friendliness will keep a person interested longer. For ideas to increase investor engagement on your site, take a look at our post on the subject.

measuring web traffic - bounce_rate

FACTOR: Bounce rate

WHAT IT IS: The percentage of viewers that only visit one page before leaving a website. So, for this factor, a low rate is a good rate.

WHY IT MATTERS: A high bounce rate translates to a lack of engagement. If a user is engaged enough by the first page they visit, they are more likely to click through to another, and another, and to return in the future. Bouncers drive up your page views but if they aren’t engaging, they aren’t investing.

WHAT AFFECTS IT: Again, we come back to content and design. User experience is always at the top of our list of priorities, as it is important for the majority of viewers. This study asked participants what causes them to leave a website, and why, and found that the majority of reasons fall under two categories: issues that reduce a company’s credibility (like not having contact info), and those that waste a user’s time (such as annoying ads). A website with a low bounce rate will have an intuitive design that guides users naturally to additional pages.

measuring web traffic - sourceoftraffic

FACTOR: Source of traffic

WHAT IT IS: The channel through which investors land on your website. Direct sources come to your site, well, directly. They do not pass go, they do not collect $200. They type your URL into their browsers and voila. Referred sources come through any external link that the user has clicked on.

WHY IT MATTERS: Different sources have a different level of investment in what you’re offering. A person who finds you through a search on Google is not the same as someone who clicks a link off a Facebook post. The difference here is active vs. passive sources: the Google-searcher has actively sought out information on a specific topic using keywords tailored to what they’re looking for; the Facebook-user, on the other hand, has stumbled across something they found vaguely interesting enough to click on, but wasn’t necessarily looking for. Active sources means engaged users. Passive sources means more bouncers.

WHAT AFFECTS IT: Where viewers are coming from influences how they will interact with your website. In the example above, you can see that organic, search-engine generated referrals yield more engaged viewers than social media sources. Therefore, knowing your sources can help you determine how best to market your website. SEO will be the best way to target search engine sources and the keyword here is (you guessed it), keywords. Adding relevant terms anywhere they fit naturally makes you easier to find by your target audience. Be careful not to overstuff your content with repetitive words, though. Keywords should appear to be hardly working when, in reality, they’re working overtime. We have some SEO basics for you on our blog.

measuring web traffic - uniquevisitors

FACTOR: Unique visitors

WHAT IT IS: The percentage of views that are from new visitors.

WHY IT MATTERS: Unique visitors mean new eyes—eyes that belong to new potential investors. Like we said earlier, you need to consider more than just your total number of views when analyzing your website traffic. No matter how many times someone accesses your site, if it’s from the same device, they will only be counted as one visitor. So this metric gives you a sense of the size of your audience. If you’ve only been measuring how many visitors you have, as opposed to the percentage of them that are unique, you likely have an inaccurate idea of how many people you’re reaching.

WHAT AFFECTS IT: The issue of unique visitors is a tricky one—return users means you have reliable, engaged followers, but bringing in new traffic increases your viewership to a larger scope of people. Ask yourself what’s more important: the loyalty of a smaller number of followers, or the mass reach of as many users as possible? There’s no wrong answer, it’s all about what’s best for you and your website.

measuring web traffic - mobile_desktop

FACTOR: Mobile vs. desktop

WHAT IT IS: The functionality of a website on mobile devices vs. desktop computers.

WHY IT MATTERS: Everyone is mobile. This study shows that the average person accesses the web through 6 different devices and 12 different sources. These numbers are even higher with millennials. On top of that, users are often plugged in to multiple devices at the same time, making cross-platform usability increasingly important. Mobile optimization is crucial to every aspect of website analytics: the ability to attract a high volume of users, the ability to engage them with your content, the ability to drive them to visit multiple pages, and ultimately, attract them to invest in your company.

WHAT AFFECTS IT: Being mobile friendly affects website traffic in a major way, as 83% of people will leave your site, or switch devices, if it doesn’t function well on mobile. While the above study proves that people (as a whole) use their desktops more than any other device, smartphones are the most-used device among millennials. In order to keep up with the influx of mobile users, your site needs to work across all devices. Users are looking for a seamless, simplified experience. Even a small thing like a phone number that dials automatically when clicked can determine whether an investor will make the call to your company. Take a look at our infographic for a breakdown of the impact of mobile optimization on investor relations.



Web analytics is a cross-modal practice where each factor influences and interacts with the other. Knowing the ‘hows’ and the ‘whys’ of user behaviour gives you insider knowledge that you can use to tweak and refine your marketing strategies. Check out our suggestions for the best resources out there to take your website to the peak of your industry and keep it there.


8 Digital Marketing Predictions for 2016


Happy 2016! We’re fresh and ready and excited to be back. We’re kicking off a year of great content with some digital marketing predictions for the next 12 months and letting you know what those will mean for your company’s own 2016 strategy and planning. We wrote a similar post at the beginning of 2015, where we talked about mobile, social media, and content marketing. A year later it seems many businesses have adopted many of these strategies and platforms, but how will 2016 tweak and transform them?


1. A mobile-driven world

As we’re sure you know by now from our Mobilegeddon campaign mid-2015, Google released a mobile-friendly update that boosted the search rankings of mobile-friendly sites. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it’s hard to find on Google. The Google developer blog also released a statistic reporting that 94% of people in the US with smartphones search for local information on their phones.

2016 will see an even bigger reliance on mobile, and arguably will complete our transformation to a mobile-first world. Newer developments and trends such as app indexing, where your app information shows up in search results, and social media and video advertising taking over the mobile space will push our smartphones further into our hands and into the forefront of marketers’ minds.


2. Focus on personalization

Relevance is the word of the hour (or should we say the year?). With website users seeing thousands of pieces of content daily, it’s not just about thinking what they’ll relate to, but what they’ll IMMEDIATELY relate to and want to click. Some of the digital tools out there nowadays take out all the guesswork and easily allow companies and marketers to create in-depth audience insights by and tagging specific interests. The importance of personalization online will also lead to the rise of personalized marketing (also referred to as targeted marketing and one-on-one marketing). This form of marketing usually done through automation, makes a unique product offering to each customer.


Video marketing: sticking around and expanding

80% of all internet traffic will be video by 2019. (Source). I feel like we can just drop that statistic and end there. But I won’t.

This year, it’s not enough to create and promote a video ad on social media. Brands have gotten the hang of that already. (Seriously, have you taken a look at your Facebook feed lately? I’m looking at mine on my phone right now, and see a video ad for Wendy’s Gouda Bacon Cheeseburger, a Marvel sponsored ad about Netflix’s Jessica Jones, and a Universal Pictures trailer for the newest Tina Fey movie. All within a single swipe).

Video isn’t going away, and it will just get bigger. The ads will be even more prevalent than they are now, especially the ones “under-the-15-second sweet spot, long enough to convey a message but short enough to hold a user’s attention”(business2community). Just like app indexing, video ads are going to start showing up in Google search results more frequently in 2016. Seeing a trend?


Marketing automation

Staying ahead of the digital marketing game in 2016 means understanding marketing automation and experimenting with it. As social media expert Jeff Bullas writes, “human intuition and creativity is being enhanced by data”. Instead of randomly firing off a few marketing campaigns on social media and otherwise throughout the year, companies and marketers are now getting more strategic and more targeted with their messages. With billions of mobile moments happening each day, 2016 looks like the time to allow marketing robots to take over and expertly rapid fire your message out to the right people. You just won’t have the bandwidth to keep up with those companies going full robot.

Digital tools out there such as Hubspot, Marketo, and SimplyCast use their own algorithms to deliver email and social media campaigns, decide the best time to interact with users, and maximize the effectiveness of any other paid digital advertising campaigns. Looking into marketing automation is especially useful if you’re a smaller company trying to expand your reach and maximize your dollars.


5. Content Collaboration

User-generated content (or crowd-funded content) is on the up-and-up. We went to a great social media event at the end of last year with a panel of Vancouver experts in marketing and social media. The Global Marketing Director at Herschel Supply Co. Mikey Scott had a lot to say about how user-generated content promotes the Herschel brand. “The dream situation is when we can get users to create content for us…if we have product photos on Instagram, they’re from real users sending the photos to us. None of our #welltravelled photos to date are paid”. In speaking of the ‘well travelled campaign’, Scott refers to the company’s well-populated Instagram account that is “65-70% user generated”. “That’s how people get involved”, he said. “They didn’t even know they were marketing. There is a little thing about recognition that makes people want to help and do things for you”. 

As a company, think of ways to expand your content reach beyond just the daily blog post or company newsletter. Speak to your readers about generating content, look into relationship and influencer marketing (another big 2016 trend), and really reach people in the places they visit and read every day. Then offer to have them write about it!


Trusting data, not your gut

This goes hand in hand with marketing automation and how digital tools are now able to tell you everything from who’s looking at your site, to where they’re coming from, to what they’re into, to the next time they decide to come back. Phew. The sheer volume of data about your marketing campaigns, your customers, and your target audience is so great that most companies turn to other agencies who are experts at sifting through the info and figuring out what’s working best. One of the beautiful things about all the metrics being made available to us in 2016 is that companies no longer have to guess at what’s working with their digital marketing strategy and what’s falling short.

Getting all this big data is useless, however, if companies aren’t using what they know to make better decisions. The real prediction for this point should be: 2016, the year of the constant tweaking. Online metrics should be checked weekly, if not daily, and companies need to be making changes based on what converts better.


Finding your social network niche

When customers are spreading their time evenly amongst Facebook, Twitter, email, LinkedIn, Instagram, text message, Snapchat, Periscope, Meerkat (you get what we mean), it’s more important than ever this coming year to be able to talk to them on the channel of their choosing. Instead of spreading yourselves thin and posting everywhere, conserving resources and focusing in on where your target audience hangs out will be crucial in the New Year. Although social media automation like Hootsuite helps with this, what’s the use of maintaining a dedicated Pinterest account when you’re looking to target 50+ year old investors?

On the other side of that, however, are companies that are focusing their marketing efforts on newer, less saturated social networks such as Snapchat and Periscope when old faithfuls like Facebook and Twitter are getting too crowded for comfort. Understanding where your company operates best, whether it’s ‘in with the new’ or the tried and true, will be beneficial for you moving forward.


Moving beyond the listicle

Ironic, we know, as you’re reading this in a listicle post. (Hey, we’re only five days into 2016, these predictions stretch out the full year). While the 15 Ways to Bake Incredible Things with Cheese posts are still top performing internet content (thanks, Buzzfeed), we predict the rise and popularity of more long-form content websites such as Medium. Inc, and Mic.com. We’re still firm believers that quality work over quantity will succeed at the end of the day. Although our attention spans are shrinking, people are still willing to read quality pieces, as evidenced by the wild popularity and viral attention of many longer articles on Medium. Plus, we think it’s time people need to start sucking it up and read paragraphs again.



What did you think about our list? Agree? Disagree? We’d love to know either way. Shoot us an email at info@blendermedia.com or talk directly to us on Twitter @BlenderMedia.


No Training? No Problem! 4 easy-to-use Tools for Better Analytics

We appreciate the classics, and Google Analytics is definitely the most classic of choices when it comes to picking a web analytics tool. It offers a broad range of features that monitor all aspects of your site, with many other bells and whistles. However, Google Analytics is so all-encompassing that it doesn’t work as well if a company is focused on a few particular sets of information and doesn’t need to see the whole ‘big picture’ all the time. There’s many other tools out there that bring their own specialties and this pushed us to discover what else is helpful for specific analytics results, as broader doesn’t always mean better.

Here are four alternatives to Google that each offer a unique service to shake up your old ‘analytics thinking.’

1. Chartbeat: The Instant Informant

This one is all about real-time information. Chartbeat is separated into two dashboards; one for historical data and one solely dedicated to keeping you updated on what’s happening each moment. In a comparison with Google Analytics, the technology blog wholewhale.com writes, “ChartBeat ‘pings’ visitors every few seconds to determine where on the site they are. Google Analytics, however, simply looks at page views and assumes that users will spend 5 minutes per page.”
Chartbeat keeps a constant watch on each of your pages. It’s a great tool for sites that are constantly updated with fresh content, as it is able to immediately make accurate analysis of how the content’s doing. ChartBeat also tracks how social media posts and updates are faring. (This is useful if you’re sending rapid-fire tweets at an IR event, see our cheat sheet to live tweeting here). Along with a dedication to real-time information, Chartbeat also makes sure you’re immediately informed if something irregular occurs. AboutAnalytics.com’s review of ChartBeat states, “The dashboard, iPhone app, and email SMS alerts let you know the minute your traffic spikes, your servers crash, or your page slows to a crawl.”


2. CrazyEgg: The Heater
This one might be our favourite because it’s not only helpful for analytics, but also pretty fun to play with. CrazyEgg’s ‘thing’ is its heat-mapping technology which shows you exactly where on a page visitors click the most. Registering for CrazyEgg gives you a number of heat-maps that track the most engaging spots on your site. (You feel a bit like you’re wearing night-vision goggles when looking at your site’s usability stats.) The heat-mapping idea also extends to CrazyEgg’s scrolling technology feature. Scrolling technology tracks from hot orange to cool blue how far a user scans down a page before clicking away. With this information, you’re able to see where the cutoff point is, and can think about rearranging what content gets to be ‘above the fold.’ The scrolling feature also allows you to distinguish, when thinking of content/statistics/facts, which information is crucial for users and potential investors to see, versus what is more fluff.

crazy_egg heatmap

3. Mint: The Freshmaker
The distinguishing feature here is given away in the name. This dashboard is clean and crisp and minty fresh. There are no confusing filters here, and unlike Google Analytics the wealth of information offered has many different forms of ‘tailorability’. Mint is all about adapting the dashboard/service for you. Mint also comes with ‘Peppermill,’ an extensive plugin library that offers additional goodies and opportunities for streamlining and personalization. Mint is a good option for those who just feel like cleaning house. Some companies may decide they want an investor-specific tool and can tailor Mint to show the stats they need.


4. Optimizely: The A/B Tester
The idea of A/B testing a website gets a lot less attention in the analytics world (many think the name relates to some sort of strange disease). Well, it’s actually an extremely useful tool for monitoring your users’ reactions to changes in the design and layout of your site. Optimizely’s primary focus is bringing A/B testing to ‘the people,’ as you don’t need programming or development experience to use this tool. Their motto is ‘A/B testing you’ll actually use.’ With Optimizely, two different versions of your site are created and shown to visitors at random. You’re able to compare click-rates and other stats that will pit the two versions against each other. To make it easier, Optimizely also informs you when one version is a ‘winner.’

Optimizely is also great for the extremely visual: if you think a testimonial that’s moved to the top of your IR site and situated in its own box might catch more eyeballs, Optimizely lets you easily drag content around in a staging area so you can see if that’s true. Optimizely’s website also pitches A/B testing when measuring the impact on “metrics such as sign-ups and downloads.” Think: where is the best spot to add a sign-up form for an email newsletter so people see it? (For more about email newsletters, see our blog here). Optimizely is all about promoting constant page testing and optimization in order to create the best possible way to present your company.

Conclusion: Why Refreshing Analytics Helps Your IR Site:
For all the naysayers out there who might be reading this blog and thinking that adding new analytics tools or reformatting an IR site won’t really matter for investors, here’s our challenge: why not? What is it about the Investor’s sections of a website that causes a stigma against redesign and new digital marketing strategies? As we’ve said in the past, investors are people too. You’re still sharing your company’s story with them, and who’s to say changing up your analytics game won’t make that story a little clearer?

What’s most important to remember is that when it comes to your analytics, you should constantly be making adjustments. Sure, Google Analytics can provide a wealth of info for you, but what good is that if you’re not utilizing it in the best way? Look at what information is most important to focus on, and see where you’re getting the most traffic and noise. Readjust from there, and constantly tweak until the most important aspects of your company are seen when users come to the page. There’s so many analytics tools out there that all specialize in different areas. Figure out which areas your company wants to focus on, and make the tools report to you.

Be a Facebook Expert: Insights to Instagram Video & Facebook Updates

1. Facebook adds video to Instagram

Mobile video is exploding! Twitter’s Vine has been a popular hit but we’re not sure if it’s going to withstand Instagram now. Instagram got to the social media world before Vine so it’s fair to say it has a bigger and stronger fan base. Question is, if you already have Instagram on your phone and now that it has a video functionality, would you still download Vine? Check out TechCrunch’s detailed comparison of the two apps and here’s my quick summary of the pros and cons:


+’s for using Instagram Video

  • Up to 15 seconds
  • You can personalize Instagram’s 15 second videos with filters and frames
  • You can share videos on multiple social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Email & Foursquare)
  • Image stabilization
  • Has photo map
+’s for using Vine

  • Short and punchy in 6 seconds
  • Videos are embeddable via desktop
  • Vine videos can loop, while Instagram videos only play once
  • You can share videos on Facebook & Twitter
  • Users will have the ability to create drafts soon


2. Facebook revamps its analytics dashboard

Facebook’s analytics dashboard, Insights, has a fresh look – clean and simplified. The “People Talking About This” is now broken down into smaller charts, which allows us to measure the reach and engagement of each individual post. What does that mean? Each post will have its own chart of stats (likes, comments, clicks and shares), and you can also break down your analytics to your specific target (women ages from 18-24 or men over 35). It’ll be easier for marketers to judge which type of content is more popular with which crowd. (See Mashable’s print-screens for visual examples)

3. Facebook reply comments with photos

Forget about typing a comment to reply, post a photo if you can! Comments just got that much more expressive. According to PCMag.com, we can reply status updates with images and mobile users will be able to view it too, but we can’t post photo comments via mobile just yet. So never mind about finding the right words for replies, find the right pictures or better yet, memes ;)!

Just in case you missed the news, Facebook introduced #hashtags last week and emoticons to its status updates a while ago. Facebook is bringing in a lot of new updates to remain the biggest social network. Despite the fact that they’re still the biggest with 1.1 billion citizens, competition is stiff as other networks are growing rapidly. Are you a Facebook loyalist? How do you like its new updates? Or are you more interested in growing with other channels like Google+? Let me know! @BlenderMedia