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.

 

Conclusion

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.

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4 common website design myths

Lightning never strikes the same place twice. Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis. Mac computers are immune to viruses. All of these statements have one thing in common: most people believe them, but they’re simply not true. When it comes to creating a website, it can be just as easy to succumb to common website design myths. With this week’s post, we aim to reroute you back on the path to stellar investor website design and point out common mistakes along the way.

 

website design myths 1

MYTH NO. 1: All of your website’s important information should appear ‘above the fold.’ That is, you should be able to see it all without having to scroll.

FACT: The fold does not exist.

‘Above the fold’ used to refer to the upper half of the front page of a newspaper. Literally the part that appeared above the fold. Apply this to the internet and we’re talking about anything on a webpage that is visible without having to scroll. In the early days of the internet, users weren’t used to scrolling, so website designers adhered to the trends to make sure viewers didn’t miss important info. It’s intuitive: what’s at the top of the page is what gets the most focus. People won’t think there’s anything below the fold, so they won’t know to scroll. Right?

Not so much. The fold died long ago, particularly when mobile was born. Websites crossed over to mobile, and smartphone apps were introduced, so we came to rely on the constant swipe of the index to bring a constant stream of new information to our fingertips. We became conditioned to scroll, so now we’re used to it. This has translated back to desktop—Apple even dropped the scroll bar from the side of your browser. Why? Because the fold does not exist.

In reality, we spend most of our attention below the fictitious fold (a whopping two-thirds), because we now intuitively scroll on websites, regardless of the device we are using. As long as your investor website design invites your viewer down-screen, you can trust that’s exactly where they’ll go.

 

website design myths 2

MYTH NO. 2: All content should be on my homepage.

FACT: Packing your homepage with a barrage of information will make most users bolt. With a homepage, think welcome mat as opposed to full-blown surprise party. This is your first impression. Your storefront window. Your launch pad into another dimension. Your gateway to the next frontier…

Okay, you get it. Don’t load your homepage with text-heavy paragraphs and long-winded explanations of what you’re all about. Do show this through eye-catching images and punchy headlines. Straightforward statements that sum up your vision and your industry chops are more likely to entice viewers to scroll and click their way through your site.

A homepage is like the cover page of a third-grade poetry booklet: a collage of snapshots of the stunning work held within its pages, not a down-to-the-syllable summary of each poem. Investors will seek out the information they need; all you have to do is guide them there. These are the companies we think do this best.

 

 

website design myths 3

MYTH NO. 3: As long as it works on desktop, the website is good to go.

FACT: The majority of investor website traffic comes from mobile sources, making this one of the most damaging website design myths of all. Whether on a tablet or a smartphone, more and more people are using their mobile devices as their primary access point to the internet. With the ever-changing release of new screen sizes, transferability and adaptability are the keys to accessibility when thinking about investor website design.

Being optimized for mobile covers more than just being easy to read. The layout needs to function, downloadable content should be easy to access, features have to load quickly, and e-newsletters need to adapt. The majority of consumers will move on from your website if it doesn’t operate well on mobile. Let’s make this a priority.

For more hard stats on the importance of mobile optimization, see this post on our blog. For tips on creating the best investor mobile experience, click here.

 

website design myths 4

MYTH NO. 4: A great design is all people want.

FACT: Bells and whistles do more to distract than attract. In other words, less is more. Highlighting your company’s strengths through simple, compelling images will get your story across more effectively than a visual overload of design elements.

Content is actually more important than design elements. Think of it this way: at a restaurant, outstanding service goes a long way to make up for bad food, but bad service can almost always kill a good meal. Same goes for your website: killer content will hold up a not-so-solid design, but an overactive design won’t make up for poor content. When content comes first, you will attract investors to the points you want to emphasize without over-doing it with design.

Want to know more about how to channel your content on your website to make yourself a major player in your industry? Download How to establish yourself as an industry thought leader though your website. 

 

Conclusion: Be simple, be accessible, be successful.

It doesn’t take much to create a website that will draw investors in and keep them there, as long as you do it right. Here are the key takeaways from what we’ve discussed to avoid succumbing to website design myths.

  • Stay up to date with user trends and how they interact with websites and access content
  • Increase the reach of your site through mobile optimization
  • Resist the urge to plaster your site with over-the-top visuals and bright fonts

How your information is delivered is just as important as what you’re delivering and falling victim to website design myths can derail you from reaching your final vision for your site. By following these points, you can bring what counts to the forefront: what you stand for, what you can accomplish, and why you’re worth the investment.

 

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How mobile optimization affects website traffic: INFOGRAPHIC

Introduction: what affect does mobile readiness have on real website traffic?

We’ve been writing a lot lately about how having a website and investor section that’s optimized for mobile is beneficial for you and your investors. We’ve talked about making sure the email signup process is easy, any buttons are simple to tap, and presentations interactive on mobile. But how does mobile optimization stack up when looking at actual numbers? We were curious to see how two of our clients’ website statistics would change if we looked at one that was mobile optimized and one that wasn’t.

 

We analyzed the mobile website statistics of two of our biggest clients

Both are public companies and both are in the same industry. However, one company has a completely mobile optimized website and investor section, while the other company does not. Our goal was to find out how mobile optimization affects website traffic. Today’s infographic below shows our findings!

 

how mobile optimization affects website traffic

Conclusion: these gaps will only increase

If you read our mobile usability statistics blog a few weeks back, you saw that we’re moving even closer to a mobile-first world. The expectations for a mobile user experience are only growing: more and more people have negative opinions of websites that don’t render well on a mobile device. This infographic shows, with real numbers, how mobile optimization affects website traffic and affects the amount of time investors are spending on websites.




How mobile optimization affects website traffic




5 ways to create the best investor mobile experience

Introduction: how does your investor section look on mobile?

This week, we’re analyzing five different ways you can make your IR corporate site easy to view on mobile for your investors. We’re using General Electric’s  investor mobile experience and investor relations website as a shining example.

Learn the basics of mobile optimization and take a do-it-yourself mobile test to see if your website passes. Download The Ultimate Mobile Optimization Checklist. 

 

 

investor mobile experience

 

5 tips to provide a great investor mobile experience

1. Include an “Add to Calendar” function for your next event or presentation.

This is a simple enough trick that will definitely get you ‘ease of use’ points and boost the investor mobile experience. Help investors stay up-to-date with your next event such as a shareholder’s meeting or live webcast by including an ‘Add to Calendar’ component which sets the reminder in your investors’ personal calendars.

 

investor mobile experience

2. Stick with the navigation that everyone knows, but have fun with it.

GE’s mobile investor experience perfectly blends new mobile optimized navigational elements with the classic logo in the left of the screen and three line bar on the right (hamburger button, for the design-savvy lingo.) In this way, they impress investors with new scrolling features and an interactive mobile side bar, but don’t lose the audience who isn’t ready for this new type of functionality. While General Electric experiments with the mobile platform and what opportunity it brings, they also understand that keeping with the elements everyone knows ensures a smoother transition and better experience.

 

investor mobile experience

 3. Keep the email signup form on every page

General Electric’s investor relations section features a banner that sticks to the top of the page, no matter where investors are on the website. The banner says ‘sign up for GE investor newsletters and alerts’. Clicking the banner reveals an easy input email sign up. Because this banner stays always at the top of the website, investors don’t have to click through to the contact form.

investor mobile experience

 

4. Focus on the downloads that investors look for the most

General Electric’s feature page on their investor relations section makes for a great investor mobile experience. Easy access buttons feature the most important downloads like the latest CEO letter including an interactive annual report, as well as the 10-K summary CEO Letter. Including the most popular investor downloads on the front page of your investor section ensures that the investor mobile experience isn’t spoiled with visitors searching through pages to find your presentation.

 

investor mobile experience

 

5. Give each section its own flair

An important element to consider when optimizing your corporate website for mobile is how the design on the smaller screen will affect the investor mobile experience. General Electric distinguishes each area of their investor section with a coloured overlay over photography and different icons. Incorporating unique design elements to each section of your website will help with mobile navigation. Just be sure that everything matches your overall brand.

 

investor mobile experience

 

 

Conclusion: think of ways to ‘wow’ them with the mobile screen

Mobile optimization and thinking of the investor mobile experience shouldn’t be considered a burden. Think of it as a new platform in which to impress your audience and make your investors’ lives easier. Take a look at General Electric’s 2015 annual report, that’s also an interactive mobile experience, from your own smartphone and see how they’re incorporating the latest design trends, multimedia components and visuals to engage their audiences and bring their investor strategies into this new mobile facing world.





The Ultimate Mobile Optimization Test




The best mobile investor relations websites

Introduction: Investors are looking at you on mobile.

The best mobile investor relations websites are the ones that will capture the most investor attention. The IR App, with IR Magazine, surveyed 300 institutional investors at the end of 2014 about their mobile usage. The survey found that 83% of investors rely on mobile when it comes to their work, and 68% of investors look at IR related content on their mobile device. For a more in-depth look about investor mobile usage, download our ebook about 9 tips to improve investor communication with your website. But this week on the blog, we’re singing the praises of the best mobile investor relations websites. We take a look at companies from all sectors, including resources, biotech, and manufacturing. Each of these IR websites follow best practices and make accessibility and investor communication paramount.

the best mobile investor relations websites

5 of the best mobile investor relations websites

1. Amcor – visual and easy to follow

Amcor’s ‘Amcor at a Glance’ overview page in their investor relations section offers investors the most important statistics and information about the company in visual and easily digestible pieces. Their mobile IR section utilizes data visualization to really drive their points home.

best mobile websites for investor relations

2. EXL – dedicated investor website

EXL’s dedicated investor website is eye candy. Their mobile focused investor section is even better than on desktop screens. The website is beautiful to look at and even simpler to use.

best mobile investor relations websites

3. Barrick Gold – easy access to company reports

While Barrick Gold’s investor section isn’t as dazzling as EXL’s, they rely on investor accessibility with easy to read objectives for the company followed by a section of download links. Each report is readily available for shareholders to look through.

best mobile investor relations websites

4. Biogen – scroll through the latest webcasts

Biogen’s investor relations section begins with their objective and easy to use buttons for requesting further information and signing up for company alerts. Their latest webcasts can also easily be accessed on scroll.

best mobile investor relations websites

5. Critical Outcome Technologies Inc. – investor connect

COTI comes from our own wheelhouse, and is a site we’re very proud of. The mobile-friendly investor overview section features investment highlights, easy investor connect opportunities through email signup and an easy path to the company’s website awards.

best mobile investor relations websitse

Conclusion: get mobile-friendly and stay current for investors

If your investor relations section, or IR website, isn’t mobile-friendly, you are losing a serious audience. If an investor tries to access your corporate presentation or latest quarterly numbers while they’re on the go, your IR section must have clear pathways to information. Don’t make the process more difficult with small text, buttons that can’t be pressed, or necessary public company materials stored away in the basement where no one can find them. Do follow the examples of the companies above and see how each industry uses the best mobile investor relations websites to their benefit.

 





9 tips to improve investor communication with your website




8 Digital Marketing Predictions for 2016

Introduction:

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.