Latest eNitiate Website traffic report: why aggregate stats are not best performance indicators

eNitiate Web Review | Q2 | 2020vs 2019 | 17 Jul 2020_Banner

It is time for the review of eNitiate Website traffic performance – one of a series of public reports on this subject since November 2019.

What is the objective of these published reports about the eNitiate Website's performance?

To share insights related to the performance of our key online platform with other businesses that are serious about building an effective digital footprint, with the hope that they will gain practical knowledge for application in the improvement of their own Websites. 

Now more than ever, companies need to position themselves well on the Internet, in light of the increased online traffic that is the result of COVID-19 induced physical distancing.

I hold a firm view that any company that does not follow its consumers online will not be in business for long. 

RELATED ENSIGHT:

Quarterly review of eNitiate Website performance: Jan-Mar 2020

Before I get into the Quarter 2 review, here is the table of contents for easy of navigation of this eNsight.

Table of Contents

A brief background on the series of posts related to eNitiate Website traffic

As I indicated in the first paragraph of this eNsight, I published the first post of what has now become a series on improving eNitiate Website performance in November 2019.

Next, I published the first comprehensive Website traffic review in April, this for the first calendar quarter of 2020.

I followed up the quarterly review eNsight with a 12-day SEO challenge that resulted in 5 eNsights. 

This is the 8th eNsight in the series.

So let’s go.

And, yes. All the stats for this post were sourced from Google Analytics.

eNitiate Website traffic: overall performance for Quarter 2 of 2020

In this section, I shall measure the overall performance of eNitiate Web traffic for Quarter 2  (Q2, Apr-Jun 2020) against both Quarter 1 (Q1, Jan-Mar 2020) and Quarter 2 of last year (Apr-Jun, 2019) . 

Performance growth colour indicators:

In the 7 tables below, 

  • Green stats depict improvements of Q2 on Q1 or previous year; and
  • Red stats depict decline of Q2 against both periods.

Q2 vs Q1 growths in 2020

eNitiate Web Review | Q2 vs Q1 | 17 Jul 2020_3
Table 1: Users (Visitors)
eNitiate Web Review | Q2 vs Q1 | 17 Jul 2020_2
Table 2: Sessions (Visits)
eNitiate Web Review | Q2 vs Q1 | 17 Jul 2020_1
Table 3: Pageviews

Findings:

  • Overall, there was a soft growth in number of Users (Visitors) in Q2.
    Sessions (Visits) and Pageviews declined.
  • Note that performance related to mobile Web traffic was positive across all the metrics in the 3 tables above.
    Compare this to the performance of Web traffic from tablet and dektop devices, as shown at the bottom of all the 3 tables.  

Q2 2020 vs Q2 2019

eNitiate Web Review | Q2 | 2020vs 2019 | 17 Jul 2020_1
Table 4: Users (Visitors)
eNitiate Web Review | Q2 | 2020vs 2019 | 17 Jul 2020_3
Table 6: Pageviews
eNitiate Web Review | Q2 | 2020vs 2019 | 17 Jul 2020_2
Table 5: Sessions (Visits)
eNitiate Web Review | Q2 | 2020vs 2019 | 17 Jul 2020_4
Table 7: a. Durations & b. Bounce Rates

Findings

  • Overall performance:
    • There was a huge year-on-year growth of Users (Table 4).
    • While Sessions and Pageviews also grew (Tables 5 and 6), the sizes of their growths lagged behind that of Users. 
    • In addition, time spent on the site per visit (Table 7 (a)), was shorter for Q2, 2020.
      In addition, Bounce Rate worsened.  
  • Note again that mobile traffic saw the better performance when compared to tablet and desktop against most of the indicators in the 4 tables above. 

Interpretation of overall performance of quarterly eNitiate Website traffic, based on the 7 tables in this section

Let me dumb down the technical speak in the findings of the 7 tables above.

There was growth in the number of visitors to the eNitiate Website in Q2, but there were declines in both repeat visits, number of pages viewed per visit and amount of time spent on the Website per visit.

However, traffic using mobile phones performed better against most of the metrics, as compared to tablets and desktop traffic.

Should the identified quarterly declines in some of the eNitiate Website traffic metrics be of concern?

I take a deeper dive into the eNitiate Web traffic stats in the next section, so I can answer the question above comprehensively.

For enhanced analysis, I extend the period under review from one quarter (Q2) to six months (Q1 + Q2) of 2020, and compare it with the same period in 2019.

eNitiate Website traffic: 2020 vs 2019

1. Traffic sources

Here below is a graph that displays the main sources for the eNitiate Website traffic.

Graph 1: Traffic Sources

Descriptions

  • Organic search is “free” traffic from mainly Google.
  • Direct is traffic that comes directly to the eNitiate site from a provided link, excluding from social media.
    The bulk of this traffic comes from Whatsapp, which is not categorised under social media by Google Analytics.
  • Social traffic is as the name says. 
  • Referral traffic comes from other sites that have the eNitiate Website url,  and these include sites as SMWLagos, and clients that we built Websites for and that allowed us to display our url on them.

Findings

  • All the 4 traffic channels grew versus last year.
  • The bulk of the growth came from top 2 traffic sources – organic searches and direct traffic.
  • The notable swings in 2020 contributions were between organic search and social channels.

Comments

I am satisfied with organic search’s performance, as it confirms that the search engine optimisation (SEO) work that was done on the eNitiate site as part of revamp that started in December 2019, and the ongoing focus it has been receiving ever since then, is paying off. 

Whatsapp has been leveraged effectively as a source of eNitiate Website traffic.

While social media’s share of contribution has fallen, this has been because of bigger growths the other traffic sources experienced, and not because this channel’s performance has declined. 

2. Devices

Many of the findings in the previous section showed that mobile devices have performed above average against most of the indicators found in the 7 tables in that section. 

The picture is not different over the six-month period, as indicated in Graph 2 below.

Graph 2: Devices

Findings

  • There has been growth in traffic from all the main devices used to access the eNitiate Website. 
  • The phenomenal growth of mobile traffic led to almost doubling of its contribution to total Web traffic.

Comments

The upsurge in mobile contribution to the eNitiate Website traffic, which we spotted in the previous quarterly report, has pushed us to adopt the mobile-first approach in the development of content for the site across the board.

As a result, we are also planning on adding the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) features to the site, to ensure that we keep enhancing user experience of mobile visitors.

3. Traffic sources by device

Here below I analyse traffic from the main source by device, for Jan-Jun 2020.

eNitiate Web Review | Jan-Jun | Traffic Sources by Device | 17 Jul 2020_1
Pie 1
eNitiate Web Review | Jan-Jun | Traffic Sources by Device | 17 Jul 2020_2
Pie 2
eNitiate Web Review | Jan-Jun | Traffic Sources by Device | 17 Jul 2020_3
Pie 3

Findings

  • Organic search traffic contribution is distinctly higher on tablet and desktop devices (Pie 3), while social media traffic contribution on mobile devices (Pie 2) is above the average for all users (Pie 1). 

Comments

Does the contribution of organic search on tablet and desktop traffic suggest  that a fair portion of eNitiate Website traffic is made up of people who access the site while at work?

I do not have the answer, except to say that, in the main the eNisghts we publish on the eNitiate Website are about expert knowledge sharing and the provision of business advice, such as found in this very eNsight. 

We hardly, if ever, publish eNsights for pure entertainment value.   

RELATED ENSIGHT:

The 12-day SEO challenge – improving eNitiate Website page speeds 

4. Top 10 Web pages

This is the last of the areas of analysis for this eNsight.

Given the larger amount of data that I share here, I use the old-fashioned spreadsheet to present it.

In the spreadsheet, I show the top 10 eNitiate Web pages – a combination of both static pages and eNsights (blog posts) – for the last 6 months, 

The primary selection metric for the top 10 is pageviews – an indicator of the popularity of a page.

Here are descriptions of data found in the the remaining columns in the table:

  • Entrances – a measure of the extent to which visitors first enter the site through the top 10 page 100% of the time, or some of the time (anything less than 100%),
  • Durations – time spent on the individual top 10 pages, and
  • Bounce Rate – a measure of the extent to which visitors exit the site from a top 10 page, after entering the site through it (100%), or whether they visit another page thereafter (anything less than 100%).

It will become clear in the fidnings why I selected these metrics from a plethora that is available on Google Analytics.

#LessIsMore #AnalysisParalysis

Depending on the size of your desktop screen, you may need to tap on the spreadsheet table below and scroll horizontally to see all the columns. 

Your mobile screen will not display the full spreadsheet table in portrait format. 

Please turn your screen 90 degrees to view the table in landscape format.

You may also need to tap on the table and scroll horizontally to see all the columns. 

Findings

  1. eNitiate has 549 pages (including this eNsight).
  2. The top 10 pages (0.2% of total pages) contributed just over 50% of the pageviews in the last 6 months.
  3. The top 10 pages for the last 6 months were made up of 3 static pages (marked by grey rows in the table) and 7 eNsights (blog posts). 
  4. The 3 Static pages in the top 10 pages:
    1. As it can be observed from the table above, static pages have lower durations, bounce rates and entrances than most eNsights.
      1. As an example, “about us” and “our work” are hardly the pages visitors enter the site through, as evidenced by their very low Entrances (15.65% and 13.76% respectively). Compare those to that of the eNsight in top 8th spot in the table (at >91%).
      2. In addition, the “about us” page has the lowest Bounce Rate in the top 10, which indicates visitors who entered the site through this page mostly visit other pages afterwards.
  5. The 7 eNsight posts in the top 10 pages:
    1. eNsights have higher entrances, durations and bounce rates as compared to the static pages, this is indicated by the comparison of the averages for top 10 pages (BLUE row at the bottom of the table) with averages for the eNsights (GREEN row).
      This points to the fact that many visitors enter the site through the eNsights (average Entrance/eNsight = 83.41%), visitors take the time to read the content on these pages (average duration/eNsight = 5:30 minutes) and they (visitors) tend to mostly exit the site after reading the associated content (average bounce rate/eNsight = 81.47%).  
  6. More on durations
    1. On average, visitors to the top 10 pages spent 4 minutes and 15 seconds (255 seconds) per page.
      Note that the average duration for total visits to the site, regardless of the number of pages visited,  is one and half minutes (91 seconds).

RELATED ENSIGHT:

SEO analysis of top 100 Websites gives clues about South Africa’s state of digital economy

Key insights from this eNsight

Two major take-aways for me:

  1. Aggregated eNitiate Website traffic statics are not the best indication of how the site is performing. The top 10 pages are.
  2. The effort we make at eNitiate to develop comprehensive posts whose content is rich with data is not a waste of time. 
    Indeed, visitors take the time to read the material, as evidenced by durations of the top 7 eNsights. 

I must admit, this is the first time, in my entire digital marketing experience, that I have made the discovery related to the first take-away. 

Thuto ha e tsofalloe.
Translated into English, this South Sotho phrase means we are never too old to learn.

Back to the question whether there should be a concern about some of overall eNitiate Website traffic’s performance declines, as discovered under the section with the 7 tables.

The answer is NO.

The reason is that we cannot use every metric to measure eNitiate Website’s performance.

The top 10 pages, which include eNsights, deliver over 50% of the traffic to the site. 

This is where we will be focusing our attention going forward.

Metrics that matter for measuring eNitiate Website traffic performance

USERS are an indicator of Website traffic growth. This is an overall health check.

ORGANIC SEARCH traffic is an indicator of the effectiveness of SEO, and thus improved search engine rankings on Google.

DIRECT traffic is a measure of Whatsapp as an effective visitor recruiting platform.

MOBILE traffic performance metrics across the 7 tables are an indication of quality of user experience.

PAGEVIEWS, ENTRENCES, and DURATIONS of top 10 eNsights are an indication of the quality of published content.

The metrics above are going to be used measuring effectiveness of the eNitiate Website going forward.

Vanity metrics that must go

Metrics that are to be dropped from our measurement bouquet are

  • Bounce Rate,
  • Sessions per User, and
  • Pages per Session.

Revised conversion goals for ROI measurement

The following conversion goals are to become the ultimate output metrics for measuring eNitiate Website ROI:   

  • Frequency of usage of the Contact Us form,
  • Company profile link clicks,
  • Growth in Newsletter subscriptions, and
  • Social sharing;

in descending order.

The learning continues, as I get closer to the eNitiate Website traffic stats

People who know me will attest that I love analytics.

As you can clearly see from this eNsight, discoveries linked to this digital marketing skill are never-ending.

This is the reason why I regard myself as an eternal student. 

Let the learnings continue. 

Did you find this eNsight valuable?

Sharing it on social media will ensure that many more people can benefit.

Select your preferred social network found on the right sidebar to share it.

Select your preferred social network found in the footer here below to share it.

It will take only seconds.

Related Posts:

Related Post:

Subscribe for eNitiate Newsletter:

Share:

Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on email
Email