Two types of website visitor are more important than any other.
These people are significantly more engaged than the average visitor, spend longer browsing your site and look at more pages. They’re more likely to make contact with you too, fulfilling one of the key objectives of your website.
So, who are they?
Group 1: People who find you following an online search
This group are split into two subsets.
The first group comprises people who find your website after searching online for you or your business (known as a brand search). These are ‘suspects’. They know you, but you don’t know them.
They might have been recommended to you by a client or professional connection. Perhaps they’ve driven past your office or found you on a directory. Either way, they know you and they want to find out more.
To do that they’ve searched for you on Google and clicked through to your website. Some will simply be looking for your contact details. Others will be conducting deeper due diligence, perhaps comparing a couple of advisers/planners before deciding who to contact.
The second group find your website after running a service-based search on Google. These people have experienced a trigger (a problem they want to solve or an aspiration they want to achieve) and believe they need financial advice.
So, they’ve searched online to find a financial adviser (they probably don’t know the difference between a financial adviser and planner just yet) and chosen to click through to your website.
Why are these people so important? They have an immediate need for financial advice. They think you can solve their problem or help them achieve their aspiration.
Group 2: Returning visitors
How many times do you visit a website before taking a call to action? Once? Twice? Three times? More?
The answer depends on several factors. For example:
- You might be in the early stages of searching for a service provider
- You could be comparing a couple of options before making your choice
- You might feel that the time isn’t quite right, but you’ll bookmark the website for when it is
The same is true with potential clients who visit your website.
It’s impossible to say with any accuracy how many touches, interactions and website visits it takes to get someone to respond to a call to action. I recall a new client of my wife’s financial planning firm explaining that he’d received their newsletter for four years before the time was right to make contact.
That person had received over 50 newsletters and had visited their website many times before he called. Perhaps it’s an extreme example but it shows that patience and persistence pay off. And remember, each visit is a nudge closer to your door.
Our research shows that you will have fewer returning visitors than new. Ideally though, returning visitors should account for 20-30% of your website traffic. But what they lack in quantity, they make up for in quality, looking at more pages and spending longer on your site than new visitors.
We monitor the performance of many websites. The screenshots below are taken from one of those sites and demonstrate the points we’ve made above.
First, visitors from organic search. This screenshot shows how visitors from organic search spend longer on the site and look at more pages compared to the average. The bounce rate is significantly lower too.
Next up, returning visitors. Again, engagement levels are significantly higher.
Understand your numbers
Google Analytics is your friend here. For those who aren’t in the know, it’s a free tool to help you understand how your website is performing.
To review your stats for organic traffic, log in, then click:
- Acquisition > All traffic > Channels
To compare returning visitors with new visitors, click:
- Audience > Behaviour > New v returning
If you’re not sure whether you have Google Analytics installed on your website, would like it added, or you’re struggling with the data, please get in touch. We’ll happily help you for free.
How to increase visitor numbers from each group
The ultimate aim is to use Google to drive new visitors to your website and then encourage these people to return.
Next week, we’ll explain how to accomplish both of these things.
In the meantime, if you’d like to discuss your website or you need help with Google Analytics, email email@example.com or call 0115 8965 300. We’re here to help.