One way you can objectively tell if your website traffic generating strategies are working is to look at your web analytics. You can use the analytics built into your website hosting program, or you can use a free tool like Google Analytics. Here's the first page of an actual Google Analytics report:
Website analytics can tell you a lot. For a resume writer, understanding web analytics is a crucial skill. Your analytics can tell you whether people understand what you're offering, whether people like your brand, and whether or not your website is doing everything it can to bring you new clients.
Here are some of the important numbers every resume writer should be watching in their web analytics.
How Many Visitors Are You Getting?
The first -- and most important -- number you should be watching is how many visitors you're getting. In addition to the raw number, also pay attention to whether the visitor count is going up or down. (You can check this weekly or monthly, but quarterly trends will give you a "bigger picture" analysis.)
As your marketing efforts progress, you should see a direct boost to your visitor count. It might not happen right away, but within a couple months, you should see a measurable increase.
How Many Hit a Goal?
Your resume website should have a very clear goal. For most resume writers, that goal should be to get a website visitor to either inquire about -- or purchase -- your resume services. (How many visitors do you convert into inquiries and/or sales?)
You can actually use Google Analytic's "Goals" feature to track your progress towards your stated "goal." You can measure progress in terms of folks who fill out an inquiry/contact form, sign up for your email list, download a special report on a careers-related topic, or make a deposit or sale.
Whatever the case, you should be carefully tracking the goal hit rate for your website.
Learn more about the "Goals" feature in Google Analytics.
Are the people who're landing on your website the right kinds of people? If you have a small local business, check to make sure the traffic you're getting is actually from your area. Many resume writers nowadays work "virtually," so location isn't as important as it used to be.
Where Does the Traffic Come From?
How do people end up on your website? Do they type something into the search engines and end up on your site? Or do they enter your URL manually? Is someone else sending people to your website? (LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can be huge "referrers" to your website.)
Tracking your traffic sources and your referrer data can give you valuable information about what's working and what's not working when it comes to generating traffic.
This is an analytic that is often misunderstood. The bounce rate measures the percentage of people who land on your website and leave without visiting a second page on your website. (They only visit one page -- maybe your home page, or a landing page -- and then they leave the site.)
A high bounce rate usually means that visitors came to your site expecting one thing but didn't find what they were looking for. If your bounce rate is above 60%, you might have some serious revamping to do.
Are People Coming Back?
Finally, check to see whether or not people who visit your website come back again. (Look at the "New Visits" analytic.)
For some businesses, this is an irrelevant statistic. For example, a restaurant's website doesn't really expect to get repeat visitors. People just use the website to find the address or phone number so they can show up. But for resume writers, you want people to keep coming back to your site -- especially if you have a blog.
Most people who are looking for a resume writer aren't ready to "buy" when they start their search. This is particularly true for prospects who are spending $400 or more on a resume. (Under $250, resumes are almost an "impulse buy" and you may be able to get them to purchase right away.)
Over $400, the goal is to get them to your site, give them some valuable information, and then -- most important! -- get them to opt-in to your mailing list, can move them along the process to making a direct inquiry about your services.
These are some of the many things that your analytics system can tell you. Learning to understand analytics can really help you steer your resume writing business in the right direction.