Top 10 data points for maximizing your website traffic

by Amanda Hurley 

You just relaunched your career website. Your company invested major bucks on your brand new Applicant Tracking System (ATS). You sit back and wait for the candidates to roll in…but they don’t. What now? We sometimes think that if we build the website they will magically come to us. It certainly feels like they should if you have recently gone through a website redesign or a new ATS launch. There is a tool that is available to point you in the right direction or at least help make the tough decisions easier when it comes to making your career site stronger. The tool is your website analytic reports. You know, that report the webmaster sends you every month that you glance over and say, “Huh, somebody clicked on my bio?” and then you move on to the fires you must put out? Yep, that one!  

Web analytics reports hold a goldmine of information and below are the top 10 data points to review and how best to use them to your advantage! 

PS: If you are reading this and wondering, “What the heck are web analytics?” then go hug your webmaster and let him show you the light! If your organization does not have the resources or maybe you rely on a vendor for this information, ask for reporting on your website and key metrics! Better yet, have your contact do a deep dive into your reporting to show you trends and key performance indicators! 

  1. Unique visitors. How many individuals are coming to my your within a month? This one is easy! You want to establish a baseline of your average readership and activity. Knowing this information allows you to see what you are working with and helps you see trends! More importantly, when/if you do invest in advertising and marketing you will be able to have a metric to track Return on Investment.  
  2. Time spent. How much time are these visitors spending on your website? Do they come to the homepage and then leave after 30 seconds? Do they consume four pages then leave? By exploring this metric you can determine how to make your site “stickier” so that users stay! We want them to stay to learn more about your company and generate more interest. PS: If you did invest in an ATS, then you should also know when the candidate exits the application and how often. (That’s a whole other conversation though!)
  3. Activity by day of week. What day on average does your website receive the most traffic? Monday? Tuesday? I bet it is not the weekend! This is great information to use to determine when to post new content; when the content will be seen and acted upon most often! Personally, I like to post my opportunities on Mondays…because my website told me to do so.  
  4. Most popular pages. What pages on your site are being consumed the most? If your research opportunity listings page isn’t in the top two, then we have some work to do. Maybe the links to the listings are hard to find on the homepage and we need to make it more prominent. 
  5. Most clicked images/links. If you are linking to other sites (social media) then you want to know how your own website is helping to drive traffic, right? PS: Link to your social media. Please!  
  6. Top entry pages and top exit page. This is great to see what pages your visitors are coming to first and what pages your visitors are leaving! You may need to tweet your content to change traffic patterns. 
  7. Top search engines. My guess is that Google is at the top of your list, but how much search traffic are you getting? This can help you determine how optimized your website is for search engines. This leads to the opportunity to explore Search Engine Optimization Marketing! 
  8. Top search phrases. What are people typing to find you today? Is it a web address that is misspelled or maybe a competitor’s address? This might present a great opportunity to buy that domain name and continue to drive traffic your way! 
  9. Desktop or mobile. How much of your traffic is coming from a traditional desktop or a mobile device. Is your career site and ATS mobile optimized so that visitors can see your company on their phone? If not, you might need a redesign project. 
  10. Top referral pages. Where is your traffic coming from? This is a biggie! Is it coming to you from LinkedIn, Facebook, Google or Yahoo? Knowing where your traffic is coming from helps you determine messaging on your website as well as where to spend those precious advertising dollars. The data does not lie, and it can help you determine your strengths and weaknesses. Now, go find that report from last month that you strategically filed in the folder called “Trash” and see how your website is working for you today!

About the Author
Amanda Hurley is an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) project manager located in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Previously, she worked for Monster.com, where she recruited top talent, managed various projects and developed retention strategies for companies across the United States. Hurley has a background in recruitment, marketing, sales and organizational communication. As an ORISE project manager, she recruits for and manages the relationship with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Research and Development Office. She is the subject matter expert for recruiting trends and technology. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.