All companies have ways of analysing traffic on their website and acting on the insights they gather - pages visited, bounce rate, time spent on a page, etc. - and tools to perform these analyses - such as Google Analytics, to state the obvious, XiTi (AT Internet), Comscore, Webtrends, StatCounter, Chartbeat, etc.
As for the actions taken, there are plenty of things that can be done to optimise traffic based on its analysis - redesign the whole website, restructure certain pages, add or remove landing pages, link pages together within the website or identify backlinks, make check out seamless, etc. - in order to render the customer journey more efficient and ultimately increase sales.
How real-time insights can help
Knowing what is generating interest is at least as important as the customer journey itself: yes, you want to lead people to purchase your products and services but you want to know which ones are the most interesting to your visitors. And you certainly are looking into your website visits every day to see what has been generating traffic, however could you be completely wrong about which of your products is the most interesting, or even worse: could you be missing out on a trend on your own website?
If you look at real-life examples, here is one that happened on a cold day of Winter...
An e-shop specialised in selling outdoor equipment and tools looked into short term trends (i.e. less than 24 hours) to identify “very seasonal” products to try and find niches and optimise their supply chain strategy.
One morning, as they were looking into their data, at this time of the year where snow falls heavily in certain regions, they noticed a huge peak in page visits and sales since the previous evening for… a snow shovel!
As they started promoting that product wherever they had a presence online, they grew their sales in the following 24 hours to twice the usual daily revenue, until the snow stopped falling.
Where we can use these insights
The takeaway from that story is not that you should always have snow shovels in store - although you may want to depending on what business you are in - but that you should analyse short-term peaks, even though you are not in a season-sensitive business - and even more so if you are.
It allows you to identify trends you may not have known about and can benefit from to increase your revenue.
We may not be aware of it, but a subject could be trending somewhere right now, in a space or on a topic you are not yet watching closely - in a specific territory, amongst a community, with an influencer, etc.
Listening to your traffic in real time can help you put forward what your visitors are looking for right now, be it on your website homepage, ads on search engines or social media, your social media publications, email campaigns, etc.
Add real-time social media intelligence to this and you are set for generating more traffic in no time.