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How-to 11 min read August 5, 2019

How to analyze traffic dynamics in the topic

Analysis of the traffic dynamics is needed to identify the factors that are important for SEO promotion and long-term traffic planning. A large number of visits and a minimum conversion rate is not beneficial in every topic, and is destructive in some of them.
A common mistake when analyzing traffic is to loop on monthly and quarterly data. You should see the big picture of what happens in the annual chart.

In addition, you should understand what happens to the traffic not only of your web resource but also of this topic as a whole. A drop in demand for a certain car brand will also affect traffic.

For falling and rising niches, completely different approaches to promotion are needed. After reading this article, you can:

  • identify the expected traffic in the topic;
  • analyze the quality of traffic on the website on key points;
  • assess sales seasonality and traffic trends in a niche.

How to determine the expected traffic in the topic?

Before you calculate and plan traffic to your web resource, you should consider several important differences in niches:
There are topics that work cyclically, that is, stable from year to year.
There are topics that have a seasonal decline or increase.
There are topics that are referred to as "HYPE": they appear and disappear abruptly.
Therefore, you must initially ask yourself what topic you have, what you should expect from it in the market.

If we are talking about a commercial portal, the volume of traffic in the subject directly depends on the demand for goods by customers. To understand whether the offered services or products are of interest to users, it is necessary to analyze the frequency of requests for the relevant key phrases.

For this purpose, the semantic core was originally assembled. But over time, if you did not update it, the numbers may change.

Demand is checked with the help of Google Ads.

How to find out the demand for a product in Google

In Google Ads, to see the frequency, the keys must be added to the plan.
Search queries frequency and dynamics in Google Ads
After all the keys are added, download the plan to your PC. The document will contain specific numbers, and it will be more convenient for you to work in the Excel spreadsheet:
Search queries in topic and niche
Frequency of demand will help to estimate the expected traffic for a niche.

If your key requests do not have traffic or it is small compared to past performance, then the overall dynamics of the niche is declining. If you see that the demand in the niche is growing, but this does not affect your traffic, there are problems on the website.

Therefore, after this analysis, proceed to the next step and evaluate the traffic quality that arrives at your web resource. It is not profitable for a commercial project to receive 100,000 non-target visitors who do not make purchases if it is not a special promotion. Therefore, the quality and quantity should be correlated in a favorable way for business.

How to check the traffic quality on the website

What is "quality" traffic? If you have a commercial project, in the end you expect a certain conversion from the visitor into a client, in particular - placing an order. Information portal will consider conversion as the other users' actions and rely more on engagement as an indicator of the quality of the submitted content.

The traffic quality is estimated collectively. It means that you are analyzing a set of options that, in general, allow you to "make a diagnosis" regarding the traffic on your website. To start the analysis, use Google Analytics.

Next, look through the basic settings that are mentioned in the article. Your task is to compare these indicators with the previous period, to evaluate the changes for your niche.

Bounce rate

The bounce rate counts the percentage of people who visited your website either left it immediately or did not cross another page. That is, the number of sessions in which only one page was viewed.

If your traffic grows in an annualized period and the bounce rate also rises, it means that people who visit the website do not receive a satisfactory answer (or it does not match the request).

To get Bounce Rate report, go to the menu on the left, in the "Behavior" section, there you find "pages attendance analysis." In the upper right corner of the report, change the date range and select "Bounce Rate" as it is shown in the screenshot below:
Bounce rate in Google Analytics
Enter the received information in the general table, so it will be more convenient for you to compare the indicators at the end.

The average duration of visit

The average session duration tells you how long people stay on your website on average. Measured in seconds. If, on an annualized schedule, your average time has decreased from 7 to 4 minutes, then you need to assess how well your consumer's expectations are. You may need to re-target or simply update your landing pages.

Long sessions are not always good for business, it all depends on the niche. If customers spend too much time on your website, they may not find what they are looking for.

If you use data from the client about the average time on the site in the tourism industry, where it is expected that potential customers will read information about the proposed travel options, then a growth rate of 10-15% will be considered as a positive trend.
The average duration of visit in Google Analytics

Pages / Session

This metric is important because it tells you how many pages an average user views. If your site involves a purchase, where people must go through a logical chain of pages to complete a transaction or contact you, then the average must be greater than 1-2 pages.

If the average number of pages viewed decreased in the annual period, it might mean that you have assessed the shopping algorithm or search navigation on the website and changed them for the better. It can also mean that people are not interested in landing pages. Accordingly, it is necessary to update the site content and make some changes to the navigation.

This indicator is influenced by many factors, so it is important to conduct a thorough analysis. If you have recently added a contact phone number to the website, you may find that people only need to see one page to call.

The example of tourism, an increase in the average number of pages viewed by 1% per annum will indicate an increase in the traffic quality. Visitors enjoy the content and consume it with interest.
Pages / Session in Google Analytics

New visits

The new visits index allows you to find out the percentage of visitors who first used the website. If you focus on remarketing during this period, this may lead to a distortion of the overall rate of your new visitors.

It is always important to examine and compare these numbers with the previous ones, to make sure that your market is rising, and to determine whether you need new promotion methods to attract new customers.
New and returning users in Google Analytics


At the end of the analysis, carry out an assessment of trends on key queries. It will allow you to calculate the dynamics of traffic in the long term for your topic.

To assess the dynamics of traffic, a special tool Google Trends has been developed in Google search. It is free and easy to use. Follow the link and in the active field. enter a query that matches the subject. Do not forget to set the region in the upper right corner:
Queries frequency in Google Trends
The dynamics of the popularity of queries on trends will help assess business development in the near future. You can refine the analysis settings by period, category, and type of search:
Search queries dynamics in Google Trends

What is more important: quality or quantity of traffic

The answer to this question depends on your business goals. How useful is the above analysis depends on the type of your website, conversions, and other external factors.

Suppose you use conversion tracking, combined with traffic quality indicators. If you see additional traffic arriving on an annualized basis, and your conversion rate also increased, then you are on the right track.

If you find that you get more traffic this year, but your conversion rates are lower (or below expectations), it would be wise to delve into the quality of your traffic and analyze the main differences in the options for the year that is described above.


To analyze the dynamics of traffic on a topic, you need to compare the indicator of the frequency of demand for key phrases. By checking each key, you may find that phrases or landing pages are not relevant. Analyzing the dynamics is useful periodically.

Even if you observe a positive traffic trend, spare the time to evaluate the quality of traffic. Empty traffic that doesn't bring sales to business loses its value, if you don't grow a website for sale or don't plan to monetize it otherwise.

Rising and falling niches have different strategies of SEO-promotion, so it is very important to monitor the current situation in the market.

This article is a part of Serpstat's Checklist tool
Checklist at Serpstat
Checklist is a ready-to-do list that helps to keep reporting of the work progress on a specific project. The tool contains templates with an extensive list of project development parameters where you can also add your own items and plans.
Try Checklist now

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