Analyzing Entrances in Website Traffic Data

July 19, 2014  |   How to Buy & Sell Websites   |     |   Comments Off on Analyzing Entrances in Website Traffic Data

As website brokers, before we take on selling a client’s website, we analyze it exactly like a buyer would analyze it. We study a website’s traffic numbers carefully. One of the many stats we study in a website’s traffic is what is referred to in Google Analytics as Entrances.

Entrances refer to the web pages that visitors use to “enter” a website.

For most websites, the top entrance page is the homepage. This is the most popular page and search engine rankings generally give it the highest priority. Many users bookmark the homepages of their favorite websites to quickly re-visit them over and over again. The user can access the homepage through a search engine or by typing the URL directly in their web browser.

However, when a user searches for specific content like a news story, search engines deliver more specific content on inner web pages to the user. When the user clicks on these URLs and enters the website, these clicks are called Entrances through that specific URL.

Why are Entrances so important when assessing a website?

As a buyer, ideally, you want to acquire a website that pulls in traffic through diverse methods. You want direct traffic also known as type-in traffic from bookmarks. You want search engine traffic from search engines. You may even want paid traffic to assess how well ad campaigns (in Google AdWords) convert visitors to customers on the website.

But even more specifically, you want these visitors to enter the website through different web pages. This indicates that inner web pages are ranking well with search engines. It implies that inner pages contain quality content that users find valuable. These inner pages have been indexed with search engines just like the homepage.

In a website business, each web page is an asset. You want the assets (web pages) that make up the website to be as valuable as possible. The value in a web page is how well it ranks for specific keywords relative to web pages on competitors’ websites. The higher it ranks, the more competitive the website business will be.

This is why it’s important to look beyond just the homepage entrances. Study how well the other web pages on the website attract traffic. The homepage will almost always be the page with the highest number of entrances. But the more diverse the entrances, the better the website. This shows that there’s valuable content on pages beyond the homepage.

This is similar to an equity research analyst studying stocks to uncover any undervalued assets in the underlying businesses. The analyst looks beyond the general financial statements to hidden and overlooked assets in the business.

Take your time and dig through a website’s traffic data before you buy the website. Look beyond the total monthly traffic numbers. Study the less popular stats such as Entrances. This stat gives you valuable insight into a website’s hidden assets.


Kris Tabetando provides mergers & acquisitions (M&A) advisory and brokerage services to Internet companies. He also partners with investors to acquire & manage Internet businesses.

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