In previous posts, I’ve shown you the basics of Google Analytics and reviewed analytics data and the strategy for a website. This post is going to go into more detail on traffic sources.
On the internet, marketing campaign results can be measured very quickly and cheaply
In the old days, a little pint sized business would get a yellow page listing and buy a few ads in the local newspaper or on the local radio. Then, when a new customer would show up and make a purchase, we would ask “how did you find us?”. For a lot of customers, this feels like an intrusion or a burden on their time. If you’ve ever tried to buy a single 9V battery at Radio Shack, you’ll know what I mean.
Big companies can afford to hire marketing firms and get the data parsed 100 different ways: age, gender, income, zip code, ads seen, favorite TV shows, paper or plastic …. You get the idea. For the rest of us? Yellow pages, Newspaper, Radio, Luck.
Google Analytics helps small businesses track marketing like the big boys. Here’s how.
You can see where your traffic is coming from! Go to the menu on the left and click on Traffic Sources and Overview. You’ll see a pie chart that looks like this:
This is telling you how many people found your site using one of the search engines. Let’s look at that data a little more closely:
You can see the top keywords used to find your page. Why is this important? Well, are these the sorts of things you want your site to be know for? If something is surprisingly popular, is it a possible market niche you didn’t know about? When I wrote the articles on doing a SWOT analysis, I didn’t realize that it would be such a popular search term.
When people find my site using that term, are they staying around? Or are they immediately leaving the site? If they are leaving quickly, then I probably want to try to rank well for something besides SWOT or maybe I should try writing some posts they would find interesting to keep them on the site. If they stay around and read more articles, then I should probably work harder on getting more traffic for that search term and providing them some information they want.
Which search engines are bringing traffic to your site. This will let you know if that Yahoo Local listing is working. If not, you might want to tweak your listing and see if your results improve or not. Just for fun, Google is responsible for 94% of my search traffic!
This will show you if your social media marketing is working, or not. You’ll see the amount of traffic you get from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+. You’ll also see if other websites are sending you traffic. Did you win a “Best Of” award? Are you getting traffic from that site. Did you get a mention in the local online paper or Chamber of Commerce website? You’ll know if their readers have clicked on that link to your site. Do you have another website with a link? It will show up.
Use this page to gauge whether your social media campaigns are working. Check traffic against the number of posts on Twitter and see if that has an effect. You can also see if the the time of day that you post on Twitter has an effect. You’ll need to keep track, manually, of when your tweets went out and then compare them to the trafic to your site by the hour.
This is the first page people visit on your site. This will tell you something about how a page is performing as a traffic magnet. If you write a blog, it will tell you what the most popular posts were for the time period. In most cases, your home page will be the most popular landing page.
One takeaway from this data is: people will not always start at your home page. So, make sure that each page on your website makes it clear what you can do and gives the visitor some instructions on what to do next. Make sure your branding and contact information are on every page! Each page on your website should be able to stand on its own.
Give it a try
Track your referral traffic for one week and plot it against your social media marketing. Does making a change in how you engage with your social network change your referral traffic? Experiment to see what has the most impact, positive or negative, and try to optimize it to increase your website traffic.