Using Analytics Data to Improve your Traffic Generation

by Jason Acidre on November 4, 2013 · 41 comments · Content, Conversion


Measurability is what sets digital marketing apart from other traditional marketing channels.

The accuracy of data collection through web analytics has played a vital role in online marketing for years now, not just because it makes reporting look cooler, but because it helps marketers make better decisions and for campaigns to have better directions.

Web analytics has 4 major uses, and it seems that many of us tend to forget the last one:

  • Collect
  • Measure
  • Analyze
  • Optimize

As I have been mentioning a lot lately – it’s not about how much data you have; it’s about how you use your data to your advantage.

So in this post, I’ll be sharing several methods that you can implement to get the most out of the data you’re getting from your digital marketing activities.

Improving Site Discovery and Traffic

John Doherty wrote a great piece a month ago on Moz on how to build marketing funnels using Google Analytics, which has also discussed this topic. I highly suggest checking out that post as well.

marketing funnel

In optimizing your website for it to be more visible to your target audience, it’s important to first understand the channels where you are getting the most traction from.

You can start by checking your site’s most visited landing pages, including the mediums that they are able to constantly get new visitors from.

Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages > and on the “Second Dimension” tab choose Traffic Sources > Medium:

site discovery

Determining which sites have referred the most engaged traffic to your website is another data set that you’ll have to consider checking (referring sites with low bounce rates, high visit duration and high percentage of new visits).

Acquisition > All Referrals:

acquisition

On making use of these data:

Putting more efforts on those that have proven to drive results is a conventional wisdom in online marketing.

  • Be consistent in building brand exposure on sites that have constantly driven visitors to your website – by becoming more visible on their sites through continuous content contribution or by making sure that the pages from their domain that passes on traffic to your website will continuously get traffic (by helping them rank better or by building 2nd-tier links).
  • Update and solidify your site’s top landing pages, particularly those that have low engagement rate, as these pages are the ones that help people discover your site/brand.
  • Find sites similar to the websites sending targeted traffic to you (using Google search or Similar Web) and aim to gain more brand visibility from them too (given that they also cater to the same audience you’re targeting).

related search

Understanding the customer journey

Traffic generation is not just about bringing new traffic to your website, as the process’ entirety also involves nurturing your audience (growing your returning visitors) for it to be truly efficient.

What are the things that I can do to keep my visitors on coming back to the site? That’s one good question to always ask. And a few answers to this question are:

  • Continuously growing your content resources (blog, content assets, newsletters, etc…).
  • Building an interactive community within the site (forum, community blog, etc…).
  • Providing free web-based products/services.
  • Making all of your brand’s offerings (ex: whitepapers, newsletters, videos, etc…) very visible on the site’s key pages (as CTAs).

But the main key to really make your site sticky for new traffic is to provide a unique experience (that they’ll want to share and utilize again).

That’s why it’s very important to determine which mediums are mostly used by people to find your site and what possible elements of the site make them want more.

Multi-Channel Funnels > Top Conversion Paths

top conversion paths

Turning to Mobile

Mobile internet usage has clearly been huge for the past decade (and is still continuously growing), making the available data from Google Analytics more valuable than ever.

Aside from the fact that these data can help you decide if it’s really right for you to invest on mobile marketing, it also gives you insights/opportunities on how you can diversify your brand’s growth in terms of traffic generation and product offerings.

Audience > Mobile > Devices 

mobile devices

On making use of these data:

  • Optimize your website for mobile devices (and OS) that are sending conversions to your website – by making your site responsive or building custom mobile versions of the site for devices that are yielding results. This can tremendously affect your site’s ability to rank better on mobile search.
  • Improve the site’s loading speed. For more tips, you can also check out Sean Si’s extensive guide on how to improve site speed.
  • Build site features that are specifically targeted to mobile users (like offering different formats of your content such as audio, video, downloadable PDFs or mobile apps).

Social Traffic

Knowing which social networks that are driving the most traffic and conversions to your site is just the first step. It’s also imperative to identify those that can help diversify your site’s traffic sources.

You can easily determine these social networks by gauging which ones are sending high percentage of new/unique visits, with low bounce rates.

Acquisition > Channels > Social

social

Making use of these data:

  • Start building your following base on these other social platforms, by spending more time to interact with its other users (particularly those that are in the same niche/industry).
  • Create content specifically targeted to these platforms (like developing original images and promoting them through Pinterest, or creating more slide presentations then uploading them on Slideshare, etc…).
  • Cross-promoting your content on these channels on social networks where you are already established.

Improving landing pages with low organic traffic

Export the list of your site’s landing pages into an excel sheet (including the mediums sending traffic to them, by adding it on the secondary dimensions of your landing page’s analytics report).

This way, it’ll be easier for you to sort the list and determine your site’s weak pages in terms of search visibility.

Make a list of these pages, and assess the importance of each, especially with the search terms they’re aiming to rank for.

On improving your weak landing pages:

  • Optimize them to become more evergreen (update the information it contains).
  • Make it more comprehensive – especially if the content provides answers to frequently asked questions (or frequently searched queries in your space). As this can also help unleash your content’s full potentials, such as in optimizing your sales training, as well as customer service awareness.
  • Build more thematically relevant internal links to them, to pass more link value and ranking power. For more tips, you can also check this guide on content optimization.

Do the math in your landing pages

If every page on your site is getting 100 visitors per month on an average, then adding 10 new more unique and useful pages will allow you to attract a thousand more visitors in the next month.

But of course, this is not a precise amount of increase that you can actually expect. However, having a deep understanding of the capability of your site to make its pages earn visibility and traffic is extremely crucial when it comes to growing your audience/customer base.

Always look for opportunities that can help you expand your brand’s reach, like implementing these things:

  • Regularly checking your site’s internal site search data to see what topic areas your visitors are really looking for (Behavior > Site Search > Search Terms).
  • Understanding your target audience’s other interests, so you can come up with content specifically targeted to these users (Audience > Interests > Affinity Categories).

affinity categories

  • Identify countries, cities and languages that you have a strong market, and create content specifically tailored for these site visitors – as this can result to getting more long-tail keywords that you can target and rank for (Audience > Geo > Location or Language).

geo

Make your site more remarkable to improve return visits!

Whether you’re running an online publication, SaaS company, ecommerce site, B2B or an offline business, in the long run, visitor retention will be far more valuable than new visitor acquisition – because these are the people who are ready and willing to spend more in your business.

new vs returning

How to make your website remarkable:

  • Invest on content that people won’t find anywhere else (thought-leadership)
  • Invest on design
  • Invest on building relationships
  • Invest in branding

More helpful resources:

If you liked this post, you should subscribe to my feed and follow me on Twitter @jasonacidre.

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Vukasin November 4, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I’m using Google Analytics since I start working in the industry. I’m always impressed what Google have for us. Analytics have helped me to undertand where my readers are and what they actually want!

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Lalit Burma@SubmissionWork.Com November 13, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Hello Vukasin

How are you ? Please tell us your best Google Analytic report segment from which you derive useful data.

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Sean November 4, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Jason,

This post lacked some of your direct, actionable ‘to-do’s’ at the end of every point. Perhaps it’s because the topic is too broad or you’re just too long out of the writing picture. In any case, it’s a good start to get the writing genius in you back on track. Promoted it in all my social accounts!

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Jenny November 5, 2013 at 3:38 am

I love Google Analytics but I’m sure I’m only using 10% of what’s available – thanks for some great tips :-)

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Marian November 5, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Google Analytics can really help us make our life easier. And this post shows you how. Again another great post from Jason.. Thanks for this great tips…

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Metz November 5, 2013 at 8:42 pm

“Understanding the customer journey” this lets me think that we should put ourselves in our customer or viewers shoe. This will pilot us to the ideas that we can make use just like the wants and needs. So I have to agree that if we will build an interactive community within the site, surely good rapport will be created and there is a domino effect. You can create a center of attention for them to return in your site.

I found this post shared on Kingged.com, the Internet marketing social networking site, and I “kingged” it and left this comment.

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Rajkumar Jonnala November 6, 2013 at 3:02 am

Hi Jason, aim of every blogger is to generate good traffic. We mostly use Google Analytics, today from your blog I’ve learnt a lot of new things which are very helpful.

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Alexander November 6, 2013 at 9:04 am

Dear Jason, your post is very helpful, especially when it comes to make a site better. Thank you for sharing this valuable information. Since the Google Analytics is used by around 40 % of top websites, I think I’ll use it for my own site as well.

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Benjamin Beck November 6, 2013 at 11:12 am

Hey Jason,

Another great post!

A tool that I use a ton for finding related websites is http://www.similarsitesearch.com/

I have it as a shortcut in my toolbar so when I want to find sites similar to the one i’m on i just click it and it gives me a lot more!

Hope it helps.

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Amit Srivastav November 7, 2013 at 8:44 am

It’s good that Google Analytics is increasingly improving and it’s helping us know more about our visitors.

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Jijin Mohan November 8, 2013 at 12:28 am

Great Post. Thanks for the detailed information at every point. Really a useful post.

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Zenelia November 8, 2013 at 3:57 am

Hi Jason !!!
Very well written post man…I appreciate the way you have explained the things…..I am a regular user of google analytics and am really impressed with the quality and the application of this tool…
Its really comfortable and easy one to manipulate and analyze the data traffic..and also provide a chance to target the particular area…
So the post is quite valuable and informative one….!!!!

Thanks for sharing this wonderful content of knowledge…its appreciable

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Aashish November 8, 2013 at 6:27 am

Google analytic is one of the best free tool to get all analysis details of your website from users information to sources of traffic generation and behaviour of users on website that help to make new strategy for promotions of website.

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Mark November 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Google Analytics can really help us make our life easier. And this post shows you how. Again another great post from Jason.. Thanks for this great tips…

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STEVEN J. FROMM, ATTORNEY, LL.M. (TAXATION) November 9, 2013 at 9:20 am

Wow, Jason, this article is a real keeper. Just so many good tips and things to pursue. I am going to use this as a checklist for making my website and blog better. Thank you very much for this comprehensive and well conceived tutorial.

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Chelsea Luke November 10, 2013 at 10:22 am

Hey Jason,

Your article is excellent and i think getting traffic is the the most important factor in the success of any website. Because it is really very important for us to know that who is visiting our website and how much traffic are we getting? and why people are taking interest in our website.

Thanks for the sharing,

Chelsea

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Patrick November 11, 2013 at 4:02 am

Using it every day. If I’m not on PC then monitor it trough mobile.
You need to use it daily because webmastering is that kind of business. There can always happen some accident like site can go down because of server problems ect. Someone can attack it with some hacking methods etc. Webmaster should always monitor their daily analytics to see if everything it ok, whats needs to be improved, where the traffic comes etc.
You done a great job writing and explaining this Jason. It’s very detailed and helpful.
Regards,
Patrick

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Jamesseochicago November 11, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Awesome stats and screen caps here. It never ceases to amaze me how much sociology and psychology plays into marketing and advertising. As a former Sociology major, I love the different connections that you can make to our chosen field. Great stuff!

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Tav November 11, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Great article with immense information! Well written and straight to the point and I will definitely put to use.

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Lalit Burma@SubmissionWork.Com November 13, 2013 at 7:01 pm

You know Jason, what qualities keeping you different from other internet marketers ?

You keep digging and digging the topic until you reach to the core of it. And in result your efforts bring diamonds for your readers.

Another few things which I like about you are –

# You shared your website data freely.
# You point out several other sources so that your readers can have in depth knowledge of the topic.

Just one request … gain some weight :)

Thanks for awesome post.

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Tony Nguyen November 14, 2013 at 8:36 am

Hi, Jason Acidre. Great job! this post is actually informative. the data released is reliable. I appreciate the functions of Google Analytics after a few months of making use of this tool. this tool will help wabmasters control their website and maximize their business strategy. thanks for sharing this post. Hope that you will have more interesting posts in the future!

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diwaker November 15, 2013 at 8:39 am

Hi Jason,
i am a new blogger in search of good traffic like others. We mostly use Google Analytics for getting more information about source but your post given me more sources to explore for specific detail about readers.

Thanks for sharing Jason.

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Jennie Philip November 17, 2013 at 3:38 am

I’ve got a question for you that has been stuck in my head for a few weeks.

It happens often to me that I see a conversion on Google Adwords, but don’t see in Google Analytics. Do you think it is due to the 302 redirection or do you have another explanation?

I can’t find a reason why I somehow “lose” the tracking, except the 302 redirection.

Any thoughts?

I’d be happy to hear your thoughts

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James November 19, 2013 at 8:20 am

Google analytics tool is a very useful tool. I primarily use it to determine the keyword that brings much traffic to my site, with an aim on optimizing such related keyword as posts on my blog.
Aside the use of Google analytics, the use of Fruition tool, along with tools from Kissmetrics are essential materials an SEO specialist needs to have.
Thanks Jason for the tips.

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merry November 20, 2013 at 11:13 am

I love Google Analytics but I’m sure I’m only using 10% of what’s available – thanks for some great tips :-)

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Bethany November 23, 2013 at 7:12 pm

I have been chasing traffic for a long time, and I think you have highlighted one of my weaknesses, that is to chase traffic rather than trying to get traffic with low bounce rates. The low bounce rate traffic is really the traffic that is going to do the most for you, so thanks for reminding me of this.

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Akash Ranjan November 25, 2013 at 3:13 am

a very nice article for beginners. I think this article will help people like me who joined this “world of blogging”.
thanks for such a nice article.

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Alexandra Petean-Nicola November 25, 2013 at 11:12 am

Hi Jason, excellent piece as always. There is just one little bit that I am not sure that I understood. In the case of the social traffic in your example is StumbleUpon the best one ? Cause the other ones have a large bounce rate from what I see.

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merry November 25, 2013 at 11:58 am

Thank you for sharing these simple SEO tricks with Us.

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Responsibletrek November 28, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Thank you for sharing this tips. I have been using Google analytic but as i am newbie i was not able to use it at max. Now after reading your blog i am able to explore new things about google analytics.

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Andras November 29, 2013 at 6:42 am

Hi,
The digital marketing funnel is great! This is the simpliest way to make an evergreen business!
Do you have any solution for not provided keyword issue at analytics?

Thanks, Andras

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Abhijit Gupta December 6, 2013 at 5:07 am

Thanks for sharing this informative post. Very important points you mentioned here. I agree with you. Google analytics is one of the best free tool to get all analysis information of your website from users information to sources of traffic generation.

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Andrew Darwitan December 6, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Your traffic generation strategy guide is really comprehensive, Jason. I’ll be using this quite a bit. Perhaps just another to add… I like to use my most well-performing pages as content hub that links visitors to other parts of my site, which so far I find to be working. =)

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Tom Page December 17, 2013 at 7:44 am

Thank you for sharing all your helpful tricks and tips with us.

Thanks, Tom

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Sunita Sharma December 19, 2013 at 3:50 am

I never use analytic for this type of use, Just used for Check Regular Visits & Keywords to Work better. here is Complete Guide i have seen… Thanks For Sharing the Info… :)

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Abhijit Gupta January 30, 2014 at 4:55 am

Your tips are really useful. It’s a very brilliant article about increasing blog traffic and there is lots of information which will be useful for me. I am trying my level best to do everything about traffic… including the above mentioned tips.

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