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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