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Looking for a way to sharpen your on-line advertising?
Before you invest in another marketing strategy, take a closer look at your current website visitors – starting with how they reach your website.
Google Analytics, a popular website tracking program, defines three primary traffic sources:
- Direct – A visitor that either enters your website address directly into their browser or returns to your site via a bookmark is considered to have visited your website directly.
- Search – A visitor that reaches your website from a search and click (paid or organic) on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. would be categorized as a Search Visit.
- Referring – A Referring Visit could come from a paid ad on a yellow pages website or from a Tweet on Twitter.
Each of the traffic sources above has nuances associated with it that can offer important insights to help you better direct your on-line marketing strategy. The catch? You have to massage your data a little bit in order to get these insights to appear.
Let me explain in a bit more detail:
Direct Visits are people that either already know you or were driven to your site by offline advertising. Visitors from Search could be people that already know you – i.e. they searched for your name, but they could also be people that have never heard of you that found your website (if you’re lucky) when searching for your type of product or service. Referring Visitors are a similar to Visitors from Search.
If you really want to supercharge your on-line marketing efforts, stop looking at your website traffic in aggregate and instead segment your traffic into two groups:
- Those that know you and (direct visits and visits from branded searches)
- Those that don’t know you (reached your site via a Referring site or a non-branded search)
Looking at your traffic from this perspective can change the way you think about your on-line marketing efforts.
For example, if you got 60 new visitors from Google Organic search you might conclude that you don’t need SEO (search engine optimization). However, if you later found out that of the 60 visits, 45 of them searched for you by name, you might come to a totally different decision about your need for SEO.
To be clear – both metrics (visits from people that know you and visits from those that don’t) could be key performance indicators – particularly if you do a lot of offline marketing or word of mouth marketing. But the real opportunity lies in the later. If you really want to grow your business, you need to focus on getting more people – that do not know you today – to your website and engage them once they arrive.
For a moment, think about your website as if it were a sales rep for your business.
You need to test programs that send qualified leads to your sales rep and see how well they close. If you send a few thousand visitors to your website and find that it can’t close, you might test some website optimizations. Recognize that many websites face the difficult task of being all things to all people. They need to be a friendly and familiar face to existing customers and a best foot forward for prospective new customers. Makes you wonder if more businesses shouldn’t have multiple websites for multiple audiences (many do!).
Anyway, don’t worry as much about converting those that don’t know you into leads and sales. Just focus on getting them in front of your sales rep (your website) and see how well your website does at engaging them. In another blog post, we’ll get into improving conversion rates.
If you use Google Analytics as your website tracking program, you can easily set up custom advanced segments to track both types of visitors. The end result might look something like this:
If you’d like help getting your website set-up with Google Analytics OR if you have Google Analytics on your website but find yourself with not enough time to pull actionable insights from it, drop us a line!
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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