You can start by looking at traffic, but you have to go past the aggregate numbers to find your opportunities. Your goal is finding the right traffic, understanding it and then getting more of it.
What is the Right Traffic?
Simply put, the right traffic is the traffic that leads to more business for you. You may not know exactly what this traffic looks like (yet), but you can make some educated assumptions:
- Traffic on keywords that relate to your product or category.
- Direct traffic to a high-level category or your homepage.
- Referral traffic from relevant sites in your industry.
- Email sign-ups via a middle-of-the-funnel or bottom-of-the-funnel offer.
- Past customers (Repeat customers)
These are all groups that have self-filtered/selected themselves to show an alignment with your business offerings. That doesn’t mean they are ready to buy, but they have an interest in what you offer. You can take each of these groups and slice them up into smaller cohorts.
If you’re short on data, then you need to use your own knowledge, that of your team, and info from people with similar businesses.
Going Behind the Traffic
You want to figure out as much as you can about the people that come to the site. There are lots of tools out there for going deeper, but you can start with essentials. People’s actions on your site will tell you a lot about what they’re looking for and how well you do at providing it. Start with some of the questions below, then think about tools like SurveyMonkey (or Qualaroo), KissMetrics (or CrazyEgg), Moz (or SEOClarity) to go further.
Things to Figure Out: What to Look For & What to Learn
- Acquisition: Where did they come from? Where did they land? –> then go deeper to look at geography, devices, operating systems and past behavior (did they previously visit through another source?)
- Behavior: Where did they go? What did they click/download/watch? –> then go deeper to see if they used site search, downloaded something that further qualifies them as a lead, spent a large amount of time on a page or section.
- Conversions: Did they try, buy or submit? How long did it take form them to convert? What was the path (in-session and multi-channel) that got them there? –> then dig deeper to see what the value of their conversion is, what was the CPNC, what was the benefit or value proposition that swung them.
Things to Do: Analysis and Then Action
If analysis doesn’t lead to action, then I hope you’re getting academic credit because you’re not making money. Based on the data, you should be able to put together some hypotheses about what will grow your traffic.
Some Places to Start When Formulating Hypotheses
- I can get more of the right traffic from: What sites are they coming from?; Who is an influencer for them?, What mobile OS are they using?
- I can attract more of the right traffic with: Do whitepapers generate more leads?; Can I attract them by sharing infographics? What about in-app ads?
- I can get a good return if I: What’s my A/S on an email campaign?; Is it worth it to invest in SEO if I’m projecting X traffic increase at Y conversion rate?; What activity has the best ratio of cost to revenue?
- I can get this done if I: Who is doing what? What assets do I have? Can my vendors help? How much budget do I need? Can I recycle older material?
- I need to get this done: How much lead time do I need? What’s my start and end dates? When can I launch?
Don’t Overdo It
Dive too deep, too fast and you can end up overloaded with trivia. Look for the highest converting channels or most engaged traffic sources, dig deep on them, then go back to the well. I can’t tell you how deep to go, only that you’ll know the sweet spot when you find it.
Featured image of PreFontaine from Examiner.com