Previously we discussed creating traffic generation strategy.
You created goals for each tactic in your strategy, right?
So how are you going to measure those goals?
How will you know what tactics are working?
How will you know if your traffic plan needs a tune up?
This chapter is devoted to testing and tracking your web traffic generation tactics.
Here are just a few things you can test and track.
• Click-throughs on social networking posts.
• Headline effectiveness
• Calls to action
Let’s take a look at how to test and track successfully.
Testing is essentially measuring various tactics or aspects of a tactic to see how it’s performing.
One example might be if you are utilizing article directories to drive traffic and you want to find out which type of article generates more links; a review or a tip sheet. This is testing. And there are various forms of testing that you can use.
The most basic is Split Testing and that’s where we’ll focus our attention. You can look into multivariable testing if you want to get more involved in this process, however, for most needs and purposes, split testing works just fine.
Split testing is quite simple in theory. It’s essentially testing one element of a tactic.
Say, for example, you want to test the effectiveness of a call to action in your articles you publish on article directories. You want to see which call to action generates more clicks through to your website.
The idea would be to essentially publish the exact same article with two different calls to action. The one that received more clicks through is the one that you would then rely on for future content and published articles. And in fact, many article directories support split testing with features that make it easy to isolate one element and test for it.
When done correctly, the data you receive is extremely accurate and beneficial. The disadvantage to split testing is that it can take a long time to gather accurate data and if you’re only testing one variable at a time.
In general it takes fifty actions to give you statistically relevant data, with a margin of error of about 12%.
Where do you go to start testing? Basic testing can be handled internally. You can do it yourself or hire someone to track and compile the data. A simple excel spreadsheet will help you track your marketing data or you can take advantage of technology.
Online, there are a number of website tracking tools you can use. For example, Google Analytics enables you to evaluate customer response to different web pages and click-through rates on items you’re testing, like your sign up form.
Like most things Google, it’s free. We’ll talk more about Google Analytics at the end of this chapter.
Your website host may also offer helpful analytical tools to help you track relevant statistics. Additionally, there are a number of consulting firms and software programs available to anyone who is interested in multivariable or split testing.
In an internet business you can test and track just about everything, however, because this report is devoted to website traffic, we’re going to stick to that topic.
Tracking is simply using the data available to find out how your customers and prospects found out about or made their way to your business website.
• Click on an ad
• See a comment you posted on a blog?
• Read an article you published online?
• Find you via the search engines?
• Follow a social networking link?
• Follow a link posted on someone else’s blog?
You can also find out how many people visit your website each:
• And how that information compares to previous days, weeks and months.
And finally, you can learn which keywords people are using most often to find your website. Imagine how powerful that information can be!
As you can see this can be some very helpful and important information. It can tell you exactly which tactics are working and which are not. And it can tell you where to focus your efforts and if you’ve reached your website traffic goals.
As mentioned earlier, one of the most useful tools, and it’s free, is Google Analytics. You simply sign up for an account, create your code, and past it into your website code (or have your webmaster handle it for you.)
Here’s a rundown of what Google Analytics can tell you:
1 – Date Range. Use this dropdown box to select what date range you want to get data for. For example, if you want to see how many visitors you got in the last week select those dates in the dropdown box.
2 – Visitor Graph. This is a graph of how many visitors you got over the date range you selected.
3 – Visits. The number of visitors you got over the date range you selected.
4 – The number of web page views.
5 – The number of pages the average visitor visited.
6 – The bounce rate is the percentage of people who left your website without looking at another web page. In other words, they came to your front page and left right away.
7 – The average time spent on your website before leaving.
8 – What percentage of visitors are new visitors.
9 – Your dashboard where you can get more data.
Traffic Sources Menu
This is perhaps one of the most important menus in Google Analytics. This page allows you to get detailed data on where your visitors are coming from.
By learning where your visitors are coming from, you have a far greater chance of increasing your traffic successfully.
Generally, it’s easier to get more traffic from an existing traffic source than it is to try and find a new traffic source. Here are some of the important statistics you can get from the Google Analytics Traffic Sources menu:
Overview – The first page you’ll be taken to will have an overview of your main sources of traffic. It’ll break it down by Direct Traffic, Referring Sites and Search Engines.
In addition, it will also have your top traffic sources and top keywords.
Referring Sites – If you click referring sites, you can see the top websites that are sending visitors to you. If you find a website that’s working particularly well, you may want to consider trying to get even more traffic from that website.
Keywords – This is a crucial part of search engine optimization. Google Analytics will actually tell you what keywords people are using to find you.
By analyzing this data, you can improve your search engine rankings for those keywords and get even more traffic.
You can also take keywords that are doing well for you on organic search and bid on them in PPC. You could also take keywords that are doing well in PPC and optimize your site for them on search.
As you can tell, there’s a wealth of information that’s available to you. Look over your analytics carefully and extract the most valuable data.
Of course there are other analytic tools and services that you can use depending on your budget and the amount of information you’re looking for.
Knowing what works when it comes to traffic generation and where your visitors are coming from is an essential element to planning your strategy correctly and to making it work for long-term success.
Next we jump right into the main website traffic mistakes and outline the do’s and don’ts for generating website traffic. However, before you move on, there are two action steps to take.