Thursday, April 12, 2012
How to evaluate corporate blogging traffic sources
Where your traffic comes from is incredibly important. In fact, it’s the easiest way to evaluate the effectiveness of your targeting (unless you want to dig into the details of Google Analytics and look at each company that has visited). This is a great way to gauge how much waste traffic you’re getting.
In the B2B marketing world, you probably aren’t getting as much useless traffic as you think. Since most of your content marketing is probably targeted, you’re helping yourself out right at the top of the funnel. From there, it’s just a matter of looking more closely at your sources.
Google Analytics is structured to help you with this. Look at how the traffic source categories break down: search, referral, direct and campaign. Here’s how you can use them effectively:
Direct: this is the easiest to evaluate. Anyone who is coming straight to your site or blog either knows something about your company or has been referred (e.g., word of mouth or email) by someone who does. In general, you can count this as reliable traffic.
Search: in most cases, this is targeted as well, as they search expressions people use should be linked to your company or the services you offer. There are rare cases when this will change, particularly if news breaks in your industry, and people are scrounging for any information that’s remotely new. You’ll be able to weed this out through keywords, though, with those that are generic or tied to the news event generally being less valuable to you (from a marketing standpoint, at least).
Referral: here, you’ll need to go a layer deeper. What pages are referring the traffic? Those that come from relevant trade publication websites, social media sites or other targeted outlets are likely to be useful to you. Sometimes, a link will get picked up by an unrelated website and through some traffic your way, though. These are the clicks that won’t mean as much to you.
Campaign: whether it’s through your own email marketing efforts or a daily alert you have set up through Feedburner, this is traffic from known good sources. You’re inherently targeting, making this highly valuable traffic to you.
In the B2B marketing world, we don’t have to worry as much about sifting out “curiosity” traffic generated by a big, mass-marketed brand. In most cases, your visitors are coming for a reason. With the approach above, it will be easier for you to make the case to the C-suite that most of your traffic is solid, and you’ll be able to get a better sense of how much (or little) waste you have.
Learn more about corporate blogging >>
Photo: takomabibelot via Flickr