3: Analysing sources to maximise conversion


(Sarah Hawk) #1

This week we’re going to examine what the specific traffic channels mean and look at some ways to optimise your landing pages or Calls to Action (CTAs) for those sources.

In this post I’m referring to the report that we generated in Week 2.

Search traffic (organic)

This is search traffic from unpaid sources (i.e. not PPC or other ads).

Some considerations to maximise the likelihood of conversion are:

  • Attract relevant traffic to minimise your bounce rate. The easiest way to do this is to make sure that your title and description meta fields are clear and descriptive (so that people know exactly what they are going to get before they click).
  • Optimise for unambiguous search terms (make sure that your primary search terms don’t have double meanings).
  • Place clear CTAs on your top ranking discussion or article pages. For an example of this practice, look at the bottom of any of Rich’s recent posts for Sprint CTAs. For an even more effective solution, I’m having our designer put together a banner that I can insert at the top of popular posts, prompting people to sign up for our community.
  • Use a ‘after x articles’ pop-up to catch relevant traffic that lands on lower ranking pages (if they have read x articles then your content is obviously resonating with them). We had our development team put together this one for us:

Referral traffic

Traffic directed from sites other than Google (i.e. clicking an ad or following a link from another site) and is usually highly relevant (it links from something that the viewer was already interested in). For this reason it is more likely to convert than organic traffic, so building up referral traffic is a strong strategy.

Ways to do that include:

  • If someone has mentioned you once, they’re more likely to do it again. Reach out and see if they would do a follow up piece or investigate a partnership opportunity (e.g. if it’s a blog that links in, perhaps there is an opportunity for a joint interview, webinar or guest post).
  • Press releases are a good opportunity to build referral traffic (you could announce events or executive changes).

Direct traffic

When someone types your URL straight into the browser (or uses a bookmark).

Note that any time Google Analytics cannot determine a referrer, that traffic is also included in the Direct category. That could include:

  • Traffic from a link in an email (depending on the email client)
  • Traffic from links in PDFs
  • Traffic from shortened URLs (depending on the URL shortener)
  • Traffic from mobile Facebook or Twitter apps

Direct traffic may also include untagged (or incorrectly) tagged marketing campaigns, so make sure you read up on how to tag your campaigns.

True direct traffic is likely to be repeat visitors. You can increase the likelihood of converting them by personalising their experience based on their preferences and past behaviour. That might mean offering a free download of your ebook or white-paper (ideally don’t try to sell something) to someone that is visiting your community for the first time. If they come back, the assumption is that they are interested in your content so you could replace that initial CTA with a prompt to subscribe.

If that’s not feasible, ensure that your content is fresh so that repeat visitors at the very least have something new to read.

Other ways to decrease your bounce rate from direct traffic are making sure your homepage has optimised CTAs and loads quickly.

Social traffic

This includes all traffic referred from social media.
You can drill down deeper to find out specifically which social media in Google Analytics by selecting Acquisition --> Social --> Overview

This is an area that many people waste time and effort on. Just because we spend the most time on Twitter, doesn’t mean that our audience does. This might take some trial and error to get right.

Choose one channel and concentrate your efforts on it. Remeasure weekly to see what return you are getting. If it’s not a marked improvement, try something else. Some organisations get hight return rates from posting videos to YouTube, but you’re not going to know if that will work for your organisation until you try it.

Some things to remember:

  • Social media users aren’t always comfortable being sent off-platform (which can increase bounce-rates).
  • This traffic will be going straight to inner pages, not your homepage, so make sure you have a clear CTA visible on every page. You might want to consider a sidebar widget or header bar CTA.
  • Concentrate on one channel at a time. If the results aren’t worth the effort, move on. You don’t have to have a presence across all social channels.

Email traffic

Users who navigate to your site from email marketing campaigns. This is one of the most relevant traffic sources because people have already responded to your CTA and are looking for more information.

Some ways of maximising conversion of email traffic include:

  • Making sure that the message on the landing page reflects the same message as that in the email
  • Designing segment specific email campaigns that drive traffic to segment specific landing pages (for instance you might direct students on your training course to a part of your site that has a low barrier to entry rather than where the more daunting, high level discussions are taking place)

(other) traffic

You can drill down through your report to establish the main “other” source of traffic. In our case it’s Feedburner – people subscribing to the RSS feed. This traffic is can essentially be treated the same as social traffic.

Clear CTAs

  • Regardless of where your traffic is coming from, your CTA needs to be clear and unambiguous. Make your button say “Join FeverBee” not “Go” or “Submit”
  • Don’t bait and switch – make sure you deliver exactly what you offer (“Join hundreds of experts…” isn’t the same as signing up to a mailing list)
  • Use high contrast buttons surrounded by white space
  • Provide a safety net/release valve – make sure there is somewhere obvious for people that aren’t quite ready to commit to find extra information
  • Continuity – assign an aesthetic to a specific CTA and stick to it. Don’t have an orange button with white text for registering for your community on the homepage and a similar looking button for buying an ebook on another.
  • Use tunnelling. Have one clear CTA on a page and remove other distractions. (This may not work when inserting CTAs into your top ranking articles, but bear it in mind as a general rule.)

And never, ever do this

Looking for user acquisition strategy tips
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(Bas van Leeuwen) #2

Love the series @HAWK!

I spent some time recently with @julesstanden, discovering the power of GA-dashboards.
I have found them to be pretty amazing so I created one for the couple of measurements you mentioned in week 1-3. Hopefully this saves someone a click or two :smile:

Click here to set up your own: https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/template?uid=79liy7VuS4KeAD6UC4xKuw

(Sarah Hawk) #3

That’s brilliant @Bas_van_Leeuwen – thanks!
I’ve got mine up and running – this makes it very easy to see everything at a glance.

(Nick Emmett) #4

Awesome, me too @HAWK , Thanks @Bas_van_Leeuwen

(Doug Agee) #5

Yes. Thanks to @Bas_van_Leeuwen and @HAWK. Just looked at the numbers and used the link. This is a great series!

(Sarah Hawk) #6

Thanks. If there are any specific topics that you’d find it helpful for me to cover, please let me know.