Figuring out what traffic sources send you the most traffic is great, but it's only the beginning.
Let me ask you this: if you were to have your way, which of the following would you prefer:
- tons of traffic to your site;
- being ranked on Google for a multitude of keywords;
- insane number of backlinks;
- visitors who convert into customers?
I would give up my traffic in a heartbeat if it meant more conversions, i.e. subscribers and customers – wouldn't you?
So how do we know which SPECIFIC traffic sources bring us the most quality traffic, which ones we need to nourish, and which ones we need to let go of?
Your Conversion Goals
The simplest way to accomplish this is by setting goals in your Google Analytics account and tracking them against all your traffic.
Here's what a typical dashboard looks like:
Now if I click on a drop-down menu located in the top-right corner under “Advanced Segments” and choose “Visits with Conversions” along with “All Visits” like this:
… this is what I'll see in the dashboard:
As you can see, even though the site gets lots of traffic, that traffic doesn't convert all too well with that particular goal in mind.
It's imperative that you know that so that you can start working on the necessary changes.
How to Set Up Goals
Essentially, your goals are the actions you would like your readers to accomplish.
Good examples are:
- Subscribe to your list;
- Subscribe to RSS;
- Buy a product;
- Check out your internet marketing tools page; etc.
Here are full instructions on how to set up goals in Google Analytics.
Why should you add setting up goals in your GA to your already never-ending list of things to do?
As you noticed in one of the screenshots above, those readers who achieve your goals are the most ENGAGED readers you'll ever get.
Take a look at how many more page views they produce? Notice the much lower bounce rate and overall time on your site.
That's exactly the kind of readers you want ALL your traffic to be.
However, since that's rather impossible, we'll settle for the next best thing: determining which traffic sources produce the most quality traffic.
Practical Advice on Using Goals
Let's take referral traffic source as an example.
If you read my post about it, you saw that Twitter is my largest referral traffic source.
But is it the most quality one? Let's take a look.
From my Dashboard, I am going into “Traffic Sources” ==> “Referring Sites”. Since “Visits with Conversions” (see screenshot above) box is still checked, this is what I see:
Surprise, surprise: even though Twitter brings me twice as much traffic as Facebook does, Facebook traffic converts over 2 times better than Twitter!
Conclusion: focus on Facebook more.
Following these steps you can analyze every single traffic source, big or small, within minutes and determine which ones need more attention and which ones don't deserve much of your time.
As daunting as this may seem if you are not very familiar with Google Analytics yet, setting up goals will take you just a couple of minutes and will bring you a huge advantage as far as being “in the know” about your best quality traffic sources.
In the end, it'll save you loads of time, plus increase your chances of actually achieving your blog goals.
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