You've built out your site, content is up, you've messed around with the design for way too long and your Google Analytics is starting to come back with some visitors. Nothing out of this world, but enough for you to start paying attention to the numbers.
Google Analytics is not the easiest platform to understand but before you start analyzing the traffic numbers, you should probably understand what they all mean. We covered the basics earlier, so make sure you familiarize yourself with what you need to know about internet traffic before moving forward.
Now let's get started and break down internet traffic into small chunks…
What You'll Learn Today
This is a simple diagram we created for you to give you an idea of a few concepts. They aren't written in stone and each website will generate traffic in various proportions. So whether that is 2% organic and 98% referral, or vice versa.
Some simplicity sake, we decided to represent each part of the customer's journey and the types of traffic that correlate with it. The traffic near the point of purchase is where we should concentrate on being the most effective. Often times this area allows us to make the smallest changes that can lead to the biggest impact. Which in most cases, is a product we are promoting.
Referral = Awareness
When another website links to your website, that's referral traffic. But there are two types of referral traffic: unqualified and qualified.
An unqualified visitor is someone who generally visits your page, but don't really have an idea what you are selling. Let's say for instance on our own website, we are putting out tons of content that may not be connected to the building of affiliate sites (which is the service we offer). For example, we may write an article on the do's and don't's of hiring a virtual assistant. Someone might see that article on their Facebook home feed because it was shared by one of their friends. They might not be interested in affiliate marketing, but they are interested in getting some work done for them remotely.
A qualified visitor would likely come from a guest post we have up, where we are sharing some tips about affiliate marketing but we clearly say that we have helped hundreds of people get started with our training and our ready built niche sites. When a visitor comes from a link in that guest post, then they are further down the funnel for us.
In general, the visitor doesn't quite know what to expect but they trust the referring website enough that they'll click through to us for a visit.
Unqualified referral traffic is the furthest away from the point of purchase. It's best practice to at least establish some sort of transactional relationship by offering them something in exchange for their email address. Often called a “Lead Magnet.”
Referral visitors can have high and low bounce rates. Depending on how qualified they are. The less qualified, the higher the bounce rate. This means that they are more likely to press the back button right after they've landed on your site and ultimately only view that initial page alone. Social visitors from Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest can induce your website with plenty of traffic but you'll need to entice them to take further action. This is the reason why you see a lot of websites with the ‘start here' link in their menu.
Referral & Organic Traffic = Awareness + Interest
When someone finds your website based on a search engine query. This goes under the ‘organic traffic' category. This type of traffic can be highly qualified and sometimes not-so-much. It really depends on the search.
In our case, Human Proof Designs get's most of our traffic through referrals but if we were to rank very highly for ‘how to start an affiliate site' than our organic traffic would drive more revenue as well.
It's really a case by case basis, but if you are ranking on the first page for ‘best dog food under $20' and your website is in the Pet niche. Then you'd be getting some very qualified traffic.
So take a step back and think about the keywords you are targeting and how you'd like to disperse the link juice going to your site.
One of the best things about organic traffic is that it's often linked to someone trying to solve a problem. People search on Google or Youtube because they are in need of some guidance and if you solve it for them quickly – then you'll be rewarded with an affiliate commission.
Direct Traffic = Intent
Now this is the type of traffic we love!
These visitors are familiar with your story, brand and what you are selling.
They know what your site is about and may have even bookmarked it. Direct traffic usually has the lowest bounce rates and that's because people coming to your site are looking for something specific and you have it ready for them.
If a visitor hasn't jumped onto your email list yet, offer them the opportunity to save time and become a subscriber.
This is probably your best chance to do so. Instead of coming back to your site every couple days, they'll probably just want to be notified when you have a new article and are offering the opportunity for you to sell to them.
Campaign Traffic = Evaluation + Purchase
Campaign traffic comes from paid advertising and email links. In this day and age, when an ad pops up in the Google search results people know they are clicking on an ad – it's not so much a trick anymore.
“The money is in the list” is still a true statement and that's exactly why with every Ready Made Niche Site we build – it comes with all the tools you need you need.
Campaign traffic is also where you have the most control. If you have the ability to create a list of subscribers that are already buyers, then there's no better customer than a returning one.
Many advertising campaigns have several stages within them. Some consist of 2 or 3, while many can have 10 stages. All depending on how much money you are making from each customer. Once you've dialed in on the Life Time Value of a customer – then advertising can be an unlimited source of traffic if done right. You can take advantage of Facebook ads, Google Adwords or even be part of a Content Discovery Network like Taboola or Outbrain.
When it comes to email campaigns, this is where you can take your visitor on a special trip or inspire them with a multi-day challenge to engage and convert them into purchasing a product you recommend. Not only because you've been helpful but because they believe they need it. That can be the power of direct-response email marketing.
Suggested Readings:Learn About Tagging Your Website Visitors with Google Analytics
How Do I Get All This Traffic?
Start at the top. That's almost the simplest way to get traffic. You'll want to drive people as fast as possible into your email list and warm them up with great information so that they know, like and trust you.
Direct traffic and campaign traffic is where most of the money changes hands. For good reason too! Once you are up and running, you'll want to constantly measure, tweak, and test every part of the funnel until your conversions are just right. Then you'll want to do it again – internet marketing is a moving target but can be mastered with persistence.
For alternative ways of getting more traffic, we did an interview with Stuart Walker of NicheHacks.com to find some more tips for you.
After everything looks right from an organic and referral standpoint, begin testing paid traffic. You'll hopefully know by then the average ‘lifetime value' of a customer and this will give you an opportunity to control the flow of traffic to your website.