August 2014 Traffic Report: Finally, a Quick & Easy Look at the ROI of Content Marketing

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August-2014-traffic-report

 

August-2014-traffic-report

When it comes to your website, do you ever wonder, What’s working? What content is most effective? Are we getting an ROI on our marketing dollars?

If you’re doing a great job with your content, it will be effective and engaging, and you’ll be generating not only brand awareness and traffic, but measurable ROI in the form of leads and sales.

(These are all areas we cover in detail in the process we go through with our Groove Digital clients.)

So how do you know your content is effective, and is actually leading to increased sales? How do you actually evaluate the ROI of content marketing?

To answer this question, we supplement the excellent data provided by Hubspot (which really helps us look at the leads and sales end) with data from Google Analytics (GA), which gives us an overall picture of our traffic and its effectiveness. The nitty gritty details of the GA analysis is exactly what I’m going to reveal in my monthly traffic report for August. (To see July’s report, click here.)

In the past, I’ve found GA to be overly complicated and hard to use. I always knew there was gold in the data, but GA’s poor design makes it difficult to figure out exactly what’s going on. Each month it took time and effort to dig around for the statistics we wanted to view, and each month we knew there were more that we could be looking at. This month, we began using our latest GA dashboards, and I couldn’t be happier.

The data we look at for our traffic report helps us to answer the questions of What’s working and what’s not? What’s most effective? and What is the ROI of our content marketing – how many leads is it getting us?

Here’s what we found for August:

Business Stats

Our high-level traffic and conversion data is available on our Business dashboard. Here we find out:

  1. Are we getting more visitors?
  2. Where are our visitors coming from?
  3. What is the trend in conversions (in our case, subscribers)?
  4. Where are conversions coming from?
  5. Who are our top social media referrers?
  6. Are visitors consuming more content? Are they spending more time on the site?
  7. What percentage of our traffic is from mobile?

BIBusDashTraffic & Referral Sources

Our traffic has risen more or less steadily since we started blogging regularly on Bright Ideas. Here’s a look at the month to month increase:

BI-traffic-inception-thru-August-2014

 

For the month of August, we continued our focus on Groove Digital Marketing agency activities. Even with the majority of our posts published on Groove, Bright Ideas received a lot of traffic, as would be expected from a mature site where we’ve been blogging for almost two years.

August-2014-traffic

This month, our increase is due largely to increased referral traffic – we had a couple of posts go viral on StumbleUpon again (more on this in the Popular Content section below).

Subscribers & Referral Sources

To get truly useful data from GA, you want to know not just what traffic you have, but how many conversions you’re getting. In other words, how many of those visitors are you converting to subscribers? Or, if you have online product sales, to customers? In our case, we measure conversions in terms of subscribers.

In order to do this you need to set up what GA calls conversion “goals”, so that this data will be available. This was something that until recently, we didn’t have working (it’s trickier than it should be!). We finally hired someone to help with this.

Click here to purchase these dashboards for your business (includes goals setup).

We had significantly increased conversions in August. Most of the increase was from email; the numbers in the other areas remained similar to July’s conversions.

August-2014-conversions

Significant Conclusions:

  1. We are getting more visitors. Much of our increase in August was due to increased StumbleUpon traffic.
  2. Conversions were significantly increased over July, much of which was from email.

Content Analysis Stats

Our Content Analysis dashboard helps us answer questions such as:

  1. Which content was the most popular?
  2. Which entrance pages got the most traffic?
  3. What pages had the most conversion “assists”? (A page “assists” a conversion if visitors view it before conversion.)
  4. Where are visitors exiting my site?
  5. What is our overall site engagement? (How long are people spending on each page?)
  6. How engaging is our top content?
  7. Where in the world is my traffic coming from?

BIContentDash

Popular Content

By far our most popular pages are lumped together under ‘Other’. This is actually a really good thing as it indicates we have a lot of different content that appeals to our visitors.

August-2014-content

After ‘Other’, the most popular content were the posts that went viral on StumbleUpon (Lessons Learned from 50 Marketing Agency CEOs and How to Start a Business with No Money). These were actually both great posts (the former is a summary of the best of the best I’ve learned from other agency owners, the latter a podcast interview where I was the interviewee and my friend Wes and I talk about what it takes to make it in business), but as we’ll see below, most of the StumbleUpon traffic was not high quality and didn’t convert well.

Click here to purchase these dashboards for your business.

Popular Entrance Pages

Again, our StumbleUpon posts showed up as popular entrance pages, as people went directly from StumbleUpon to those pages.

August-2014-entrance-pages

Similar to last month, traffic direct to our homepage increased as well. This month it was up almost 10%.

We also sent traffic to some of our new posts last month (including Tony Wright’s interview and our July income report).

The remaining popular pages are older posts that seem to be receiving significant organic traffic: my analysis of Infusionsoft vs Ontraport and Infusionsoft vs Mailchimp. With these posts, we used focused keywords and smart SEO tactics when we first published them, and our domain authority with respect to all things Infusionsoft is strong.

August-2014-entrance-page-details

If we look at the pages that received a lot of StumbleUpon traffic (Lessons Learned from 50 Marketing Agency CEOs and the How to Start a Business with No Money Interview), we see that most of the people who visited those pages also left our site without exploring any further. Compare our top couple entrance pages with our top exit pages:

August-2014-exit-pages

Conversion & Conversion Assist Pages

These are the pages that were most likely to convert a visitor to a subscriber (we also have PPC goals set). Our increase in conversions from July to August was mostly due to these PPC goals.

conversion_assists_per_page_July_2014

Significant conclusions:

  1. We had a variety of popular content.
  2. Besides our homepage, the pages that received the most traffic were those that went viral on StumbleUpon.

Click here to purchase these dashboards for your business.

Additional Information

In addition to the Business and Content Analysis Dashboards, we have Site Performance and Realtime Traffic dashboards.

Site Performance Stats

Our site performance dashboard answers the following:

  1. What is the average page load time?
  2. What is the page load time for new vs returning visitors?
  3. What is the average load time for popular pages?
  4. What is the mobile page load time?
  5. What is the average server response time?
  6. What is the server response time for new vs returning visitors?
  7. What is the average domain lookup time?

BIPerformanceDashThese page load times reveal longer loads than we’d like. Luckily the averages are a bit misleading, as there are spikes in page load times a couple of days a month. Still, we’d like to have pages that consistently load quickly. We have actually switched our site around on the back end a number of times to try to reduce our page loads. This report would indicate that we still have more room to improve.

Realtime Traffic Stats

Our Realtime Traffic dashboard answers the following:

  1. How many active visitors are on the site right now?
  2. What are their locations around the world?
  3. What pages are they on?
  4. What keywords brought them to the site?
  5. How many pageviews have there been in the last 60 sec?
  6. How many pageviews have there been in the last 30 min?

Realtime Dashboard   Google Analytics Aug 8When we look at how our site is performing month-over-month, we like to see averages and trends. However, if you want a snapshot of what’s going on on your site right now, the real time traffic dashboard is where you’ll find it.

Want Dashboards Like These?

If you’d like to purchase these dashboards for your own business, you’re in luck! We have a dashboard package available that includes:

  • The Business Dashboard
  • Setup of GA goals so your conversions appropriately reflect your leads or online sales (as applicable) – necessary to make the conversions portion of your Business Dashboard work correctly
  • The Content Analysis Dashboard
  • The Site Performance Dashboard
  • The Realtime Traffic Dashboard
  • Plus a training call to be sure you know exactly what each part of the dashboard means

Click here to purchase these dashboards for your business.

Summary and Insights

If you thought this post was helpful, please be sure and share it!

Our dashboards quickly revealed that:

  • We’re getting a lot more organic traffic.
  • We’re getting many more conversions, a significant number of whom are interested in Infusionsoft.

Best of all, it didn’t take a lot of time to figure this all out.. have I mentioned how much I’m digging those new GA dashboards?

Click here to purchase these dashboards for your business.

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