February 2014 Traffic Report

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feb14-traffic-report

feb14-traffic-report

Welcome to my February Traffic Report. To see January’s report, click here.

Traffic generation is a challenge faced by every entrepreneur, at Bright Ideas we’ve made a habit of publishing our traffic reports as a means of giving insight into how we are doing, what is working, and what isn’t. Plus, writing the report forces me to look! If you think this is helpful, please be sure and share this post.

We look at our traffic report in such a way that it helps to answer what we want to know most each month.

When you are doing your own analysis, be sure you start with your own list. Ours includes:

  1. Is overall traffic up or down? Why?
  2. Are overall subscribers up or down? Why?
  3. Which traffic/referral sources are contributing the most to traffic and subscribers?
  4. How can we adjust our strategy to increase traffic and subscribers?

Here’s what I found…

Traffic

Feb-2014-traffic

Overview of traffic for Feb 2014

As you can see, our traffic was very similar month over month. However, our bounce rate was way down, which turns out to be due to an analytics script error. I would not have discovered this nearly so soon if I hadn’t done this traffic report – another reason to regularly check your metrics!

As far as new traffic goes, we are just starting to experiment with paid traffic sources. If you’d like to see the results we’re getting, keep an eye out for a post on that soon. If you’re not already a subscriber, make sure you don’t miss out – become one now.

Conclusion #1: Overall traffic was similar to January.

Subscribers

Feb-2014-conversions

Feb 2014 Conversions (opt-ins)

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I believe the conversions in Google Analytics are a rough estimate of actual conversions (opt-ins), and should be only loosely considered. According to GA, conversions in February were down to 107 from 122 in January. My subscriber numbers were down in Infusionsoft as well.

However conversions were not down in a statistically significant way when you consider that February is a shorter month (February has 90% as many days as January, and February had 87% as many conversions as January).

We did experiment with different headers on our landing pages in February, and those split tests converted at slightly lower rates than our original headers, so that contributed to the lower conversion rate. Obviously, we have reverted to the original headers.

Conclusion #2: Overall subscribers were down slightly.

Referral Sources

Here’s where Google Analytics showed my traffic coming from:

Feb 2014 Referral Sources

Feb 2014 Referral Sources

Once again, the largest portion of my traffic is from people typing in the URL directly, followed by Twitter, and then by our emails to our list. Again, for people who are typing in the url directly, I can only guess that those people are doing so in roughly the same proportion as the referral traffic whose sources we can see. For instance, many of them may already be subscribers, and others will be from Twitter.

Once again, Twitter is our major source of referral traffic, followed by LinkedIn and Facebook.

In an effort to significantly increase traffic from our podcasts (right now, most of this traffic is showing up as ‘direct’, since people type in the URL after listening to an episode), we have just shifted to 5 episodes per week and are expanding our podcast selections with shorter episodes of “Ask Trent” and other Bright Ideas branded podcasts. This could have a significant effect on our traffic.

Conclusion #3: Our major sources of traffic (and conversions) continue to be the major social sites (Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook).

Other Metrics

In addition to looking at traffic and subscribers on a monthly basis, you want to be sure you’re periodically looking at your pages viewed, landing page conversions, and SEO acquisition reports.

Pages Viewed

Most of our high traffic “landing pages” (or at least what Google Analytics thinks are landing pages) are actually blog posts. These tend to get the most traffic soon after they’re posted, so the month-over-month data is not very useful. However, a look at our most popular pages provides some insight.

MostPopularPagesFeb2014

As you can see, other than the homepage, our posts that are open, transparent, and honest (e.g., where I reveal my failures or my income) tend to be the most popular. I’ll continue to share these types of posts with you.

Page Conversions

Once again, these numbers don’t match with what I see in Infusionsoft, but they do provide a good breakdown of the relative number of subscribers coming from different traffic sources.

PageConversionsFeb2014

Most of our conversions are from “direct” traffic – folks who type in the URL directly. Many of these are traffic from our own list, when we haven’t put tracking links into our emails. Of those who came to us in other ways, organic search and our top social media sites are all providing roughly equal numbers of conversions.

SEO & Acquisition Reports

The idea behind SEO analysis is to look at acquisition reports both in terms of queries and landing pages, and for your top queries, make some educated guesses about which landing pages your keywords are taking people to. Our top keywords all include the phrase “bright ideas”, and likely take people to our homepage. However, we do have other keywords that show up in search, and we’ll be focusing more on optimizing for search in the near future, so stay tuned for more information on that.

Summary and Insights

  • Our traffic was pretty consistent with January; however, our bounce rate was way down (great) and conversions were also down (not so great).
  • Look for pages on your site that people tend to visit, and optimize those pages.
  • Older posts with a high percentage of traffic from new visitors may be doing well in Google search.
  • Analyze your most popular pages and look for opportunities to improve page conversions.
  • Analyze your SEO acquisition reports to see if you can determine which keywords are doing well and which landing pages people are visiting based on these keywords. You also have an opportunity to improve page conversions on these landing pages.

Additional Resources

What Do You Think?

If you have anything you’d like to share or ask, please take a moment to do so in the comments section below. You will get a response.

In particular, I’m curious: What other questions would you like to have answered when looking at the traffic report for your own site?

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