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

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July-2014-traffic-report

July-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 July. (To see June’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 July:

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?

BIBusDash

Traffic & Referral Sources

For the month of July, 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.

traffic_and_referrals_July_2014Continuing the trend from last month, our traffic from organic search is waay up again! Most of the increased month-over-month traffic came from organic search, which increased by over 70% from June (in May we had just over 600 organic visitors; before that we were averaging around 400!):

organic_increase_July_2014

Again, as in June, it appears that most of the increase in organic traffic reflects the long-term effects of posts with targeted SEO that were published in February and March (more on this in the Page Performance section, below). This data, as well as a once-again lower Alexa rank this month, indicates that – as expected over time – our domain authority continues to increase.

Essentially, we’ve hit some sort of critical mass. Strike another win for content marketing!

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 subscribers in July. Most of the increase was from organic traffic, which converted at 3.5% vs 2.1% in June.

conversions_July_2014Significant Conclusions:

  1. We are getting more visitors.
  2. Our visitors are coming from a balanced portfolio of traffic sources. Most of our increased traffic is coming from organic search.
  3. Conversions were significantly increased over June.
  4. Most conversions are coming from organic search and direct. We can assume that most of the direct conversions are from organic search or referral (people who typed in the website manually vs clicking on links).

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?

BIContentDashboard

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.

most_popular_content_July_2014

Besides our homepage and our main blog page, the most popular pages were two posts that went viral on StumbleUpon (How to Attract Retainer Clients on LinkedIn, and The Dumbest LinkedIn Mistake I See Over and Over Again).

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. In addition, we sent email traffic to our Groove Digital Marketing Agency Update page, and our June 2014 income report.

The remaining popular pages are older posts that seem to be receiving significant organic traffic: my interview with Sam Ovens, and my analysis of Infusionsoft vs Ontraport and Infusionsoft vs Mailchimp. With the Infusionsoft posts in particular, 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.

traffic_per_page_July_2014

Here’s more details on how the entrance pages compare between June and July:

traffic_details_per_page_July_2014

Conversion & Conversion Assist Pages

Now here’s where it gets interesting.. here are the pages that were most likely to convert a visitor to a subscriber. Our increase in conversions from June (145 conversions) to July (347 conversions) was 202. A whopping 154 of those – over 75% – were from our Infusionsoft resource page.

top_converting_pages_July_2014

Not surprisingly, this same page also had the highest number of conversion “assists” – that is, people converted to subscribers at some point after viewing these “assisting” pages.
(Other Infusionsoft-related pages that rated for conversion assists were our Infusionsoft vs Mailchimp page, and a tutorial on How to Segment Your List Using Infusionsoft.)

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.
  3. The pages that converted the most visitors to subscribers were Infusionsoft-related.

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?

BISitePerfDash

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 8

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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