Analytics and Referring Traffic: Truth in Numbers

Discovering traffic sources and new relationships with your analytics package

In yesterday’s Mequoda Daily article we discussed three tips for what to do with your referring traffic.

The tips were specifically designed to help you realize what external sites are referring traffic to your site and how you can improve upon those relationships.

This information is shared with depth in our upcoming Actionable Analytics webinar on December 14th. Greg Krehbiel, the Director of Marketing at Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. will be the speaker bringing you through the world of analytics and showing you how to deal with the many numbers found within your analytics package.

The section on referring traffic is one of the many exercises included in the webinar.

When it comes to exercises within our Actionable Analytics webinar, we provide a step-by-step formula that will guide you through a topic that may be unfamiliar to you. The outcomes of the exercises will likely improve upon the work you are doing as an online publisher or content marketer.

Later in this post we will take a look at an exercise involving referring traffic that coincides with yesterday’s post which allows online publishers to not only realize their referring traffic sources, but also identifies places that they can forge new relationships.

For now, let’s run through a few of the numbers found on the referring traffic part of your analytics package so we can wrap our heads around their value.

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Numbers for referring traffic

Pages/Visit – The amount of pages visitors go to is important because it builds overall traffic for your site. This is even more valuable if you engage in online advertising because it means more impressions and brings forth the possibility for more clicks.

Average Time on Site – The amount of time visitors spend on your website can dictate brand loyalty and sell more products. For instance, if you provide great content that keeps your audience on your website, they will likely remember this trait and continue to return to your site in the future. If you can boast minutes upon minutes of engagement on your website, there is a better chance for you to sell products, be it your own or from advertisers.

Referring traffic exercise

Step #1 – Take the referring sites from your analytics data and compile them into a spreadsheet.

Step #2 – Visit the referring websites to see where the links are located on their website.

Step #3 – Get the page rank of each referring website.

Step #4 – Google each referring site and click on the “similar” link. Add all of the similar sites and their page ranks to an additional spreadsheet.

Step #5 – Color-code your first spreadsheet so you can differentiate between your actual referring websites and the websites found from the “similar” links.

Step #6 – Combine all of the content from the two spreadsheets and sort alphabetically.

Step #7 – Identify new sites that may be willing to link to you. Focus on the ones with high page ranks first.

This specific step-by-step process will help you use the numbers from analytics and your referring websites to find new sites to contact. Since your content is similar, there is a better chance of getting referring links.

If you seek additional step-by-step exercises to help you better understand analytics, attend our Actionable Analytics webinar and discover 10 exercises that will guide you through the numbers while you realize new strategies for improving your online publishing efforts.


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