Does Your Pie Have the Right Ingredients?
Now, I am not talking about the kind of pie that you eat, but I am talking about something that helps to put food on your table. I am referring to the website ‘traffic pie’ that indicates the sources of traffic to your company website. Like any great pie, it is important to have the right ingredients in the right proportion if you want to achieve the desired outcome.
In my opinion, there are three main ingredients that you want to see in your “traffic pie” and those are Organic, Traditional and Social. For this article, I am sharing a recent couple of days’ traffic pie charts from our company website so that you can follow along. This “pie” was generated using Google Analytics, but there are other programs you can use to attain this data. So, let’s dive in and make sure you understand and have these ingredients present in your website traffic.
This is traffic to your website as a result of someone searching for a relevant term on a search engine and your page coming up in the results. You did not pay for this click, it is just a result of your positioning with regard to that particular search. This traffic would show up as “Google,” “Bing,” “Yahoo,” etc., in the mix. Because this traffic is generated by your company’s positioning on search engines, it is important that your website be constructed using proper and current SEO strategies to give you good positioning on these platforms.
As you can see from the charts, this traffic should account for a large chunk of your total, but you do not want to depend only on this. Depending on what other marketing we may also be doing, organic traffic from all platforms usually accounts for between 20-40 percent of our total. Please note that the traffic from Yahoo and Bing show up in the (all others’ combined) category.
This is traffic to your website as a result of traditional forms of marketing. I know that all the talk these days is about SEO, SEM and Social Media, but there is still a very important role for traditional marketing to play. Traditional marketing can be everything from the basics, like handing out business cards and brochures to email campaigns and placing advertisements in valpaks, local papers, magazines, etc. In addition to other information, this marketing will typically include your website URL. Traditional marketing traffic will show up in the pie as (direct) traffic or as an email campaign provider (in the chart, Mail Chimp). As you can see from the charts, while not as large as Organic, this traffic still accounts for between 15-30 percent of the total.
Finally, we have traffic generated from the various social media platforms and blogs. This is a growing area of importance as it not only represents a sizable chunk of your traffic, but it is where your customers are hanging out in 2014. These platforms allow you to reach your customer where they are. I have spoken in other articles about the importance of being active on the main social platforms and how being active there can even have positive SEO results, so I will not repeat that information here. It should be noted that our traffic from all social platforms usually is between 20-40 percent combined and shows up as FB Dark Posts, LinkedIn.com and m.facebook.com in the charts.
So, what point am I trying to make with this information? It is easy to be confused about where to focus your marketing efforts in 2014, and I wanted to illustrate that you should continue to focus on all three of these forms of marketing to be successful.
All three of these represent a large portion of the overall traffic to put too many eggs in one basket. Do not count on SEO to drive traffic. Do not abandon traditional marketing in favor of social media. In an ideal world, I target 35 percent Organic, 25 percent Traditional and 40 percent Social for our company. That is the mix that I have determined is correct for us. However, your mix may be slightly different based on location and targeted demographic. The important takeaway is that you should be reaching your customers and potential customers using all three. Your “traffic pie” gives you a great indicator of how you are doing so that you can make adjustments if needed.