Chapter 18. Traffic Sources

Where does your web site traffic come from? Do you know? Do you know why you should know?

Where your web site traffic comes from is one of the most basic analytics measurements, but that doesn’t make it less valuable. It’s important to know where your site traffic originates because this helps you to know where to target advertising dollars and marketing efforts.

Here’s an example. Say you have a web site that’s been around for a while. Every week you have an overview of your traffic sources sent to you from Google Analytics and after a while you begin to notice a pattern: Nearly 25 percent of your traffic is coming from one web site that you haven’t done business with in years. So, you follow the links in the report and learn that what’s driving that traffic is an old advertisement that you placed on a related web site about five years earlier.

Wait just a minute! A five-year-old advertisement that’s not costing you a dime is pushing 25 percent of your site traffic? Now that’s something you can work with. Maybe you decide to update the advertisement on the referring site. Maybe you choose to write an article and offer it to the site. Or maybe you purchase additional advertising on the site. Whatever action you take because of that information, you can rest assured that it will likely increase your site traffic. And the reason you can be so sure about that is that you have some very compelling evidence in the analytics that point to the value of a single ...

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