Analyzing Inbound Marketing
June 19th, 2009
3:00 - 4:00pm EDT (GMT-4) Analyzing Inbound Marketing
Professor: Marshall Sponder,
Monster.com, Web Analytics Association for Social Media
Analyzing Inbound Marketing
Take Aways from this Session
• 0. Find out different kinds of traffic coming to your site its value.
• 1. Determine valuable traffic that you’re not aware of
• 2. Learn to take action of traffic you do have
• 3. Set up better tracking (know what to ask for)
• 4. Use Social Media to take action and increase quality traffic /
revenue / leads.
Find out different kinds of traffic coming to your
• There are 4 types of traffic your website gets
• Referral / Campaign
• Search traffic (Paid/Organic)
• Social Media Traffic
• Direct traffic - may include type-ins and bookmarks.
Type-in traffic would be when a user types your URL into
the address bar and enters your website.
• Bookmark traffic is anyone that favors your website that
came back through the bookmarks menu of their
browser. However, you cannot distinguish whether direct
traffic was a result of type-ins or bookmarks.
• Direct traffic can be generated by word-of-mouth, offline
advertising, and many other sources and is the most
difficult traffic source to trace.
• Referral traffic is when a visitor arrives to your website
by clicking a link on another website. This may even
include "redirect" links and affiliate traffic.
• A wide variety (keyword: variety, not volume) of search
traffic indicates a website with lots of buzz, and, SEO-
wise, is in a strong position -- which brings us to our next
form of traffic.
Search Engine Traffic
• Search engine traffic is otherwise referred to as "natural"
or "organic" traffic.
• Search engine traffic accounts for anywhere from
50-70% of an established website's traffic.
• Search traffic only counts if a visitor arrives to your
website from a specific search engine (i.e. Google or
Yahoo) by clicking your link on the search engine.
• It's also possible for PPC (pay-per-click) traffic to be
categorized under search traffic with some traffic
analysis tools. Whereas search traffic is generally free,
PPC traffic is traffic that comes from paid advertisements
on a search engine.
Social Media Traffic
• Social Media traffic can from a social network, blog,
bookmarking site, photosharing site, message board,
micro blogging site and is generally very targeted to a
specific piece of content.
Value of Direct Traffic
• Visitors who have heard about your website from a friend or already
have been to your website and came back. Instead of going to
Google to find what they are looking for, they come to you.
Therefore, the value you bring to this type of visitor is enormous.
You give them exactly what they want to see! Of course, there is still
a range of people, from the ones who just want to “check it out” to a
loyal subscriber. In general though, this type of traffic benefits the
most from your website.
• This is also the type of traffic that exists in community type websites
like forums. It’s a place where people of a like mind gather to
discuss common things of interest to them. It’s not surprising then
that great projects can come out of this group of people.
Value of Referral Traffic
• Somebody has told them about your website, be it a
friend or a link from another website. As such, this type
of visitor is more targeted than say, search engine traffic.
• They were referred by a reliable and trusted source that
is already familiar with your website, so they already
know there is value to be found here. After taking a look,
they are more likely to convert into a loyal subscriber of
your website and actively participate in it than other
forms of non-direct traffic.
Value of Search Traffic
• Searchers are looking for specific information. Because
the visitors are only searching for a specific bit of
information, they generally won’t stay for a very long time
and will leave once they’ve found what they’re looking
• For example, 78% of search engine visitors for this blog
click the back button immediately after reading one
article. Unless they feel very strongly about something in
the article, they are unlikely to participate beyond that.
Value of Social Media Traffic
• Probably the least desirable form of traffic in terms of
both value and monetization. People see an interesting
title that has been voted high up on social bookmarking
websites like Digg, and click through to “check it out”.
• They aren’t actively searching for the information you
provided, so are less interested in your material than any
other type of traffic. It’s the difference between someone
sitting in front of their TV flipping channels vs. someone
eagerly turning on their TV for their favorite 7pm show.
• However, Social Media Traffic can provide value over
time as you build relationships with this group of visitors
– they may become your most loyal customers.
How to determine valuable traffic that you’re not aware
• look at the Site Referral logs to find traffic that may be
valuable to me but I didn’t know about.
• When someone visits your website, server software
counts and tracks, i.e. "logs", that visit. It also keeps a
record of it for a certain period of time. Part of the saved
information is called a referrer log.
• Referrer logs can help you analyze the traffic to your
site. Though each referrer log program provides slightly
different data, some of the more common information
Referrer Logs contain
• * Which engines have sent you traffic;
• * What keywords were used to find your site;
• * Which pages were accessed the most or the least;
• * Who are the visiting spiders;
• * User profile by region;
• * Average length of time someone remains on your site;
• * Average number of user sessions or page views per day;
• * Top entry and exit pages;
• * Top referring sites;
• * Summary of activity by day;
• * Server errors;
• * Bandwidth, which is the measure (in kilobytes of data
transferred) of the traffic on the site; and,
• * Type of technology used by your visitors.
Tip: look for unusual patterns in
your site referral logs
• You’ll want to look for unusual patterns or sites incoming
where I look at traffic coming HBO as a result of shows
on HBO) – traffic that might reflect a campaign that has
just happened related to your business, Retweets, local
traffic from a known promotional campaign (when you
know about the campaign in advance)
Incoming traffic to Webmetricsguru.com
As you can see, for the period of time being examined, besides Google, Twitter is
providing more traffic to my site than any other site, but there are many hints in the
referral logs for sites that might be worthwhile to forge relationships or outreach.
Unusual Patterns I found in my site
You can also classify traffic by weather it’s from Social Media or not
Creating a Custom Segment for Social Media Traffic in
Custom Segmentation Traffic to Webmetricsguru.com from
Learn how to take action on the traffic you get
Use Web Analytics to Compare Paid Search Traffic vs. Organic for Customer Acquisition
Paid Search can be evaluated by the percentage of new visits (visitors), time spent on site, Pages per Visit
and Bounce Rate. Paid Search appears to be delivering a better experience relative to Organic.
But numbers can be deceiving – many more organic search visits vs. paid visits
results in more conversions, overall, using Organic Search.
Taking note of Landing Pages
look at the landing pages and find out if Advertising is being run well
First 4 of 274 pages
First 4 of 19,011 pages
Paid Search is sending almost all it’s traffic to the homepage of this Art Site – that’s usually not recommended.
Meanwhile, the Organic Search sends 74% of it’s traffic to interior pages of the site – that’s normally good.
Are the right Keywords driving traffic to my site?
Keyword Quality – Are we going after the right keywords and is there content answering visitors’ needs
Most content doesn’t automatically convert but it’s Important
to understand there’s two sets of goals and measurements
1 – Your customer/visitors goals
2 – Your goals
Have I harnessed my site to take advantage of The Long
Long Tail Traffic answers visitors questions but there’s a lot of long tail traffic.
Visitors have a lot of “questions” – queries containing words such as “buy, bought, sold,
show (it’s an art site), acquire, etc, will bring up individual visits – but you can’t optimize your
Site for every single visitor – or can you? Answer: You can, but you have design your site for it and have the content. CMS Platform
being used will be crucial. Also, use HitTail.
Deciding what to do – filter for new subscribers to your site
Analytics Rule 1
Best sites for advertising to obtain New Subscribers to Site’s Newsletter (per year): Depending on the sort order your results will be different
Note: Need to export to Excel or Access and filter data multiple times
Answer: artandauction.com, ltbmedia.com, vanityfair.com, artforum.com,
Art.blogging.la, theartlawblog.blogspot.com, uber.com
Deciding what to do – filter on “Engaged Visitors”
Analytics Rule 2 Best locations for attracting “Engaged New Visitors”
Answer: Coudal.com, painting.about.com, the-artists.org, bowieart.com. Hirshorn.si.edu, Saatchi-gallery.co.uk, etc.
Deciding what to do – filter on finding the right keywords for your site
Analytics Rule 3 Best Keywords for attracting “Engaged New Visitors” (Organic and Paid)
Answer: artist, artist gallery, gallery listings, artists, new york galleries, artist directory and new york gallery guide.
Deciding what to do – filter on finding the right Paid Keywords for your site
Analytics Rule 4 Best Paid Keywords for attracting “Engaged New Visitors”
Answer: artist, artist gallery,
gallery listings, artists and
Improving Site Tracking -1
• Certain types of traffic are harder to track and Deploying
tracking is getting more complex (that’s part of what is
hard about Analytics).
• a. Flash – Rich Media - normally do not generate
referral traffic and won’t show up on most analytics
without additional work. You solve the problem by
assign a page filename to any Flash action.
Improving Site Tracking - 2
• b. Ajax - normally do not generate referral traffic and
won’t show up on most analytics without additional work.
You solve that problem by assigning a page filename to
any AJAX event.
Improve Site Tracking - 3
. c. Tracking Video and Audio Events – normally these
aren’t tracked in any analytics platform, but can be, with
Improve Site Tracking - 4
• d. Database and customer data – normally, there events
never show up in Analytics without special work – but
you may want to have them show up for Attribution
purposes. Typically, the best way to merge is data is
using a Data Warehouse and mixing the Site Analytics
data with other customer data using a unique key.
• Another way, less expensive, is to write to an analytics
log file and mimic a database event as a web analytics
event – however, there’s a lot of custom work involved
from both the development side, the analytics site and
program management side.
Using Social Media take action and
increase quality traffic / revenue / leads
• How do you use Social Media to identify,
connect with and engage your target audiences
in order to build community around my brand?
• a. Identify Influencers from within my community
or the community you wish to connect with.
Find Influentials -1
• Top blogs and bloggers
• There are many tools available to search for influential
blogs and bloggers. Several especially useful tools
Find Influentials - Technorati
• Technorati -Track search results of blogs and blog posts,
looking for influencers that are repeatedly top sources of
• Ask yourself if the blogger is part of the target
community, or if this is a random post on the topic: A
climate change blogger may mention polar bears in a
post, but that doesn’t mean they are active members
within the polar bear community.
• Further, don’t let the Technorati Authority or ranking play
too large of a factor.
• A top influencer in the polar bear community may only
have an Authority of 50; whereas in a large, broad
community – auto enthusiasts – top influencers would
expectedly have over 1,000 Authority.
Find Influentials –Google Blogs and
• Google Blogs: Is particularly useful for finding the volume
of conversation occurring on particular search terms. It is
also a useful for finding posts within a period of time.
• socialmention: socialmention allows searches across
blogs, microblogs, bookmarks, comments, events,
images, news, video, audio, and Q&A. This social search
engine searches for unique posts across Technorati,
Find Influentials on Delicious
• Delicious: Search for popular posts
regarding the keywords. Track top
taggers, and top tags based on the
keywords. It is useful to search top tags to
better assess a specific keywords
popularity compared to the broader
Find Influentials on Daylife
• daylife: Is useful to find topics, photos, and
articles by keyword. In particular, daylife
provides top quotes on the search term,
and it highlights themes of articles that
mention the searched keyword. For
example, top topics of articles that
mention “polar bears” include the
Environmental Protection Agency, Barack
Obama and others.
Find Influentials on AllTop
• AllTop, the online magazine rack, is useful
to find an assortment of top blogs by
category. If there are no categories in
AllTop for a particular keyword – polar
bears – expand the search to include
broader terms that would encompass the
original keyword – Green.
Find Influentials Using Facebook Grader
Find Influentials Using Twitter Grader
Find Influentials Using Twitter Grader in a specific location
• Different types of traffic have different value for your site
• Look for Unusual traffic coming to your site in Referral
logs and segment your traffic by type
• Make decisions of your traffic based of thresholds and
• Certain kinds of site traffic need to be tracked in a
• Use Social Media to find Influentials and engage with
For more information