Not All Traffic is Created Equally: Measuring The Importance of Traffic Sources & Setting UTMs

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June 24, 2020
Not All Traffic is Created Equally: Measuring The Importance of Traffic Sources & Setting UTMs.
There’s no shortage of ways in which you can generate traffic towards a website, and the list seems to be growing on a daily basis. For every new traffic generation method, there are thousands of fresh sources of traffic for businesses to tap into. Plenty of people find themselves so caught up in focusing on new ways of generating traffic that they never get a chance to investigate their actual traffic sources. This can make for a significant mistake because a close look at traffic sources never fails to throw up a wide range of insights. One of the most significant tools when it comes to providing traffic insights are known as UTMs. The name is an anagram of Urchin Tracking Modules, which may not clarify the job they do on the face of things but UTMs are capable of providing a wealth of information to Google Analytics. But how can you quantify the role that traffic sources and UTMs could play for your client’s business? Can such traffic insights help to shape the entirety of client marketing campaigns? Let’s take a deeper look at the value behind measuring your traffic sources and setting UTMs for websites:

Learning From Data

The most reliable way of getting to know traffic data and its underlying analytics is through an appropriate website tracking platform. It’s only through a credible analytics platform that you can see accurate insights regarding traffic sources, keyword volumes, the number of pages viewed by visitors and the countries that bring the highest levels of traffic. These aspects of data are imperative when it comes to crafting the types of SEO campaigns that really strike a chord with customers and brings them valuable on-site experiences. Most importantly, analytics help you to determine your conversion rates and better understand customers’ respective journeys in order to better optimize your processes. This way, it’s much easier to identify the drawbacks that prevent visitors from taking the desired actions on your clients’ websites. Today, solid marketing is formed of actionable data and the preferences expressed by customers. Platforms like Google Analytics helps to provide businesses with a wealth of actionable data to analyze website performance and how it’s used among visitors in order to provide insights, grow traffic, and in turn improve visitor experience. image2 The range of metrics available on Google Analytics is one of the best cost efficient resources available website owners. Other platforms like Finteza and SEMrush are excellent in offering up intuitive levels of data alongside easy-to-follow visualizations and actionable analysis.

Understanding Your Customers

Website traffic provides invaluable insights into what your visitors do on webpages, as well as what they’re looking for and what actually caused them to convert. Being aware of what people are typically looking for will pay dividends in helping your client’s business to improve its services and products online. With customer insights, you can construct buyer profiles for your potential customers and define your target personas by a range of metrics like age, geographical location, estimated salary, and personal interests. With the right analytics platform, it’s possible to determine the location of most visitors online. Location demographics provide website owners with a list of countries that bring in more visitors. This acts as an excellent prompt in showing you exactly where and who to target in your marketing campaigns in order to fully tap into the most receptive traffic streams.

Acting On Your Errors

Tracking traffic also helps to identify potential on-site errors in your pages, like duplicate URLs, duplicate tags, web spam and incorrect URLs. These issues can severely undermine traffic volume and overall site performance. Always keep on the lookout for fluctuations in traffic volume. If the rate of traffic suddenly drops, there could be a logical reason why. Drops in traffic could be fundamentally down to site hosting problems, 404 errors or slower website speeds. Getting to the bottom of these issues can help to maintain high levels of traffic and ensure that users stay on your pages for longer. Many high-quality analytics platforms will offer the chance to send notifications on your dashboard whenever an issue with your site accessibility occurs. These notifications could relate to redundant hostnames, where your website is being sent data from different hostnames. You could also set your account up to receive notifications when there’s a drop in your website’s conversion rates.

Monitoring Performance

The likes of Google Analytics, Finteza and SEMrush are useful when it comes to monitoring the performance of your pages as well as your site traffic. When these two metrics combine it helps you to understand which traffic sources enjoy what content, as well as the pages that could be improved, and the ones that don’t seem to be finding much love from any traffic arriving from various sources. Knowing what content will keep traffic on pages for longer on a website will help you to understand the kind of information that visitors are looking for. If you recognize that a certain source of traffic is enjoying content that focuses on, say, motoring, then you can optimize your content schedule to showcase more instances of this kind of article. You should also look to keep your web arrivals happy by adding easy to follow and relevant internal links into your posts that help boost other pages and content on your site. By gaining insights on your worst performing pages, you can also benefit from learning about where improvements can be made. Such information can clarify how visitors are arriving and exiting poorly performing pages and where they’re coming from. If you’re spotting emerging trends, quickly act to adapt weaker pages or modify your content to suit the perceived needs of your arriving traffic based on where they’re coming from. It could be that your content is titled in a misleading way, or that your text isn’t what visitors were expecting when arriving from a specific backlink. There are many reasons why bounce backs can occur. Conducting a content analysis on poorly performing pages can help you to identify which fixes could be needed to optimize your content.

Recognizing Your UTMs

One of the most effective ways of accurately monitoring your traffic sources is through the use of UTMs. Urchin Tracking Modules refer to the format that Google uses to track traffic driven to websites from a URL. UTMs are seen as small structured sections of code at the end of a URL that’s used to drive traffic to the website in question. For example: https://your-website.com?utm_source=[facebook] image1 The level of information that UTM codes can bring to platforms like Google Analytics can’t be underestimated. Entire marketing campaigns can be crafted from the insights provided by UTMs, and campaign management teams should be looking at using UTMs for everything that’s posted online to see for themselves how likes, shares, and backlinks are pushing fresh traffic towards a client’s website. UTMs are particularly effective at giving website owners an idea of how their social campaigns are performing. Here, you can see what form of social engagement is bringing in the most visitors, whether videos are prompting more interest or insightful images are performing better. By learning what type of external activity is attracting visitors, it becomes much easier for businesses to optimize their social campaigns in order to draw in a steady flow of visitors from each source. Learning the type of language that creates the most engagements along with the level of personalization each post should carry means that you can optimize your social approach in a way that benefits a website long into the future.

Peter Jobes

Peter Jobes is a tech, analytics and SEO writer having worked with the Press Association and a varied range of esteemed clients. CMO at Solvid.

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