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Guru Analytics 3: Where is My Web Traffic Coming From?

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Welcome back to Guru Analytics, wherein we examine the teachings of Avinash Kaushik, and how his contemporary and relevant theories and practices for web analytics can help grow your business.

So far I have covered how to identify your website’s goals and which metrics you should be using to measure these goals. This is your baseline and really something to which you will bring all of your analysis back. If you think that sounds boring, it is obviously is time to start digging through the data to understand and benchmark where your website is currently. Alright then, let’s go!

First thing’s first. Where is your traffic coming from? What areas are your sources skewed towards? The reason Kaushik promotes a review of your acquisition strategy is to see how balanced it is. More specifically, which sources are you reliant on and where are you at any risk?

Check your traffic sources and find out where the majority of your traffic is coming from. Is it Search, Referring Sites, Direct or Campaigns? Do you have a balanced portfolio?

Kaushik provides these guidelines on what is ideal or ‘best practice':

40 – 50% Search is normal. Too much can mean you are at the mercy of the search engines and you will be hurt by changes made that affect your rankings.

20% or so Direct Traffic. This is generally a measure of your offline marketing activities and returning current customers.

20 – 30% Referring Sites. This would show you a healthily linked website with good connections and stable, relevant referral traffic. Social media ties in here also.

10% Campaigns. Email campaigns, display / banner ads, targeted and tracked social media campaigns etc. This is a nice element to have in your overall traffic source mix.

There are no hard and fast rules on the exact balance you should have, so if your website’s traffic sources don’t match this to the tee then I would not go running for the hills. It’s a solid principle that I hope simulates you to think about how balanced your acquisition strategy is and to identify any risks you could potentially face.

Want to dig deeper? Look into the specifics of each source, say the top ten for each. Try to identify anything that stands out, such as specific keywords, trends, effectiveness of campaigns and opportunities.

I acknowledge Mr Kaushik’s work and recommend that for much greater detail and insight you visit his personal blog, Occam’s Razor

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