How to Measure the Quality of Your Website Traffic

Quality traffic is an outcome of providing the right content and experience for your visitor. It is only with clearly defined business and marketing goals that you can measure the quality of your traffic. Traffic, leads generated, interactions, and sales are a few ways companies measure the success of their website.

By defining what success looks like for your website you can then identify which signals are most important for reaching your goals.

Once your goals are defined, here are 5 signals that can help you measure the quality of your website traffic.

1. Lead conversion rate:

Marketers focused on driving qualified leads for their sales team should watch their visitor to lead conversion rate like a hawk. As you publish more persona-aligned content offers and call-to-action buttons on your website, you can expect to see this conversion rate improve. There is a whole field of science around conversion rate optimisation. Here are some additional resources to help you improve the lead generation efficiency of your website.

2. Geography

Brick and mortar or service-area businesses should pay attention to the % of traffic that is visiting from the area they serve. Your website isn’t going to help you drive qualified local customers if you’re only driving in website visitors on the other side of the country. You can run a geo-based report in Google analytics of all traffic visiting your website and you can also run a contacts report in HubSpot based in IP address.

3. Engagement on site:

How long are people staying on your website? What are they clicking on to do their research? You can learn a lot using Google Analytics to see a click-path of how the visitor moves from page to page. Heat mapping software, like Crazy Egg, can show you exactly where they are clicking on within each page of your site.

4. Form submissions:

Once you have forms on your website you’ll start to gather more names and emails that you or your sales team can follow up with. Your form should contain questions that allow you to identify the persona of the lead on your website. As you start to build new leads, measure how many of these leads fit the criteria of your persona(s) based on the form information.

5. Bounce rate:

Bounce rate measures the number of people who come to your site and immediately leave. In most cases, visitors who come to your site and leave immediately do so because the experience on your website doesn’t meet their needs.

On the other hand, sometimes bounce rates are high when people are coming to your site to find out a single piece of information.. Bounce rates from organic search traffic are typically high on recipe and ecommerce product pages. This shows that people are looking at your price, model number, ingredient or another spec then immediately leave.

What are some of the metrics you use to measure the quality of your website traffic?

 

This article was written by Paul Schmidt from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


5 Quick Tips for Social Video

Creating video content for use on your social media channels is not only a great way to stand out, but is quickly becoming an essential part of any social media content strategy.

With social networks such as Facebook prioritising video content in the feed, and investing heavily in new video tools and tech, including video into your social content strategy is quickly becoming a ‘must have’. Getting started doesn’t need to be hard, but it can be tricky to sort out where to start.

To help get you started, here’s 5 Quick Tips to keep in mind!

1. Keep it Short & Sweet

It can be tempting to create an epic, feature length, video dissertation on the topic of your choosing. However, the average attention span has dropped dramatically in recent years. Unless your content is incredibly compelling and to the point, you’re not going to be able to hold the attention of most social media visitors for more than a few minutes.

In addition, you need to make the first few seconds count! If you’re not showing something interesting in the first few seconds of your video, you’ve already lost most of your audience. So make the most of it: Use those first few seconds to your advantage and show something great that will ensure your audience sticks around!

2. Always Add Great Description Text

Don’t skimp on writing and revising your accompanying description text, be it YouTube ‘Show More’ text, an accompanying Facebook post, or even a quick Tweet. You have a golden opportunity to capture the attention a larger audience, make sure to make the most of it.

This is particularly important if your thumbnail doesn’t clearly communicate what your content is at a glance. People want to know why they should be interested before they spend time looking at your content. Give them a quick idea of what to expect, and encourage them to watch through the accompanying text!

3. Consider the ‘No Sound’ Experience

A substantial portion of all social media traffic now occurs on mobile devices. As of 2013, Statista reports that more than 65% of social networking traffic now occurs on mobile devices. In addition, Cisco reports that mobile video traffic has exceeded 55% of total mobile data traffic as of 2014.

As mobile usage often occurs in public areas, many users now have their sound off by default. When you’re editing your video for social media, it’s important to consider the ‘no sound’ experience.

Ask yourself:

  • Does your video still make sense?
  • Does it capture interest without relevant audio cues?
  • Are there ways to communicate the same information that do not rely on audio?
  • Are subtitles or other on-screen visual cues as possibility?

4. Upload Natively If Possible

As the race for social video content domination kicks into high gear, it has become increasingly important to upload your video natively whenever possible. This means that instead of uploading to one site and then sharing across your various social channels, that you should upload the video directly to each of the networks.

You may have noticed that when you post a link on Facebook to a video that’s located on YouTube, it no longer displays in the larger inline video view that it once did.

Example YouTube post:

Native Facebook Video:

Likewise with links to YouTube from Twitter. As individual social networks attempt to gain more of the video market, they are less likely to support and surface video content which is hosted on a competing platform. This can be frustrating as it involves a bit of extra work, but by uploading the video to each platform individually, you increase your chances of your content being seen, viewed, and shared by the users on that platform.

5. Include a Clear Call-to-Action (CTA)

It’s important to remember while content for content’s sake is fun, without interaction and action from the part of the viewer it can be seen as an ineffective and costly exercise. Before creating any content, it’s important to understand:

  • What does the viewer get out of this content?
  • What action do I want the viewer to do as a result?
  • What do I want to get out of this as an individual / business / organisation?

From there, it’s should be fairly straight-forward to create a clear call to action. Want more subscribers? Make sure to ask viewers to click subscribe at the end of every video. Want more suggestions on what your viewers would like you to cover in future videos? Ask them to post a comment! Simply asking for what you want can go a long way towards encouraging more social interaction and subsequent growth!

Example CTAs:

  • ‘Click subscribe to be notified when we release a new video!’
  • ‘Like what you saw? Drop us a line on _twitter account_ and let us know what you think!’
  • ‘Which topic should we cover in our next video? Post your suggestions in the comments!’

Bonus

If you’re creating video content for Facebook and intend to pay to promote it, ensure that your thumbnail includes no more than 20% text. Note: This includes Logos and UI.

Facebook will remove boosting from any sponsored post that displays more than 20% text in the accompanying asset. It can be incredibly frustrating to create the perfect video, set it up for boosting, then have it switched off because you forgot the ‘no more than 20% text rule’ and had a huge logo in the middle of the thumbnail.

If you’ve got any questions, or picked up your own tips along the way, please share them in the comments below. And remember – have fun!

 

This article was written by Tara Brannigan from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

 

What You Need to Know About Fake Followers

One of the most asked questions in social media is: “How can I grow my following?”

Don’t listen to those who say that it does not matter. While the quality of your followers is most important, if you have no followers, you are talking to yourself.

So What About Buying Followers?

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A common assumption is that a large following reflects the relevance of a Twitter account (and by proxy its owner). True, Obama and the Pope are relevant and have lots of followers. But also ‘false’, if your followers are mainly robots and people outside your target audience.

Use Case

I once worked with a client who had tens of thousand of followers and when I analysed the account with TwitterAudit.com, it turned out that 97% were “likely to be fake”. She looked popular on Twitter but in reality, few were listening.

Let’s Take a Step Back

I recently got this question in an email from a client:

Can you explain what a fake follower is and why they are allowed?

The Facts

In the November 2013 WSJ article Inside a Twitter Robot Factory, Jeff Elder describes how he bought 1,000 new followers for $80 from a “vendor” who had been in the business for six years and manages 10,000 robots for about 50 clients to make them look more popular. The article infers that these false accounts -run by robots (or bots) – even affect trends on Twitter.

From the horses mouth:

In their 2013 securities filings, Twitter says that fake accounts represent fewer than 5% of its 230 million active users.

Independent researchers believe the number to be higher:

According to a New York Times report from 2013, 4% or 20 million Twitter accounts were fake accounts. This number is corroborated by an Italian research firm that claims to have found 20 million fake accounts, as well as “software for sale that allows spammers to create unlimited fake accounts.”

So Why Does Twitter Allow Fake Followers?

They Don’t.

Fraud Alert

It’s like saying why are hackers allowed to infiltrate government networks? Or why are people allowed to rob banks. The challenge is how to stop them.

‘Fake Followers’ are against Twitter policy and the company has actively tried to stem the flood. But unlike Facebook, Twitter allows users to set up as many accounts as they like.

(As a side note: here a report from 2012 by NPR that sheds light on Facebook’s dilemma and approach: For $104, This Guy Will Sell You 1,000 Facebook ‘Likes.)

How Can You Weed Out Fake Followers?

For my clients, I try to review all new Twitter followers to block or report those that are fake or spam accounts. I would say that at least every 20th account that tries to follow is openly a spam account.
How can I tell?

  • On Twitter, many fake/spam accounts have pictures of pretty girls (often showing a lot of skin) and handle names like @XYZMPX.
  • Some fake accounts tweet mostly URLs or completely random and useless content (I know, some real people do that too).
  • Then there are fake accounts that look legit but once you’ve followed them will send you a direct tweet that offers you to buy followers.

Bot 2

LUCKILY, there are a few tools that can help you figure out how many fake followers you have (for free) and some even offer to help you clean them up (for a fee).

I have never automated my “fake follower” removal, as I have never seen any “unfollow” tool that did not suggest to me to unfollow people I cared to keep in my feed. A close friend or client might rarely tweet but when they do, it matters to me.

Here two tools as an example (Google for more):

  1. Status People: Fake Follower Check.
  2. TwitterAudit: Quick & easy. How accurate? I can’t say.

Why Don’t We Hear Much About Fake Followers?

PHishing

There’s not been a lot of press coverage on the ‘fake follower’ topic lately, probably because the onus has moved on to related topics like security (account impersonation, account take over, phishing, scams etc.) as well as harassment and abuse. For example:

But that’s a topic for a whole other blog (or two).

Please share any experience you have with identifying and getting rid of fake followers!

 

This article was written by Natascha Thomson from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


3 Ways to Let Customers Tell You How to Design Your Website

What’s the best way to get direction on designing your website? Your customers hold the key. Read on below…

Did you know that when prospects visit your website, they leave cues that you can collect about their behavior on your website?

This data can help you design a better website for your customers, reduce their ease of finding what they are looking for, and earn you new business.

When you’re deciding how to design your website, put an end to the guessing game and let your customers speak for themselves. Provide ample opportunities for your visitors to give feedback, and combine that information with data from tools and analytics to find the best ways to satisfy your customers and increase your sales. Here’s how:

1. Perform Usability Testing

A usability test is when you ask real people to accomplish tasks on your website while you observe. The key here is that you’re going to want to get people in your target audience to do this, not employees of your company. Also remember that this isn’t a test of a person’s ability to use your website, it’s a test of how user friendly your website actually is.

From page layout to text readability and everything in between, the goal of a usability test is to make sure visitors can navigate the page intuitively and quickly find the information they’re looking for. For a quick, low cost option, look for services like those offered at UserTesting, where actual humans put your website through its paces and provide feedback about its strengths and weaknesses.

2. Solicit Visitor Feedback

Encourage customers to give feedback, but don’t make the mistake of burying your contact information in a small link at the bottom of a page. For the best results, include a link to a feedback form “above the fold,” near the top or side of key pages.

A page where visitors can request a quote or sales call is already priming them to communicate with you, so you should take the opportunity to ask for feedback about their site experience, too, but do it on the page that follows a form submission. To make it easy to respond, ask simple questions like, “Were you able to find everything you needed on our site?”

3. Use Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful tool you can use to track and analyse visitor behavior. Simply copy and paste a bit of Google’s tracking code into your website pages, and Google Analytics creates and maintains a variety of graphs and other data visualisations to help you analyse that information.

One of the most important factors to analyse is the bounce rate on particular pages, which tells you when and how often visitors to a given page are leaving it. A high bounce rate means that people are immediately deciding that a page doesn’t hold their interest, indicating you need a better “hook.”

You should also regularly review the Behavior Flow reports and their drop off points. A behavior flow provides a visual map of how users navigate your site, and what path they’re taking as they browse from one page to another. A drop off point shows where they left that path — and perhaps the entire site — which could indicate a weakness in that page’s content.

 

This article was written by Rick Whittington from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


How to Make Your Content Marketing More Newsworthy

Many of us started our content marketing careers delivering newspapers in our local communities. What a great lesson in sales, customer service, marketing, and being social!

In the days before social media, social selling, and content marketing, people consumed content via newspapers. And, some of that native behavior still exists! However, your self-promotional use of Twitter is likely missing the mark because it is just not newsworthy.


Content marketing

Brands need to activate their content and awareness messaging—to make it more like a newsfeed and less like a promotional feed. By making your content more newsworthy, your customers will increase their likelihood to read it, count on it, and act on it—especially those who do not have a long relationship with you. Think less about the features and benefits of your products services and more about the news. Show that you understand your audience’s industry, category and company challenges. This approach will help you win their trust.

Remember you have to show your ability to deliver the news before they pay for the newspaper.

Reading the News Is a Native Behavior. Reading the Ads Is Not.

My paper route customers had a news reading ritual:

  • Delivery. Expect delivery of the paper every day.
  • Headline Scan. Scan the paper for meaningful headlines to learn something without having to read any further.
  • Read What Was Relevant and Interesting. Dive deeper into the content to get to the heart of the story—expanded from headline.

These are content consumption behaviors today’s consumers still practice—only now they do it with Twitter.

5 Reasons to Make Your Marketing Messaging More Newsworthy

I am not sure to whom we can attribute the phrase, “The news and nothing but the news”—however, it appears to have been foreshadowing for what your consumers want on Twitter.

  • It’s All About The Headline. 80% get their news by scrolling through their timelines—while 67% by browsing the timelines of others. This native scrolling behavior indicates the need to break through the clutter. (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
  • More News Consumption. 60% of Twitter users say they get more news now than before they joined the service—indicating our audience is using Twitter for news content. (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
  • Easier News Consumption. 79% of Twitter users say staying on top of the news was easier compared to 62% of non-Twitter users—indicating your audience consumes news on Twitter to consume and probably does not engage as much as you think. (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
  • Active News Consumption. 86% of Twitter users use the service for the news—75% using it daily—suggesting the need to be relevant and active with your content creation (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
  • Taking The Relationship To The Next Level. 92% click through, at least sometimes, to read the news—showing you that great newsworthy headlines will help you advance your customer relationship (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)

The Big Question You Should Ask About Twitter, Consumption, and Content Marketing

“Should I be using Twitter as a way to position my awareness messaging as a news feed?” Well, the above research provides one very clear takeaway for your content marketing strategy—make sure your messaging is more newsworthy … and distribute it on Twitter!

How to Make Your Brand’s Twitter Feed More Newsworthy

Even though your company is not a collection of journalists or a news publication, you can take a page out of their playbook with these simple tips:

1. Headlines. Write your tweets in 70- to 100-character capitalised headlines to capture your readers’ attention.

2. Facts and Lists. Feature facts and lists to convey your understanding of your audience’s business. You need to make your readers’ life a little better because you got them to think about things a little differently—or you taught them something. Have an informative approach to your messaging and you’ll be building your relationship in no time!

3. Pictures. The old saying, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ also applies to content marketing and Twitter. Try to include a custom-made and newsworthy graphic in 75% of your messaging to help break through the clutter and capture the hearts, minds, and most importantly the eyes of your readers.

4. Call to Action (CTA) Connected to The ‘Story’. You need to deliver the news. However, you also need to give your audience a clear next step to ‘learn more’. Accomplish this ‘click’ with a ‘Read More:’, [WHITE PAPER] or similar CTA.

5. User Experience. Make sure to link your tweet to an informative landing page or blog post that naturally ‘fits’ the headline in your tweet. Think of this experience as a story supporting the newspaper headline.

So, how can your brand use content or content marketing to secure the attention of your readers? Give your audience the news and nothing but the news and they will start to pay for it with their social and relationship currency.

 

This article was written by Gerry Moran from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.