I look at my website’s analytics more often than I used to, with more knowledge about how to interpret it, and greater ability to use the data I gather to make my online marketing more effective. In a digital world, numbers rule.
I just looked at it from a year-to-date point of view—a limited picture for sure, but I liked what I found. My traffic is FIVE TIMES higher compared to the same dates a year prior.
Maybe you could care less how much traffic my site gets. That’s fair. However, I’m thinking if I share with you how I managed to catapult my traffic, you might apply some of my insights to send your traffic soaring. Sound good?
The main reason why my traffic is flying high.
It’s no secret. I can’t offer you a magic formula. I create heaps of content. Also, I promote it relentlessly.
Partners, prospects and customers often ask me about how I’ve managed to create such a prolific content marketing program, and consequently, a high traffic path to my door.
I’m not sure you’re going to like my answer: a massive amount of very hard work.
If you want to improve your traffic, you must do the same. It may mean carving out the time to create content. It may mean beefing up your content marketing resources.
Where the traffic comes from.
Let’s first look at the top 17 traffic sources to the Feldman Creative website in this small slice of 2014.
Social Media Examiner rules.
Lighting struck here. This remarkably successful and highly regarded website ran a post on December 31 titled “31 Must-Read Social Media Marketing Articles.” My friend (and fantastic content marketer), Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media nominated a piece I wrote on The Point (this blog), “Enlarge Your Digital Footprint for More Effective Online Marketing.”
The roundup post listed my article first. I got lucky. But you know what they say… You make your own luck, right? The post has been shared on social media over 6,000 times and counting. It’s created the most intense avalanche of traffic my site’s ever seen.
Feedburner is number 2.
Traffic from feedburner indicates visitors subscribe to my blog.
It took roughly forever to make this number swell. It’s flattering it has. However, I made it happen by creating a type of email I didn’t have before: “blog feed.”
Of course, it took me some time to create a subscriber list of 4,000, but silly me, it took me way too long to realize I should try email notices that say, “Here’s a new post from Feldman Creative.”
I just recently set this up in Campaign Monitor (my very awesome email service). It took about 10 minutes. It’s a chicken-and-egg scenario. More traffic. More subscribers—in either order. The big reveal: content made it happen.
Direct traffic places third.
Direct means the visitor put my domain in the URL field, mostly. The “direct” number also reflects traffic from my other email marketing programs.
Why do people put www.feldmancreative.com in the domain field? With some degree of speculation, my answers are: (1) they’ve visited before and want to return and (2) someone suggested doing so.
How do you make it happen? (1) Create a great website people get value from. (2) Deliver solutions. (3) Publish a steady stream of quality content.
Traffic from my email is probably the bigger traffic generator. Email marketing is absolutely necessary. I’m forever shocked how often I come across companies that don’t buy into this. You must focus on building a substantial list of interested subscribers and you must put the list to use.
I provide three types of email to a list that is currently about 4,000 recipients:
- “Get Magnetic” is my main newsletter. It’s generally a collection of multiple items: new posts, new resources, news, lessons, and various updates I hope enhance my credibility (such as industry recognition).
- “AEIOU” is another newsletter, which is mostly curated content from other online publishers and sources. Each edition focuses on a specific topic, such as blogging, Twitter, headline writing, etc. The name, AEIOU, stands for article, eBook, infographic, online tool, and useful tip. Each edition features one of each.
- “Blog feed” isn’t the name of my third type of email. We already covered this. I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to put this email in place. I guess I always thought if you wanted to read my blog posts, you’d subscribe. I was very wrong.
If you don’t get my email, opt-in right here, right now (via the form in the sidebar). You can always opt-out if I’m consuming too much of your inbox. (My opt-out rates are microscopic, which I hope indicates, my readers value the emails.)
Social Media Today is fourth.
I’ve been writing for this great publication for 2.5 years. First, I earned the right to contribute by going through their application process. Later, after getting enough people to read and share my posts, I became a featured contributor, which required making a commitment to steadily deliver exclusive content. Today, I have my own column on Social Media Today, “Content Marketing Minds.”
Along the way, I earned the right to publish podcasts, infographics and eBooks on Social Media Today. As you’ve gathered, I’ve put a lot of effort into building an audience on their platform. Thousands of people read and share most of the content I contribute to the site. And I’m talking about it here because they also visit my site (a shocking percentage are first-timers too). Fair to say, it’s been worth the effort.
Organic traffic is number five—this month.
I’m thrilled to tell you this. Just a few years ago, I knew nothing about on-page SEO and the tenets of search marketing. I decided to learn. I dove in pretty deep: books, eBooks, blogs, consultants, and hit up anyone willing to answer my questions.
Learning search ain’t fun, but it has to be done. Make moz.com and Search Engine Land two of your resources and try to keep up.
Remember, however, on-page search (page titles, tags, keywords) is merely your foundation. Over 90% of your search success will come from your off-page activity, otherwise known as content marketing and social media.
The three most important things you can do to improve traffic from search, IMO:
- Blog, blog, blog—with an understanding of long tail keyword strategy.
- Create videos. YouTube is a Google property. Nuff said.
- Use Google+ daily. Google+ is a Google property. Picking up a pattern?
The analytics actually says “t.co,” which means Twitter. Twitter is oxygen to the content marketer. Embrace Twitter—and not just to pitch your posts—but to build a “tribe” through building relationships. One at a time if that’s what it takes.
Also, if the screenshot listed a few more you’d see more sources of Twitter traffic: #18, Twitter social—not sure what that means. #19, Buffer/Twitter, which reflects people are using the Buffer service (scheduled Tweets) to share my content. #20, Networked Blogs, a free tool I use to post Tweets when I have new blog content.
Sometimes when I check my analytics, LinkedIn ranks even higher. I urge you to not only have a presence on LinkedIn, but also to engage people there and share your content. I always post on LinkedIn Groups by pulling a thought from my article or asking a thought-provoking question on the subject.
Follow the list down to #13 and you’ll see dlvr.it/Linked in. Dlvr.it is a blog posting service you setup to automatically post new content on social media networks you choose. I choose to have it done on LinkedIn, which has proven very helpful.
I just recently began contributing to this Top 300 blog. I was flattered to get the invitation and am humbled by how receptive their audience has been to my ideas. I also am grateful for the freedom HubSpot grants me to write how I write and say what’s on my mind.
Convince and Convert
This is another site where I guest blog. I’ve only written one piece so far this year for C&C, but I do have a good-sized archive of posts there. Great site. Very engaged audience. I write at Convince and Convert for these reasons.
The Café Press
My friend and social media leader, Jason Falls directs this company’s online marketing. I asked him why it’s creating lots of traffic to my site and he said one of the moderators of their blog and forum is a fan of my work and posted a thing or two I’ve authored. Very cool.
Think Pinterest is can’t be a source of traffic? Think again. Create pin boards and work the network for new followers.
I’m almost stumped here. It’s taken forever to get to almost 500 followers and given how Facebook has become an algo-driven pay-to-play network, it’s good news when 5% of my fans see my posts. I haven’t sponsored (paid for) a single thing this year, but apparently “people are talking about me” (Facebook lingo).
(See LinkedIn above).
I’ll make this short. I don’t know what this site is or why they’ve linked to my site. It created traffic, so that’s good. When it creates a lead, that’ll be even better.
Plus Google or, Google+.
Many think Google+ is a late entry, copycat, or insignificant social media. They’re very wrong. It’s probably the most powerful network available, most elegant, and will probably dominate the social-scape in two years. I might also add, Google+ is a lot more meaningful than just a social network. Delay entry to Google+ at your own peril.
I share everything we create on Google+, have a very fast growing community there, and am trying to make cultivating relationships there a new imperative. In the search realm, it pays off big time.
This site comes from Croatia. It appears to be about marketing. They republished “Content Marketing Minds: Raise Your Content Marketing Grade,” by yours truly, originally published by Social Media Today. That’s all I know. Except they’ve created a good chunk of traffic so far this year. Welcome to my blog Croatians.
I blog at for this great website/service provider as well as deliver webinars to both their free visitors and paid subscribers. MarketingProfs offers my company the ideal target audience because they specialize in delivering marketing lessons to small businesses. Lesson: seek guest blogging opportunities on high profile websites whose audience fits your business model.
What did you gather so far?
- Guest blog
- Build relationships
- Do email
- Get social
- Get lucky
- Put social amplifiers in place
What the traffic comes for.
Here’s another behind the scenes peek at my analytics—our top 21 pages this year, as measured by traffic.
Slash is Google Analytics for “home page.” I suppose home pages are the top traffic-getters at most sites and you want it that way (unless maybe you sell off the page).
The Plan for Effective Online Marketing
This is my #1 eBook. I promote it everywhere I can in a variety of ways. The title contains the keyword phrase I target most aggressively. No accident.
Enlarge Your Digital Footprint for More Effective Online Marketing
This post was popular from the start and in my top 5 in 2013. This year it became my top post ever by a country mile, thanks to the mention, screenshot, write-up and link provided by Social Media Examiner.
No explanation needed. I do want to say, however, if you want to be a successful content marketer, your site will benefit from a page/section like this.
Traffic to my blog’s “index” page comes from my home page, links and author boxes all over the Internet and a variety of other places. Create a blog. Give it endless TLC and promote it.
Sharpen Your Website
This is another popular eBook I offer. It’s one of my first, but remains hot. Create eBooks with titles that deliver benefits you know your audience covets.
I don’t promote my portfolio much any more (and do a crappy job of updating it), but being that I’m a writer and creative director, I’ve made it a section offered in my navigation bar for obvious reasons.
Way, no, waaaaaaaaay too many marketers shy away from publishing their rates/fees/prices. Huge mistake. Ever sold something without answering the question, “What does it cost?” Successful content marketers answer their customers’ questions.
The Plan for Effective Online Marketing (again?)
This is a post about my #1 eBook. Yes sir.
If only this were the top page.
/2013 (fill in the blank)
This is how blog posts are indexed (slash/date/title). As you can see, 9 of my top 21 pages are blog posts. You can see how important it is to have a blog and publish quality content often.
My long list of clients are categorized by industry on this page. I suspect every company that’s ever hired me has visited this page. Some clients hire me because of the logos I’ve placed on the page.
This is my name for what is typically “About” or “About us.” Most website owners botch this page by yakking on and on about themselves. I wrote a post explaining how to do a more effective about us page.
Strike a Chord—Lessons on How to Make Your Web Content Resonate
This popular eBook is a favorite of mine. I put everything I had into its content and design. The eBook features my own content and offers reasons why each type of content—or the approach to the content—has magnetic powers that strike a chord with readers and listeners.
This is a main page on my site, but was an experiment—one that paid off. It’s actually setup simply by embedding my RebelMouse content. RebelMouse is a beautiful thing. It consolidates all of my social media posts, but does so in a really engaging way.
Each post is presented pin board style. Looks great. Check it out and you’ll understand why readers love it. Signup for a RebelMouse account to learn about all the great options the service offers.
I guess I’m done now. As you’ve gathered, content marketing has a snowball effect.
I don’t know how much your website traffic will grow by doing some of the things I’ve suggested in this post. I do know this: it will grow.
Please leave comments or ask questions if you have any. Thank you for reading this beast.
Thanks for sharing this post.The tips are very useful to increase website traffic.
How Inbound Marketing Ruined Me
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