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Sheri Hebbeln
 
May 19, 2015 | eCommerce , Marketing | Sheri Hebbeln

Analyzing online traffic to improve sales

Do you know where your ecommerce customers are coming from?  This information is critical, greatly affecting decisions that you make relative to your wine marketing strategies. Armed with this knowledge, you can be more effective at attracting customers to your site, to visit, browse, and make a purchase. Through proper measurements and understanding how each source plays a role in traffic to your website you can begin to improve traffic and ultimately, sales.


Knowing the sources
There are multiple sources where online traffic originates. The most online traffic is generated through organic search, according to HubSpot. This means that someone simply found your website by searching on Google. Consumers probably were not searching for your wine specifically but they were looking for a food pairing, for example. This is the ideal form of traffic because, as an unbranded source, it means that people found your winery without needing to type in the name.

You should test organic searches yourself.  As you go through the organic search, test different keyword combinations. You will be able to identify which search words achieve the best results.  These words then can be used as a basis for future content marketing or email marketing campaigns.

There are other sources as well. For example, if an affiliate site or blog post has a link to your store, then you'll be getting traffic from that link.  This type of linking is useful as it helps you identify consumers that are likely to be wine buyers. They are coming to your site from high-quality sources such as a wine blog or forum.

A similar outlet is social media, which offers referral links based on tweets and status updates.  You can properly analyze this particular form of traffic by posting your own link and attaching a tracking token within the link. Email marketing is the most effective source of traffic and purchases.  Newsletters and blogs are another good source.  Larger companies rely on paid search or pay-per-click ad campaigns to attract consumers.

The important metrics
With all of these sources, you'll be able to track them more effectively through tracking tokens and special scripts that track incoming traffic.  From this information, you can segment each source, and then begin to establish the measurements of new visitors, returning visitors and purchasers.  This is valuable information to creating effective marketing strategies.

Marketing analytics firm KISSmetrics advises you pay attention to a few particular metrics to understand where and how long traffic stayed. The first is pageviews per visitor. This isn't just when a person arrives on your site, it's how long they stay. If certain types of visitors are spending more time on your site, then that is a good indication of a valued source.  Another key measurement is bounce rate, which will count the number of people that leave the site from a landing page.  A high bounce rate is an indication that that improvement is needed, in either the graphic presentation or messaging.

The time on the site matters just as much as the number of pages viewed. A person spending a long time on your site is good and, even better, if they make a purchase.  Knowing this information can help you to make improvements to your site and in doing so, sell more wine. 

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