Driving Traffic to Achieve a “Success Event”

Driving Traffic to Achieve a “Success Event”

While we’re using the common term, “success event”, the best practices term is a “converted link” or as a verb “to convert links”. This can be better understood in relation to traditional marketing. In the old days of direct mail we used to speak of a successful direct mail piece as one that generated a 2-3% rate of return or had a 2-3% “conversion rate”.

We’re still talking about achieving a higher ROI by achieving a greater conversion rate, it’s just that conversions are now driven by click through links from the search engines and Web 2.0 (social media and blogging).

When considering what will make a site successful, there are two arrays of data to be collected: first, the search matrices from which a visitor arrives on the site and second, how a converted link is defined, i.e. what constitutes a success event.

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To draw the necessary corollaries between the two, one needs to be able to track a visitor’s travel on the site, time spent on a page, links clicked, etc. To do this a web analytics package that provides click track tags and/or Voice of the Customer (VOC) records is required.

From the data collected one can build behavioral models of a site’s visitors. From the behavioral models one can distinguish between visitors who were just surfing and those that participated in a success event.

By tracking the long–tail keyword phrases from which a visitor landed on the site, it’s possible to determine what phrases are the ones that drive the type of traffic that becomes a success event. Once the long–tail keyword phrases that generated participation in success events are isolated, the site can be further optimized to target that demographic.

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The idea is that one not only wants to drive traffic to the site, but to drive the specific traffic from the demographic that’s ready to take action and participate in a success event, however that action is defined.

Defining success events sets goals. For an e-commerce site, most commonly, this is a purchase. Other definitions include a donation, a reservation, request for an appointment, additional information, and a subscription to an email list, bulletin, blog, or RSS feed, etc. In all instances the visitor taking such an action must create an online user profile. By collecting profiles one is building a client base.

When considering the search matrices, remember to collect information from Web 2.0 traffic. All too often Web 2.0 traffic is either not collected or is insufficiently analyzed. Web 2.0 traffic is that which is driven from blogs, RSS feeds, email bulletins and announcements, and one’s profiles on social media sites, etc.

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While certainly there are many success events from active participation — clicking on a banner, purchasing an item, signing up for a subscription, etc, there are also passive success events. Examples of passive success events include number of pageviews (pages viewed), time on site, a low bounce rate, etc. Increases in the average number of pageviews, the time a visitor spends on a site, and a decrease in bounce rate each represent passive successes.

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