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Benchmarks on traffic; SEO to social

Traffic sources, balance google seo sea branded unbranded direct and other campaigns traffic.

traffic_sources_overview_google_analytics

What to look for:

I am really looking for a balanced portfolio of traffic sources. Search, Referring Sites, Direct, Campaigns. Which one is strong? Which one is missing?

Based on my own humble experience the site on the left is what approximates the kind of “best practice” (note the quotes) you are looking for.

Around 40% to 50% Search is normal. If the number is too big (site on the right) it indicates an overexposure to search rankings and algorithm changes (not good at all). If it is too low you are simply leaving money on the table. And of the search traffic, you want a big portion to be Organic so you are not just “renting” traffic or suck at SEO.

20% or so Direct Traffic. If the web analytics tool is implemented right these are all your existing customers or people from offline campaigns. You want a healthy amount of both. If direct traffic is low, I worry if you are any good at customer service / retention (the latter is so often just an afterthought).

20% to 30% Referring Sites. You can’t just rely on search engines or spending money on campaigns. A healthy web strategy includes a robust amount of traffic from other sites that link to your products and services, and praise (or slam!) you, or promote you on Twitter and Facebook and forums and otherwise link to you. Free traffic (usually) and you do want that (for many reasons).

10% Campaigns. Google Analytics (sub optimally) calls this Other. It is email campaigns, display / banner ad campaigns, Facebook display campaigns, social media campaigns etc. You want at least 10% of the traffic to be the ones you invite to your site deliberately, after solid analysis and great targeting. Outside of Paid Search. It’s a sign of a healthy business that has a diversified customer acquisition strategy.

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Content and SEO

“The best thing you can do to drive #traffic (without paying for it) and increase your #search ranking is to create #content that actually provides in-depth education for your customer. Don’t just mimic what everyone else says. If a piece of content delivers substantial value to your audience, it can even rank for a keyword not present in the headline or body text.”

Why Today’s SEO Experts Will Evolve or Go Extinct