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WEBSITE TRAFFIC KPIs: The Method Behind the Mathness

website traffic KPI

The Importance of Tracking Website Traffic-Related KPIs in Digital Marketing

Building an effective inbound marketing strategy is no walk in the park. From laying the foundation to crafting tactics for brand awareness, you’re constantly learning and adapting.

As the cycle of “Strategize → Execute → Analyze → Repeat” becomes familiar, the focus shifts toward one crucial element: traffic.

The Power of Website Traffic

Consistently producing written and video content as a part of your inbound marketing strategy often reveals an exciting uptrend: a spike in website visits. This is where the real magic happens.

Using gathered data, you can make informed choices about future content, enabling you to enhance your website and fully leverage the advantages of higher traffic.

After all, if you're growing traffic without strategic intent to optimize that traffic for conversions and lead generation then traffic is nothing more than a vanity metric. Let's dive into what you should be looking for when reporting on traffic and what the implications are on your larger strategy.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – The Metrics That Matter

When saying KPI in the context of this article, we're referring to the metrics and indicators that signal healthy website traffic growth. Usually, once these 10 signs are present during reporting and reflection it means that your traffic is at a healthy point and you can then begin to optimize for conversions. 

A note: Your website should have conversion optimization in mind from the get-go. Mostly what we're trying to gauge with tracking these KPIs and ticking these 10 boxes is that your content team can begin producing more consideration and decision-stage content to encourage conversions, dialing back on awareness-stage content that is focused on traffic.

If you're at this point in the article and this all sounds like language from another planet to you, you might want to take a spin through the Inbound Immortal book for a comprehensive overview of all things inbound.

These indicators help measure the success of your efforts and include:

  1. A significant increase in search impressions and clicks
  2. Consistent traffic growth month over month (~15%)
  3. Publication of at least two content pillars
  4. Enhanced keyword ranking
  5. Achieving consistent conversions
  6. Content reoptimization
  7. An evident uptick in phone calls and foot traffic at trade show booths
  8. Marketing automation infrastructure is in place
  9. Diverse content production, including PDFs, videos, articles, and unique graphics
  10. Tracking and improving the MQL → SQL ratio

1. Increase in Search Impressions & Clicks

Increasing search impressions and clicks from Google enhances a brand's visibility and reach online. You can find these metrics in Google Search Console -- a free tool that you connect to your website to gather data. Ideally, you've connected Google Search Console and Google Analytics before you started executing a comprehensive marketing strategy so that you are able to track growth.

Impressions indicate that your content is surfacing in search results, building brand awareness. Clicks signify active user engagement and interest in your offerings. Together, they drive organic traffic to your site, which is a cost-effective way to attract potential customers, increase conversions, and improve a brand's credibility and authority in its niche.

All that to say, they are vital metrics in gauging the effectiveness of SEO efforts and the overall health of a digital marketing strategy.

2. Consistent Traffic Growth Month Over Month

A consistent 15% month-over-month traffic growth to your website indicates that your content and marketing strategies are resonating with audiences. You can track this traffic growth in Google Analytics.

Such steady growth is a testament to increasing brand awareness, engagement, and the effectiveness of your outreach efforts. It's not just about attracting more visitors but retaining and building upon the existing audience base via other means like social media and newsletters.

Overall this demonstrates sustainable traffic momentum and suggests a high likelihood of achieving long-term goals and conversions, making it a significant indicator of success.

3. Publication of At Least 2 Content Pillars

"If you build it, they will come." While this is not a KPI that can be tracked in a Google tool with clear numbers for success, we use this as a KPI because of the compounding effects of a content pillar strategy over time.

We know that Organic traffic on resources like content pillars takes time to mature in search so having them published is the first step to continuing strong traffic growth. 

4. Enhanced Keyword Ranking

Keyword ranking directly affects a website's visibility in search engine results. Higher keyword rankings mean the website appears closer to the top of search results, increasing the likelihood of clicks and Organic traffic.

This position signifies relevance and authority in the eyes of search engines. Successfully ranking for targeted keywords ensures that the website attracts its desired audience, enhancing engagement and conversion potential. 

Keyword ranking can also be tracked in Google Search Console.

5. Consistent Conversions

Achieving consistent conversions on a website signifies that the traffic being attracted is not just high in volume but also relevant and engaged.

It means that the site's content, layout, and call-to-actions resonate with visitors, guiding them towards desired actions, whether it's making a purchase, signing up, or any other goal.

Consistent conversions validate the effectiveness of a traffic generation strategy, indicating that it's targeting and capturing the right audience.

If you're early on and conversions aren't exploding yet, that's okay. The intent of tracking conversions at an early phase is to ensure that SOME improvement has been seen in the quality and quantity of conversions while you've been producing resources and seeing success.

If you're seeing little to no conversions at all, your traffic and content marketing strategy may need to be adjusted.

6. Content Reoptimization

Optimizing old website content ensures it remains relevant, up-to-date, and aligned with current SEO best practices. As search algorithms and user preferences evolve, content that once ranked well might lose its edge.

By revisiting and updating old content, you can maintain or even improve its search ranking, extend its lifespan, and reinforce its value to users. This proactive approach not only boosts organic traffic but also enhances user experience, ensuring visitors find accurate and timely information. 

If your traffic is becoming steady (based on the metrics above) you should revisit your very early-on produced content to ensure those assets that are generating traffic will continue to do so.

7. Uptick in Phone Calls and Booth Traffic

An increase in phone calls and foot traffic at a trade show booth suggests heightened brand awareness and interest, often stemming from a strong content marketing strategy.

Effective online content can spark curiosity, leading audiences to seek direct interaction via phone calls or face-to-face events. Moreover, if your content effectively highlights the value and relevance of attending your booth at a trade show, it can directly drive more foot traffic. If trade shows are a huge part of your overall marketing strategy, it might be worth considering tactics that are specific to trade shows to compound this success further. We have a guide to all things trade show marketing found here.

Together, these interactions validate that your content not only attracts online visitors but also motivates tangible, real-world engagement, showcasing the holistic success of your strategy.

8. Marketing Automation Infrastructure

Marketing automation infrastructure refers to the tools and platforms that automate and streamline marketing tasks, such as email campaigns, lead nurturing, and audience segmentation.

By incorporating this infrastructure into a traffic generation strategy, businesses can efficiently nurture leads, ensuring that users drawn to the site are continuously engaged with personalized content, leading to higher conversion rates.

It allows for consistent and relevant communication with potential customers, fostering loyalty and guiding them through the buying journey.

Essentially, while traffic generation attracts users, marketing automation optimizes their experience, making it crucial for holistic online success.

If you do not currently have automation infrastructure and are looking to put it in place, we believe HubSpot is the best tool for the job. 

9. Diverse Content Production (Consistently)

Diversifying content media caters to varied audience preferences, ensuring broader reach and engagement.

Different formats like blogs, PDFs, videos, and quizzes appeal to different learning and consumption styles. While some users prefer reading in-depth articles, others might engage more with interactive content or visual presentations.

Offering a diverse content range increases the chances of resonating with a wider audience segment, enhancing website stickiness and shareability. This diversity also strengthens SEO, as search engines prioritize websites offering rich, varied content.

Ultimately, a multifaceted content approach drives more organic traffic and ensures sustained audience interest.

10. Improving MQL -> SQL Ration

MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) refers to a lead deemed more likely to become a customer compared to other leads based on their engagement with a company's marketing content. It's a prospect that's engaged but not yet ready to buy.

SQL (Sales Qualified Lead) is a prospect that has been researched and vetted by both marketing and sales teams and is deemed ready for the next stage in the sales process.

Tracking the percentage increase of leads that transition from MQL to SQL is pivotal. It indicates the efficiency of the nurturing process and the effectiveness of the content in moving potential customers through the sales funnel.

A higher conversion rate from MQL to SQL means that the marketing content and strategies are successful in not just attracting leads but also qualifying them for sales. If the percentage is low, it may indicate a misalignment between marketing efforts and what the potential customers are looking for.

A successful traffic generation strategy doesn't just bring volume; it brings quality leads that have a higher likelihood of conversion, which is why this metric is essential.

If MQL to SQL metrics is low, that's when it's time to move into your next phase after traffic: conversion optimization (like we talked about before!).

Deciphering Traffic Sources

Understanding where your traffic originates is crucial.

Every click, every visitor can be traced back to a source, giving invaluable insights. The 10 above KPIs are mostly aimed at increasing Organic traffic, as it is the critical traffic source to indicate inbound marketing success.

But, other sources are important to keep an eye on too:

  1. Organic Traffic: The holy grail of inbound marketing, it comes from search engines like Google or Bing. It signifies that a search engine ranked your content high for specific keywords, ideally the ones your target audience uses.

  2. Paid Traffic: These are clicks from paid advertisements run on platforms like Google, Facebook, and more. While they can boost visibility, their quality is often debated.

  3. Social Media: This category captures visitors from unpaid social media posts on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and others.

  4. Referral: These visitors come from another website that is linked to yours. Quality backlinks can enhance your site’s authority in search engine eyes.

  5. Direct: These are users who enter your site URL directly, which is relatively rare.

  6. Other: A category for any traffic not listed above, including email campaigns, offline source uploads, and more.

Paid Traffic: A Double-Edged Sword?

One can’t ignore the absence of Paid Traffic from the KPIs for steady site growth. The reason? It's "pay to play". The moment you stop paying, the traffic stops.

Additionally, paid traffic often brings in visitors who spend less time on the site, have higher exit rates, and convert less. While it has its advantages, the focus should be on strategies that promote sustainable growth.

What Next?

Successfully executing inbound marketing requires diligence, persistence, and a strong grasp of data. Central to this endeavor is understanding website traffic and its associated KPIs.

The lifeblood of digital marketing, traffic provides insights into audience preferences, content efficacy, and overall brand resonance. As outlined here, a range of metrics, from search impressions to the pivotal MQL to SQL transition, offer comprehensive indicators of success. It's not just about volume; quality and sustained engagement are paramount. 

Remember, it’s not about chasing every click but about fostering meaningful interactions that culminate in conversions and lasting customer relationships.

If you've conquered the above and are confident in your strength in all 10 KPI areas but aren't sure where to go next, we're always open to a strategic brainstorm conversion to point you in the right direction:

Let's Talk About Coaching!