What traffic sources drive users to onboard or reach a specific goal?

What traffic sources drive users to onboard or reach a specific goal? is a ready-to-use report from InnerTrends that aims to analyse the performance of the traffic sources that visitors interacted with during the selected period (how many of these visitors created an account and reached different goals any time after their last visit). 

With any marketing campaign that you create, your goal is not only to increase conversions into signups (leads), or you should not stop at it , but also to bring quality leads that convert into customers or reach any other desired goal.

A visitor does not perform a single visit before signing up. That’s why, to identify the contribution of each traffic source or marketing channel, InnerTrends applies automatically the Position Decay attribution modeling to all the traffic sources. Note that we store and analyse only the last 7 traffic sources available for each account (considered to be enough for most Saas businesses).

In this report we grouped the traffic sources from the selected period in 6 main marketing channels: Paid, Referrals, Social Media, Organic Search, Email Campaigns and Direct. This way you can have an overall view of the main categories of your traffic sources. You can then further analyse these channels, or your own defined channels in another dedicated report: What is the performance of a marketing channel?

How do we measure the performance of a marketing channel?

The visits from the selected period attributed to each marketing channel generate a number of created accounts, which then convert into accounts that reach specific goals (e.g.: became onboarded or customers) anytime after these visits (the conversion might happen anytime starting with the moment of the visit until now). The performance of each channel is calculated as the percentage of the accounts that reached the selected goal out of the visitors from that marketing channel (last line with the percentages from the overall view).

InnerTrends automatically identifies the marketing channels with the highest conversion rates  - answer returned within the answer area. There may be one channel that is far superior to all the others or there may be more than one channel with high conversion rates.

You can take this analysis one step further by analysing the channels on 2 levels:

  1. You can analyse the performance of the visits from each channel calculated as the percentage of created accounts out of the visits from that channel. 
  2. You will notice that some channels generate more created accounts - quantitatively speaking, whereas others have a far better conversion rate ( having more targeted traffic). What can you improve at this stage? The promise made on each channel or the landing page - which represents the reason visitors create an account on your website. A high conversion rate for the created accounts confirms that there is interest in your product.

  3. You can analyze the performance or the quality of the created accounts from each channel: calculated as the percentage of the accounts that reached the selected goal out of the total number of accounts created as a result of the visits from that channel.
  4. At this level you can notice the channels that generate more accounts that reach goals - quantitatively speaking, and those that convert better. Here, a high conversion rate confirms the fact that the promise which was made matched the visitors’ expectations.

It sometimes happens that a channel has a very good conversion rate from visitors to created accounts, but a very low conversion rate from created accounts to paying customers. It’s what we call low quality leads. Their expectations haven’t been met, so they have no reason to finish the onboarding or become customers. This will show in a low retention rate and ROI (Return on Investment) which is easily identifiable in the case of paid campaigns. 

What’s my benchmark when I want to analyse the performance of the marketing channels?

You can choose any marketing channel as a benchmark whose values you can set up as goals for your other channels’ conversion rates. 

We often  recommend choosing the Organic Search as a benchmark. This marketing channel is the one that you have the least control over. The visitors that find your website are driven by a clear intention. So, if the organic search managed to convert with a certain percent, then the other channels which you have control over, should convert at least the same.

In the example above, the conversion from visitors to created accounts for the Organic Search is 0.54%. The Referrals Channel has a conversion of 2%. It’s clear that this channel has been optimized, that’s why it can become a benchmark for you.

Paid vs Non-Paid Traffic sources

In InnerTrends if the traffic source contains one of the following values it is considered to belong to the Paid Traffic marketing channel: "adwords", "cpc", "cpl", "cpa", "ppc", "display", "marketing", "paid", "banner", "rmk", "brand", “advertising”, “cpm” and “ads”. That includes any AdWords campaign, or paid social media campaign. All other traffic sources that do not contain one of these values, are considered Non-Paid Traffic sources.

When we compare the paid and non-paid sources, the expectation is to see as many conversions for paid sources as for the non-paid ones, or even more. In reality things don’t always happen like that. When the conversion rate for the paid campaigns is much lower than the one for the non-paid campaigns, it's obvious that the paid campaigns need to be optimised.

Visitors, created accounts and accounts that reached certain goals broken down by marketing channels

In this section, InnerTrends offers a different view of the distributions of visitors, created accounts and accounts that reached certain goals broken down by marketing channels. This way you can see how much you attribute to every marketing channel for the created accounts or for the accounts that reached certain goals.

In the example above, most of the traffic came from paid campaigns, but unfortunately these paid campaigns didn’t contribute much to the number of paying customers. Note that there are social media campaigns that brought visitors, but they didn’t generate any paying customers. 

What should you do next?

Try to identify a marketing channel that you want to optimize (whether it’s about the conversion from visits to created accounts, or from created accounts to accounts that reach certain goals, or both). It may be one of the 6 channels predefined by InnerTrends, or you can identify certain traffic sources that you can combine in a single channel. How can you do that? Starting from the section that details the traffic sources, you can identify one or a set of traffic sources that have enough traffic and that convert worse than the benchmark that you chose. 

Then, go to the report What is the performance of a marketing channel? and see more details related to the performance of this channel, where in your campaign you can make changes (what microconversion is easier to optimize).

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