Google Analytics: How to Determine the Value of a Referrer to Your Web Marketing Success

Web marketing provides a lot of data which only become clear when it is compared to other data. Here you see an example of how you can bring the different statistics together and draw conclusions about the value of a referrer.

Take a look at the referrer report (All Traffic). (Choose Traffic Sources→Sources→All Traffic.) Look at pages/visit, average time on site, and percentage of new visits. If a single referrer brings you above-average counts of new visitors, pages/visit, and time on site, you know the referrer’s a winner.

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However, if the numbers start to mix, drawing conclusions gets harder. What if you have a page that brings a lot of new visitors, but lousy pages/visit and time on site numbers? Here we outline the rules for referrers of all types.

Pages/Visit Time on Site New Visitors Conclusion
Above Average Below Average Below Average Might be good or bad. You’re getting some interest, but the first page folks land on isn’t working for them, so they’re moving on to other pages on your site pretty quickly.
On the bright side, maybe that page is very easy to figure out, and visitors are responding. Test different page configurations to find out more.
Below Average Below Average Above Average Not good. You’re getting new visitors, but they don’t like what they’re seeing. Look at revamping that first page, and make sure that you’re reaching the right audience.
This referrer might be so perfect that visitors find what they need very quickly. Check conversion rates.
Below Average Above Average Above Average Probably good. This referrer is sending folks who take their time and read everything on the page. Make sure that you have a good, clear call to action, though. The low page-view count might indicate that visitors don’t know what to do. Check the bounce rate.
Above Average Above Average Above Average Clearly a winner. Check conversion and bounce rates to make sure, but this referrer is sending you lots of new, high-quality traffic.
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