Has the Traffic To Your MSP’s Website Dropped?
We recently discussed the issue of traffic bots and how to recognize them in your Google analytics. We will take this opportunity to explain why it’s important to understand how traffic bots can affect your data and what to do about it.
How Traffic Bots Skew the Data Your MSP Marketing Relies Upon
The most important way traffic bots affect your data is that they can cause you to misjudge how visitors, which are potential leads, are interacting with your website. If we look at the chart, we see that there was significantly less traffic (nearly 97%) than in the previous month. At first glance, this should be a cause for concern. Any significant drop in traffic should be treated seriously, as it could indicate something seriously wrong with your website.
Since your website is your primary source of marketing your MSP, it is essential that it is optimized and works as expected. In this regard, you should take a deeper look at the source of the traffic variation. Knowing what is generating the traffic can assist you in determining whether or not the drop in traffic is a matter of concern.
Why Does the Sources of Traffic Matter to Your MSP?
When it comes to marketing your MSP to potential leads, it is essential that you track how these leads interact with your MSP website. This means understanding where your traffic is coming from, and what factors could be causing it to disappear. If you leap to a conclusion regarding your traffic sources, there’s a chance you could misread the market, and derail your marketing efforts.
There are three basic sources of traffic: Organic, Direct and Referral.
- Organic traffic is the traffic that comes to your site when people search for solutions to their problems or information about a subject. An example of organic traffic would be someone typing, “How to prevent SPAM” into a search engine and your MSP’s service page or blog is shown as a search result.
- Direct traffic is as the name suggests, traffic which comes directly to your site via someone typing your website directly into the address bar, links contained within an email or saved bookmarks.
- Finally, referral traffic is traffic to your site that comes from links on other websites which link to yours. An example of this could be a link on a college’s career’s page which links to your jobs page.
Google Analytics can also display social traffic, email traffic, and other categories too.
Each of these traffic sources can provide you with insight into what services potential leads are interested in, but only if you understand how to evaluate them. It is when you understand your traffic that you will be able to decide on a tactic to attract the right type of traffic. Before you make a decision on tactics, you need to determine where the traffic is coming from and whether or not it is something to be concerned about.
How to Determine the Source of Traffic
The best way to find the source of traffic is by looking at your Google Analytics. Going to Acquisitions>All Traffic and looking at the various categories, such as source/medium may give you an idea of what is generating your rogue traffic.
If we look at our example we can see that the majority of our questionable traffic is coming from a referral source; specifically, a traffic bot.
As we noted previously, a traffic bot isn’t necessarily a threat to your website,or its security. The purpose of a traffic bot is to have businesses discover them in their data and click on the link to see what they are, driving traffic to the botter’s site.
The reason why it’s important to understand where traffic is coming from, is that there is a strong possibility that Google will find the bot(s) and remove them from your data. Once removed, you will see a significant decrease in traffic for the next month as your traffic patterns return to normal. This brings us full circle, and shows why it’s essential to verify what is generating traffic in determining what your next steps will be, and whether or not it’s an area for concern.
Organic Traffic is the Lifeblood of Your MSP Website
So when should a drop in traffic be considered a reason for concern? When the drop in traffic is organic. Organic traffic is the most important source of traffic, because it represents whether or not your website is connecting with an audience, and Google is providing it as a search result.
A sign that your MSP Marketing is successful is when the majority of your traffic is organically generated.
If there’s a significant drop in your organic traffic, (keeping in mind that traffic is expected to have a slight ebb and flow) something is seriously wrong. There are two main reasons for a large drop in traffic: your website isn’t being shown to searchers or Google has re-evaluated your website and dropped your page position. If your page position is dropped, your opportunity to attract an audience (traffic) is also reduced.
Some reasons why Google may penalize your website is due to black hat SEO such as paying for backlinks, keyword spamming, or other techniques designed to fool Google’s ranking algorithm, resulting in a poor user experience. Additionally, your site could inadvertently be set to no-index, or be inaccessible due to other technical issues.
Are You Using Your Traffic Data to Improve Your MSP Marketing Results?
Are you using your data solely as a means to see how much traffic your site is receiving? If so, you are only using it to a fraction of its marketing potential, limiting your ability to market your MSP. Some insights you can gain include:
- Which pages are visited most frequently
- How long a person stays on a page
- What page they visit after
- Search terms and keywords used
- Locations, devices used, time of day and more
This information is important because it can allow you to tailor your MSP marketing strategy to what you know about potential customers, and not what you think you know about them. Your data can tell you that the majority of the visitors to your site are interested in a particular service. Then, logically, you should increase your marketing of that service. This is something that you wouldn’t know if you just looked at the amount of traffic, and not where the traffic is coming from or going to.
Are You Giving Your MSP Marketing All the Support it Needs?
If you’re not taking advantage of the insights provided by your data, you’re not giving your MSP marketing the support it needs to be successful. As an MSP ourselves, we understand the challenges that come with running your business and trying to promote your services. If you’re struggling to do both, it could be time to partner with a marketing agency that understands what it takes for an MSP to break through the noise and stay ahead of their competitors.
If you’re ready to develop a marketing plan for your MSP, call us today at 888-546-4384 to schedule an appointment, and bring your MSP to top of the pack.