Radio programmers should regularly review their website stats to gauge their performance. I encourage broadcasters to do this as part of a weekly web meeting. One of the most important source of stats to review is your Google Analytics data. Among other things, it will show you where people who visit your website are coming from.
Website traffic sources will be broadly grouped into these categories:
- Direct Traffic: People who are typing your website’s URL directly into their browser. This is a bigger source of traffic for radio stations than companies in other industries because listeners hear the URL over the station's airwaves so often. Radio stations that use a Content Marketing strategy to grow their website traffic will probably see direct traffic shrink as a percentage as other sources grow.
- Organic Search: If people type something into a search engine like Google and your website comes back as a result, that is called an “organic search result.” When visitors come to your website after clicking one of these organic search results, Google labels the traffic as “Organic Search.” As you optimize your website for search engines and publish more content, you should see the amount of traffic from Organic Search increase. You may see a few pieces of content on your website that regularly produce organic search traffic. For example, this post by morning show personality Sheri Lynch regularly produces Organic Search traffic on our website.
- Paid Search: Organic Search traffic is different than Paid Search traffic. If you are paying to advertise your website in search engines (such as through Google AdWords), you may get traffic when people click on one of these paid advertisements. Most radio stations don't run paid search ad campaigns on a regular basis.
- Social Media: People who come to your website through a link on a social network like Facebook or Twitter are lumped under the “Social Media” heading. You'll want to drill down and see which networks are providing the most traffic. In all likelihood, Facebook will be the biggest source of traffic by far, but you may be surprised to see Twitter outperform Instagram. Are LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, or other social networks a significant source of website traffic for your station?
- Referral: People who come to your website through a link on another website, such as a blog or news site, are called “Referral Traffic.” If your station has a link on a highly trafficked website — for example, if the local newspaper publishes an article about your station and includes a link to your website — than you may see a significant source of referral traffic.
- Email: If you capture the email addresses of website visitors and regularly send out email campaigns that drive people back to your site, email may be a significant source of traffic.
Google Analytics can show you your website traffic sources as a percentage in a pie graph, but these can shift over time. If your overall website traffic is increasing, the percentage of one traffic source might go down simply because another source is growing at a faster rate. So it's a good idea to look at the raw visitor numbers, not just the percentages.
If you haven't looked at your Google Analytics data in a while, take a peek and see how people are getting to your radio station's website.
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