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Marketing a Forum - Traffic Sources

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Posted 5th February 2010 at 11:54 PM by jamiedolan

Marketing Update: Traffic Sources

It has been one week since I launched our new Jeep Forum, Called Willys Jeep.

I helped with the design of the site, which has improved a lot over the past week. However my primary task with the site is to manage the Internet Based Marketing for the site. My focus at this point in time is generating traffic for the site. I have been continually evaluating where my time is best focused, manual targeted link building, or general back link building. The results are almost a tie, both showing to be important sources of traffic. Lets take a closer look at what I observed about our traffic sources in the past week:

959 unique visitors:
31.60% From Search Engines
38.58% Referring Sites
29.82% Direct

Reflecting upon these and additional results from Google Analytics, it is clear that the search engines are very valuable source of traffic. What has turned out to be even more valuable in generating traffic is the links we have built with other sites in the same field. At 38.58% of our total traffic, Referring sites were responsible for more traffic than any other source.

As much as everyone dismisses the value of manual link building with partner sites and often refers to it as a waste of time. Based on this past weeks data, I have to say that at least for us, at the moment it is working. We send out quite a few personal emails asking for links. Many bounced or go unanswered, but some of them are getting responses and are turning into productive relationships.

For the next week, we will continue to build general back links, as well as contact targeted sites and seek out high value back links. I have started to use SEO SpyGlass based on the suggestion of a member of this site. I am currently using the free version, but it has helped me locate some of the more valuable sites to target. I'll update you again as I spent some more time with this very interesting, and valuable tool.

I also am looking at strategic merges / take overs of a couple sites. If these take place, It will be an instant boost in our marketing, as I will combine the sites, and 301 the old sites.

In the near future, I will also be exploring how to increase the conversion rate for new visitors.

Take care;

Jamie Dolan
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