*This is a guest post by Daniel Gillen that originally appeared in The Cartel. *
Once a site has been up and running for long enough you’ll soon find that the links start building themselves. I work in e-commerce and so I have a whole array of Google Alerts set up triggered by keywords related to my niche.
Most of the time the alerts Google finds for you are garbage, but it’s a great way to keep an eye on what your affiliates are doing and seeing where you’re getting mentioned on the web.
Alongside this I like to keep a close eye on our ‘Referral Traffic’ tab in Google Analytics. This tab records the traffic your site gets from other sites and gives you a direct link to where it’s coming from.
It’s a basic function in Google Analytics, but also important not to ignore.
The products we sell are quite technical and so pretty regularly I see message boards appearing on the referral report.
Generally it will be a thread started by someone asking “This product looks great, but will it work in my house for X reason?”.
I’ve found that if I respond quick enough to one of these threads, with a clear, well thought out and informative answer (perhaps with further links to my site), I’ll see the odd conversion come in every now and then for months down the line.
A couple of months ago I saw a site show up in the referral report called Houzz.com
Houzz is a site much like Pinterest where people post pictures of things they like that are in the home design niche.
I noticed on Houzz a user had posted a link to one of our products, and although the traffic was modest, if I clicked the e-commerce filter on the report, I could see one of the visitors had converted!
This grabbed my attention and I spent 20 minutes checking Houzz out. It was full of high income people looking for inspiration, idea’s, tips and recommendations for products to put into their home. No wonder it had converted.
Seeing an opportunity I registered an account, uploaded ~30 of our best images linking them to our products (this took about an hour) and then pretty much left it alone. Not a week has gone by since without one of these product photo’s (that link back to our site) converting.
Since then I’ve had to do very little to keep the traffic coming (maybe build a new link on Houzz a fortnight), and the $$$$ from that site keep coming in. It’s been the easiest and cheapest (free) source of converting traffic I’ve found.
So keep an eye on your referral report in Google Analytics, especially paying attention to what converts or else you run the risk of missing opportunities like this.
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