The month of March saw some exciting changes for Insurance Blog by Chris. The biggest change for us has been the hiring of our project manager. This has made it possible to be more organized and plan our month out in advance. This has made it possible to publish and promote more articles in March than we have in the entire last year. We have successfully begun using Smartsheet.com. This has made it possible to “see” what everyone is doing and have everyone on the same page.
Thanks to our newly found organization, we began publishing more articles and sharing them across social media in earnest. We published three articles, “Creative Ways to Gift Life Insurance to Charity”, “Biggest Policies Ever Written” and “Quotes for 3 million to 5 million of Life Insurance.” As you can see, we have been focusing on providing content for our more affluent clientele. Our goal here is to increase the average premiums on policies that we write. The “Biggest Policies Ever Written” didn’t go live on our site until March 20th. In those last 11 days we saw almost 100 visitors brought in by this article.
We are sharing these articles through Buffer.com. This is a great resource for you if you want to have all your social media sharing in one spot. This site gives us the ability to share on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter & Google+ with one click.
Looking at our numbers we notice something else rather exciting. Our efforts to share more to social media has resulted in a 426% increase in our social media acquisitions!
This month also brought the opportunity to be featured in an article on Mainstreet.com with an included backlink to IBBC. Mainstreet has a Moz domain authority of 80, so this is a big win! We will see if this helps my traffic numbers in the coming weeks. Typically it takes Google a few weeks to notice these links and give you credit for them.
Quick Note on Measuring Backlinks
When you get a good backlink or have an article that you want to track, you should make an annotation in Google Analytics. This will better help you track your traffic patterns by allowing you to quickly see what happened on a specific day. Annotations are simple to add. For more information on how to add an annotation see this article on Wikihow.com (http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Annotations-in-Google-Analytics).
Your annotation will look like this:
VISITOR TOTALS FOR MARCH 2015
Here’s the google analytics breakdown:
We had 1,105 quote requests. That makes a total conversion of 4.35% which is down from 5.04% in February.
Noticing how quickly our conversion rate dropped make us immediately dive into researching why this has occurred. After doing a bit of sifting through the numbers we noticed that a “source/medium” called “www1.social-buttions.com/referral” has reported 144 visitors to our site, but it also has a 100% bounce rate and an average time of 0:00.
This site is spamming us with fake traffic, skewing our numbers in the wrong direction! This type of spam is called “ghost referrer spam”, meaning that you do not get an actual site visit but rather someone is using a Google Analytics vulnerability to show up in your data! After looking into our numbers in further depth I couldn’t find anything that has changed drastically enough to lower our conversion, except this “referrer” spam. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to remove these spammers from messing with your site! Should you notice similar activity on your Google Analytics report go to the following link (http://www.ohow.co/block-social-buttons-simple-share-buttons-referral/) to learn how to remove these spammers from your future reports!
MONTH-OVER-MONTH CHANGES (February 2015 – March 2015)
- Traffic: 21,795 -> 25,391
- Leads: 1,099 -> 2,054
- Pages/Session: 1.69 -> 1.63
- Average Session Duration: 1:36 -> 1:30
- Bounce Rate: 75.90% -> 77.6%
While our overall traffic went up, we are continuing to see our engagement numbers fall. In the coming months, I sense I will need to either do a major site redesign, or I need to spend a lot of time A/B testing my most popular landing pages to get more time spent on the site and decrease our bounce.
I’ve got a couple of nice backlinks lined up for April, so let’s hope those help us in the search rankings as well.