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A while back, I had suggested that you would want to balance your traffic sources so that your website and digital marketing properties were not overly reliant on any one source of traffic. I still very much believe in balanced pie, but I wanted to add some subtlety to the idea.

For calendar year to date 2012, here’s what my site traffic looks like, in terms of balance.

Traffic Sources Overview - Google Analytics

I’m overweight on search, about right on referral traffic, and underweight in campaigns and direct. The question is, which of these pie slices is actually most valuable? Let’s head to our assisted conversions report.

Assisted Conversions - Google Analytics

Hmm. Even though organic search is 45% of my traffic, it’s not 45% of my conversion value. In fact…

Assisted Conversions - Google Analytics

That’s right – referral traffic accounts for 37% of the conversion volume on a last touch basis, and because the ratios of assisted to last touch are so low (see the above table), referral clearly dominates the value being generated.

So we know that referral traffic constitutes the more valuable traffic. What if I want to double down and try to boost the most valuable sources of traffic? What specifically in referral traffic is driving value? On the assisted conversions report, filter by referral and we see:

Assisted Conversions - Google Analytics

A good portion of the juice is in Twitter and LinkedIn. If I were trying to ascertain what were the more valuable activities I could be doing to drive revenue, clearly whatever I’ve been doing on Twitter and LinkedIn this calendar year, I need to be doing more of, as that’s what’s driving conversion in the referral category.

I still maintain the position of the original article, that you should bring balance to your pie. However, add to that strategy this dimension of looking at your traffic sources and seeing which ones are driving the most traffic, and as long as you’re not grossly overweight (at risk) in that traffic source, find the one or two pedals you can step on a little more and see if that generates additional valuable activity on your website.

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