Traffic Source Diversity for Healthy Customer Acquisition

Traffic source diversity is analogous to balanced asset allocation.

Cultivate traffic source diversity to your website like a money manager who allocates assets to create a balanced portfolio of investments.

Investors want to own a mix of securities in different asset classes like stocks, bonds, and cash. A mixed portfolio spreads opportunities for gains. It also protects investors from the risk of exposure to poor performance in any one asset class.

Organizations work to achieve traffic source diversity to their websites for similar reasons. They want to take advantage of the full range of traffic sources that can bring quality traffic to their website. And they seek to avoid the risk of too much dependence on any one source of traffic.

Which raises the question, what is the right mix to achieve traffic source diversity?

In an article on Ten Steps to Love & Success with web data analysis, Avinash Kaushik comments “It’s a sign of a healthy business that has a diversified customer acquisition strategy.”

He suggests some rules of thumb for traffic source diversity.

Traffic Source Diversity example from Kaushik

  • 40% – 50% from Search. If the number is higher, you could be too exposed to the search engines as a source of visitors. Too low and you are not taking advantage of the best online channel for B2B buyers. And by the way, most of your Search traffic should be from organic search, not paid search ads.
  • 20% from Direct. These are people that come to your site directly, from offline campaigns or from their own bookmarks. If this number is too low, you may have a problem with return visitors or with customer retention. If it is high, it could be that incorrectly tagged campaigns and landing pages are causing Google to incorrectly categorize referrals to the Google Analytics Direct bucket.
  • 20% – 30% from Referring Sites. You’ll need more than just search engines and paid campaigns to bring visitors. A healthy online marketing program brings in visitors from other sites who mention you, praise or criticize you, or promote you on Twitter and forums.
  • 10% from Campaigns. These are visitors that you have intentionally invited via email campaigns, social media campaigns, etc. By doing thorough analysis and narrow targeting, the visitors you invite through your campaigns contribute to a diversified acquisition strategy.