Everything You Need to Know About the New Traffic Analytics

If you’re a Marketing Hub user, your traffic analytics (think sources, page performance, and more) just got a fast, slick, and powerful new home.

Let's walk through everything you need to know about how to use it.

What is it? 

A new home for traffic analytics. In short, here’s what you have to look forward to:

  1. A new look and a new home. Sources and page performance are rolling up under a unified new heading: Traffic analytics. They’ve got a new spot in the navigation and a fresh new design.
  2. Faster and more precise data. The old sources report updated every three or so hours. The new one refreshes every thirty minutes, on average, and often as few as every ten minutes. How freakin' awesome is that? Plus, the new tool marks a transition from "visits" to "sessions" as the primary traffic metric in HubSpot. Sessions are more precise and comprehensive, and are the industry standard across most analytics tools.
  3. More insight into visitor engagement. You're getting traffic to your site? Great. Is it quality traffic? How long are your visitors spending on your pages? How often are they bouncing off the site after a single page view? Which pages are they spending the most time on? Which pages are they most often entering the site through? Where are they leaving? All these metrics — and more — live in the new traffic analytics home.
  4. More flexibility. Get ready for two new reports that show your traffic through fresh new lenses: topic clusters and UTM parameters. More details on that below.
 
Why does it matter?

If you think getting quality traffic to your website is a challenge, you’re not alone. According to the State of Inbound report, the majority of marketers — more than two thirds — say generating traffic and leads from their website is their biggest challenge.

That makes it even more important that when the right visitors find their way to your site, you figure out what got them there — and double down on it.

That’s where traffic analytics comes in.

Up until now, the reports in HubSpot that provide deeper traffic metrics have been siloed. Not anymore.

Today’s launch brings four tools that will help you break down every angle of the traffic to your site — sources, page performance, topic clusters, and a new advanced traffic report — all under one roof.

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Want a quick tour?

Sure thing, glad you asked.

Navigate to Reports > Analytics Tools > Traffic Analytics.

Don’t see analytics tools yet? Head to your sources report (Reports > Sources) and use the blue alert bar to activate the new traffic analytics screen.

Don’t worry, the sources and page performance reports you’re used to aren’t going anywhere for now.

Here’s the rundown on the new screens.

 

Sources

The core data points remain right where you left them, as they were in the “old” design: traffic, contacts, customers, and conversion rates from each of the major source buckets (organic search, social media, etc.).

Change your date range and frequency at the top of the screen, and switch to a column chart on the right-hand side. 

 
What’s new?

Aside from the snazzy new look, you’ll see five new metrics in sources for the first time.

  • Bounce rate. For all sessions from a specific source, what percent of them only included one page view? In general, the lower, the better.
  • Page views per session.
  • Average session length.
  • New visitor sessions. Of all the sessions that came from a certain source, how many of them were from people who hadn’t been to your site before?
  • New visitor session %. What percent of the sessions were from new visitors? (see above)

You’ve seen these metrics in the web analytics dashboard. Now, they live in sources, too. We’ll walk you through a few tips on how to use these new data points in the next section.

Two other exciting additions:

  • You can add, remove, or rearrange the columns to match your priorities using “edit columns.”
  • And --- for the very first time --- you can pin a version of your sources report to any of your dashboards. Simply use the "Add to dashboard" button in the upper-right.

 

Page Performance

Page performance finds its new home under the “Pages” tab in the new design.

You’ll see the metrics you know and love — views and call-to-action clickthrough percentages — in the same place you’re used to.

What’s new?

  • The chart. See how your page performance trends over time. Or use the check boxes next to each page to compare two or more pages against each other.
  • A slew of new metrics that give you a deeper look at how your visitors are engaging with your pages:
    • Bounce rate. For all sessions that start on a page, what percent of them didn’t move past that page?
    • Entrances. For how many sessions was this page the first one viewed? The entry point for that session?
    • Exits. For how many sessions was this page the last one viewed? The jumping-off point for that session?
    • Exit rate. Of the views of this page, what percent of them were the last in a session?
    • Average time on page. How much time to do visitors spend on this page before leaving?
    • CTA views and CTA clicks. Previously, you had CTA %, but not the raw numbers of clicks and views.

 

Topic Clusters

Familiar with the topic cluster methodology? Read on. Not up on the latest trend in SEO? Don’t fall behind. Read this, then come right back.

With the launch of the content strategy tool and the rise of the topic cluster methodology, the best search engine optimizers will be organizing content around topics moving forward.

This new report gives you all the metrics you need to determine which clusters are bringing traffic, contacts, and customers over time.

The best part? All the metrics in this new report match the sources report, so there’s nothing new to learn. The main idea: Instead of looking at traffic and conversions through the lens of original source, we’re looking at them through the lens of topics.

 
 

Advanced Traffic Report (UTM Campaigns)

Tracking URLs are a great way to analyze the success of cross-channel content promotion. Up until now, it hasn’t been easy to track the effectiveness of a set of tracking URLs around a single promotion.

Here’s an example: At HubSpot, we created a number of pages to drive registrations for Inbound Sales Day last year. We promoted them across paid, social, email, and other channels using tracking URLs.

To determine how well that set of URLs did holistically, we had to dig into each individual source bucket within the sources report. First, into email:

Then into social. Then into paid. Then into other campaigns. Not ideal, we know.

Today’s release is a new report that flips sources on its head, helping you start with UTM Campaign and dig into source, rather than the other way around. Want to see which sources brought the most traffic to the Inbound Sales Day 2016 campaign? Find all that tagged traffic in the same place:

 

6 tips from the HubSpot experts.

Excited about all this data but not quite sure where to start? We asked six of HubSpot’s strategists for some best practices.  

 
Anna Perko, Product Manager. 
"With today’s change, you can now add a sources report to any of your dashboards, so you can view it in context of your other key metrics. Want to see a certain version of your sources report on the web analytics dashboard? Now you can. Want to see your top-performing sources next to a chart of your highest-converting offers? Now you can. Want to see your paid traffic over time, next to a table showing your average lead scores from each paid channel? Now you can. Any sources report. Next to any of your other reports. On any dashboard."
 
Christopher Prudente, Principal Channel Consultant.
"When we see a low visit-to-contact conversion rate (by source) it can tell us one of two things: One, the audience you’re bringing to the page is not your ideal contact or customer. And two, the content you're driving them to does not have compelling offers or CTAs. With the ability to now see bounce rate and average session length, we can assess this more quickly. If we see an increase in sessions but poor engagement metrics, that’s an indication of the former. This would drive me to refocus on my content strategy. If engagement metrics are average or good and you still don't see the conversion rates you should, it tells me that you need to better optimize conversions on pages."

Chris Wilson, Principal Inbound Consultant.

"I immediately go to organic and paid social. Here, I'd take a hard look at bounce and exits. If this number is growing, it's a clear indicator you're either sharing content that's irrelevant to your business or setting incorrect expectations in messaging and social CTAs. Immediate takeaway — review your social ads and the posts driving the clicks, as well the pages they take viewers to. How consistent is the messaging? How related is the post to the end destination? Are the destination pages responsive and mobile optimized? If the bounce rate is rising, one of these is the likely cause and solution. Additionally, social, particularly around live events and webinars, can be used to nurture people through the funnel. Seeing how social contributes to influencing contacts already known can help executives understand the value social provides outside of initial conversions.

Kevin O’Dea, Principal Inbound Consultant.

The updated page performance report helps users go a level deeper to identify the entrance pages — first impression pages — to do an honest critique. Are entrance pages engaging and helpful? Do they offer a compelling click-through to the next page? How does the rate of entrances compare to the rate of exits? Getting that first impression right means more opportunity to engage and provide value via other channels (namely email) in the future.

Nora Edmonds, Customer Success Manager.

I always recommend using the sessions by topic clusters as a proxy for the success of your content strategy. The breakdown of sessions and conversions by topic provides insight into where you should double down or pull back. For instance, if you're getting low number of sessions but strong conversions on a certain topic, you should double down on that topic by creating more blog posts (subtopic content) around it.

Andrew Godlewski, Principal Customer Success Manager.

The topic cluster reporting answers the question of which topic areas are working and helps to identify gaps in content creation on your website. Importantly, we can also show conversion rates across the topic areas that we want to be known for to show which topic areas we're seeing lead gen in. If there's a topic not showing a conversion rate, is there a live conversion path tied to this cluster? Finally, I think it provides an opportunity to understand how good the content is at attracting a visitor and keeping them on the site. By analyzing bounce rates, you can see what's working well versus falling flat in this regard. 
 
 

The new home for traffic analytics is available via opt-in for all current HubSpot customers. Head to Reports > Sources to activate the new tool. For all new customers (starting November 17), no need to activate --- you’ll have access to the new reports right out of the gate.

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