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Back To Basics: The Power of Exclusion (Part 2)

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Last week, we saw how a website owner removed traffic from his latest promotion to study the effects of that promotion on his data. The blue line represents all visits over a 2-week period. The spike in the middle is due to a 50%-off referral-based promotion.

The yellow line is where it gets interesting. This line represents all traffic except traffic from the promotional site. Since the yellow line excludes the promotional referrals, why does it show a spike in traffic?

To find out, the store owner de-selected the All Visits segment so that only the Exclude Promo Site segment was active.

Then, he looked at each of the reports in the Traffic Sources section -- the Direct Traffic report , Referring Sites report, and Search Engines report-- to find out where the non-promo traffic spike was coming from. Here’s the graph he saw when he looked at the Search Engines report.

It turns out the extra traffic was coming from search. Happily, the referral site promotion had been even more successful than expected. Because not only was there a big spike in traffic due to the referral, there was also a spike from search. As a result of the increased exposure, more people were searching for his store.

With that mystery solved, we’re ready for the next step. How can we find out how many extra searches resulted from the promotion? And, exactly which keywords were people searching on? We’ll take a look in Part 3, next week.


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