Since last week’s post was about creating a resource to drive seasonal and year round revenue. This week I want to do a post about how to take your resource posts, product pages or even categories that generate regular, seasonal or passive income and give you a way to help scale the revenue from them.
It’s a bit more advanced and takes more work, but if done the right way it could help you discover who your audience of shoppers is, and then drive more of those same people to your pages.
The nice thing is that this can work for affiliates, eCommerce sites and pretty much anyone. It also doesn’t have to be sales based. It could be email opt ins or even leads.
How to Use Analytics to Grow Revenue
The first thing is to go into your analytics, social account, affiliate network or tracking solution and find out what your top sales referral pages are and who the people are on these pages. If you’re using this for email sign ups, you’ll want what your top email opt in pages are. Depending on your ESP you may have this in a report.
Next you want to go into your analytics system and begin pulling the data for the last XYZ period for those specific pages. The goal is to get the data most relevant to the product or service and the time frame for the shopper if it’s seasonal. It could be median income, age, city, state, male, female, at work, at home, mobile, desktop, date range, etc… The ability to target on these will vary and change depending on the product or service you have and where you plan on advertising.
How to Find Demographics by Landing Page
Finding the data can be a bit tricky so here is where you may want to start looking for your visitors and shoppers demographic information.
Google analytics will give you a ton of options. You can generate a report for all channels combined. You can search by individual channel which is an awesome way to target better with your ads in that channel or you can find demographics by a specific landing page and over a set date range.
To find all channels combined or by landing page, here is what you do.
First click on Acquisition in the side menus.
From there you can go to Channels and you’ll find landing page as a menu option. (It’s hidden behind the drop down in the image below.)
Next click on the Landing Page or you can select a series of pages by doing a search in the keyword box for a folder, category or phrase to pull posts for the same topic. It won’t be 100% accurate but it can be a great way to group them.
Now if you click on dimensions you’ll see Users in the drop down menu. Click on Users and you’ll be able to sort by different demographics. I write everything down in a list since you’re limited and then use that in the next steps.
The reason I’m doing this second is because not everyone reading is an affiliate. If this was an affiliate only post I would have started with this one.
Log into your top affiliate accounts and pull a report that contains the referring urls for a merchant and set them for specific time frames. (Make sure your time frame matches the time frame from your analytics. This is important to get an audience match to a shopper match since many items and purchasing behaviors can be seasonal. Someone may be willing to spend more on items during the holidays than someone else who will spend during a down season.)
Now export them into a spreadsheet and sort them, put them into a pivot table or even a pie chart to find pages drove the most sales. Now take that URL or the category within your site and get the demographic information for that page and your referrals.
You have to know the top sales pages and then pull the demographics for them…not for what you assume they are. This is one of the steps that causes a lot of media buys and ads to go wrong. If you have the wrong audience because you relied on what you thought, you are probably going to be worse off when spending money to scale your revenue.
An Added Bonus (If they know what they’re doing)
You may also want to ask the company that you drove the sale for to gather your their customer demographics, or even better, the demographics of the shoppers from your referral. They definitely have everything you need, it’s a matter of asking them the right way and guiding them on how to find it. If you’re very specific, tell them what to look for and give them an example or sample of data, then you have a better chance at getting what you need. It’ll benefit you because you can now better target your ads with your own audience and it will help them because you’ll be helping to drive more sales to their company.
Now that you have your demographics by product and category page, here are a couple of ways that you can try to this information to help you scale and grow your audience and possibly increase your revenue.
2 Ways to Use Demographics to Scale Your Revenue Streams
What’s nice about having your shopper or page visitor audience break down is that you can match it to your ad targeting for that page and use it with multiple channels. I go over two of them below. There are plenty more I don’t cover like media buying, etc… (Your referrals page to the landing page is an important one for this).
In the examples below, we’re going to assume that our shoppers are trendy women (young to early midlife) that live in large cities and have disposable income. When doing my own campaigns I get a lot more in depth, however this is just a sample to help you get started. If you’d like me to work on a campaign for you, you can always hire us by using our contact form here.
Social Media Ads
I’m going to use Facebook for this since I was building ads this morning, and I have a ton of stuff to do this week. However, you can use most of these demographics across many of the major social networks. If you can’t find them exactly, you can at least target likes and interests based off of the demographics. It’s a bit more tricky, but it can be done.
Start by uploading your URL and then set the basic demographics for it. Below you’ll see that I went in a bit deeper than what I listed above. In a real campaign I use at least 3X as much as this, even before getting to behaviors. Again, this is a basic breakdown.
I chose women in NYC with an income range that doesn’t make them super wealthy, but does keep them affluent. I also chose that they own their own homes (this could be good if they are financially responsible and bad because in NYC it could mean you don’t have any money for anything else since the cost of a home is very expensive. This is a good demographic option for cities like NYC, San Francisco or DC that could make a good split test.)
Next I chose some interests that a trendy woman in NYC may have. It includes spas, beauty, yoga, diets, boutiques, clothes, bags and sunglasses. You could also plug the product you’re selling, complementary products or services as well if they have a large following.
If I was going to drive traffic directly to the merchant I would block mobile devices. The reason is that may merchants cannot track mobile to desktop with affiliate links. With this example they are going to my site so I’ll be collecting their information and trying to get them as a reader so I don’t mind as much if I have mobile turned on. If I was actually spending money, chances are I would turn mobile off 100% for these either way.
Now you can continue to match up demographics from your website with other things that could make your ads more targeted and begin to send visitors from Facebook based on what has been on your top sales referring URLs and demographics. However, this costs money so you need to be careful if you don’t have enough to test. The same goes for the next example of where you can build a target audience to help drive relevant traffic.
AdWords and Bing/Yahoo can be an awesome way to build an audience and drive traffic/sales. It can be expensive and you can run out of money fast so be careful. One thing I would recommend is you use extensions on this to talk more about your post, give quotes about your resource page or your store as well. This can be key in building trust and getting the click through.
With PPC you have to pull other sources of data to locate where the gender and income splits are. You also have to get very creative with your negative keyword lists and ads to attract the right type of person. Luckily you can still choose device type and target down to specific neighborhoods and locations like in the example below. The trick with using Adwords to get your audience is really in your own skill set with negatives, match types, extensions and keyword lists. Here is a post on how to use extensions in Google AdWords.
There are a lot of cool things you can do with AdWords as well. You can try the dynamic search ads (I’m launching my first campaign with these shortly) to hit people who bounced from Facebook and if you’re able, you can also try remarketing with a number of networks, ad platforms and other tools. The thing you need to remember is you probably will lose money testing these and you may never earn it back.
That’s why it’s important to know before hand that many people lose revenue if they aren’t solid with AdWords. Even advanced PPCs don’t always come out at a break even, but you can gather a ton of data for SEO, PPC and users demographics by driving keywords to your pages. You can then use this information for other channels to try and make your money back.
What I do as a rule of thumb when testing is to give myself a set budget if I haven’t made money yet. If I have, I look at how much I earn regularly from it and then think about what I’m willing to risk from it. The number is about 50% for me if I feel really confident. From there I invest where I think I can bring in the best traffic.
Once you know who your buyers are and when they’ll shop, it becomes a fun game of where to go for more of them. Because you can target using demographics on social media, and relevant keyword lists with PPC, your opportunities to scale are pretty huge. The trick is knowing who, how and when to hit your target audience. Once you find that, you are ready to start to try and scale your revenue.