I often recommend that you use every tool at your disposal to help your online marketing efforts. When you're trying to gain more website traffic, more sales, or more subscribers, knowing where your traffic is coming from is crucial (as is knowing where you want your traffic to come from!) There is a new tool that I think is going to be critical going forward, and I want to make sure you know what it is and how it can be useful to you.
Do you look at your site analytics? If so, you may have noticed that Google Analytics recently added a tab that shows a thing called ‘Trackback' activity. It's under your Traffic Sources, in the Social menu. Not everyone realizes this, but you can use your Trackbacks to build and empower your content marketing and overall online marketing strategies. How? Let's take a look.
What Is A Trackback (And Why Should You Care?)
No matter what your goal is (boost your sales, expand your email subscriber list, etc.) you need to have compelling content that brings people to your site. But aside from page views, blog comments, or comments on your social media posts, how can you tell that people are loving (and sharing) what you have to offer? Trackbacks are the answer.
A ‘trackback‘ shows you a link to where someone linked to your content. It could lead back to another site, another blog, or these days, it could show you a Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ user that shared your post with their followers. While it is flattering to know that your content is being shared, it is also incredibly useful to know where. Clearly, these other sites think your information is valuable, but what can you do with that information?
What Can Trackbacks Do For Your Online Marketing?
What good can it do to know who is linking to your site? There are a number of reasons!
Exposure to new audiences:
When someone shares your blog post with their network, your content is exposed to an almost entirely new audience. This can lead to more followers, more customers, or more subscribers.
If you see that another site has linked to you, that is a wide open invitation to interact with both the referring individual, as well as their followers. This can turn out to be a very valuable relationship-building tool.
Be seen as an authority in your industry:
If people are linking to you, they are reinforcing the idea that you know your stuff. This is not only important for your industry influence, but is also incredibly crucial for your search engine rankings. Google sees this type of natural linking as the best indicator of quality content, meaning your rankings go up.
How Can You Use The Power Of Trackbacks?
Now that we understand more about trackbacks, I am pretty confident you have two questions: how do I get more trackbacks, and what do I do with the trackbacks I already have?
Get More Trackbacks To Your Site
- When you post a blog or new piece of content, ask your social media fans to share it with their networks.
- Ensure you have social sharing buttons enabled on your blog, which makes it very easy for your readers to repost your content.
- Approach other blogs you read or respect, and ask them if you can write a guest post for them. Then link to your blogs (appropriately) within your guest post.
What Can I Do With My Existing Trackbacks?
- Review your Data Activity Hub (also under the Social tab in Google Analytics) to see where conversations are happening. Then jump in!
- Leave a comment on any referring blog posts, thanking them for linking to you. This is a great tool to form new contacts!
- Learn what type of your content is being shared most often, or generating the most conversation. Then write more along the same lines!
- Consider linking out to other blogs and sites in your own content.
- Link to those sites that already link to you, potentially driving a mutually beneficial partnership.
- Link to new sites that you'd like to build a relationship with. They may start to link to you in the future, or want a guest post from you in the future!
- Offer to guest blog on sites that regularly link to you, as they clearly find you to be an authority in their niche.
Have you ever looked at the trackback section of your Analytics? If so, have you taken any action or seen any results from reacting to that information? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!