Recently, one of our users at Telegeography tracked close to 50,000 visitors (map sessions) in less than 3 weeks. We decided to do a bit of research and find out how they received so much traffic in such a short period of time.
As it turns out, the map had very interesting content that was relevant to a story that was making headlines in the news.
They had built a web map that displayed all of the internet cables around the world with Google Maps API. It’s a really neat map, and you can check it out here:
Like savvy marketers, they used the skyscrapper technique to drive more web traffic to their map, The team at Telegeography discovered a story that their web map could add value to, and contacted the press.
The story was regarding Russian Spy Boats hovering around one of the major arteries of the undersea internet cables between the US and South America. It made headlines in major publications.
The skyscrapper technique is well known in the blogging world. This approach involves finding other content or subjects being published in your industry and publishing better, more interesting content on top of of it. It's a great way to get map ideas that drive traffic.
Rehashing the subject matter and by adding new data, new information, or simply changing the way the content is displayed (i.e. infographs, interactive charts or in this case a web map).
Say a competitor publishes a blog post that addresses your viewers pain points. Why not take that content and idea and build an engaging map. This is a technique used by marketers to increase conversions and web traffic. The key is to add more value with data or a better visual representation of the information and not just steal the content.
In this case, the submarines map does exactly that. It’s a great complimentary piece of interactive content in map form. And that was key to their success in getting 50k map loads in less than a month.
Get Press. The truth is, the press piggy backs off of each other and are always looking for fresh content. Major publications copy each others stories every single day and simply add their own spin to it. Fortunately, web maps are a great way to compliment written content and tell a better story in an interactive way. Similar to infographics, blogs and publications love using maps to engage their readers.
Write a press release for your web map. Take your map, and write an interesting press release about it. And tell an interesting story or provide a spin on a story.Here’s a guide to writing a press release . Get in touch with 3-8 publications. Find journalists that cover similar stories and send them an email asking if they’d run your story.
Track and get metrics
There’s no silver bullet when it comes to analytics. But by working backwards from you goal and identifying what metric you’d like to track as a sign of success, you’ll be able to piece together analytics to see the whole story.
Gooogle Analytics - analytics.google.com: Google Analytics provides some interesting analytics on referral urls, general traffic to your web map, and what country or city your users are coming from. It's also great for tracking conversion goals and is, of course, the industry standard.
Maptiks - analytics.maptiks.com - For more granular and detailed analytics that tracks users actual interaction with a map, Maptiks is a good solution. Full disclosure, this is our product. It tracks layer loads, pans, zooms and clicks users make on a web map. It also includes the bounce rate of users who aren’t interacting with the map at all. This is great to help optimize your web map and get insights as to where and how users are interacting with the map itself.
Mixpanel - mixpanel.com - Mixpanel is great for mobile apps or web apps and does a great job at click based analytics. It also does a really good job at segmenting cohorts.