September 4, 2014
Audience Quality v. Site Traffic Numbers: Which Matters More?
As you may know all too well, not all website traffic is created equal. For example, if your site featured the latest meme front and center on your business’s home page, it might generate quite a bit of traffic. But unless your business model is based specifically around Internet memes, generating a bunch of meme-related traffic is pretty much useless for your bottom line. Balancing site traffic quantity with quality is not easy. Here’s how your business can get started on improving site traffic quality and quantity:
Are you attracting qualified leads or meaningless chatter? “Thousands of leads that generate little to no revenue are not the same as 100 leads that are worth $1 million each,” writes Doug Miller in an AdAge article about using smart key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate lead quality. And while KPIs like the number of unique visitors do matter, Miller reminds us that obsessing over these numbers to the exclusion of all else can be short sighted.
Increasing Targeted Traffic
Increasing web traffic is not the same as increasing qualified marketing leads. Let’s say your business sells hiking boots and you run a major PPC campaign for several weeks advertising a “shoe sale”. Your PPC ads may be very successful in driving traffic to your website, but a lot of these visitors could actually be searching for summer sandals, winter dress boots, children’s shoes – none of which they will find on your site. In this case, it’s important to not be led astray by simply increasing traffic. You would be better off running a PPC campaign with specific keyword phrases like “men’s hiking boot sale”. You may have less site traffic, but your conversion rates are likely to be higher.
Connecting with your target audience is the root of increasing target traffic and qualified prospects. Focusing on the quality of the content and messaging, whether is it is ad copy, blog posts or social media updates, is important if your customers are going to engage with your brand.
Starting small is part of the process. A brand frightened over a lack of traffic may scramble to appeal to the masses, but by casting too large of a net, may lose their ROI. Instead, in order to connect with qualified prospects, your website needs to deliver quality content and targeted messaging to a targeted audience. This starts with identifying channels for engaging your targets and focusing your efforts on those channels.
For example, if you know that your target customer prefers to read blog posts about industry news rather than long, descriptive whitepapers, publish one or two blog posts each week and keep the content easy-to-read by using bullet points and subheads. Or, if your target customer spends a lot of time checking social media, focus your energy on campaigns that involve engaging tweets and Facebook posts that prompts the reader to share your posts with others via email and social media.