SEO AND THE QUALITY OF WEB TRAFFIC
April 20, 2006
These days people are really interested in web traffic – big web traffic. But one thing that many web designers don’t consider, is the quality of traffic.
NOTE: SEO is the acronym for: ‘search engine optimization’. This is the process of making your web pages more search engine ‘friendly’ by tweaking code and content.
NOT ALL WEB TRAFFIC IS CREATED EQUAL
People love counting page-views and unique visits but from my perspective, if the traffic sucks, who cares if you get 100 000 visits a day!
HOW TO DETERMINE THE QUALITY OF WEB TRAFFIC
- How long people stay your website
- Your conversion rate – if you sell stuff.
- How many bookmark/’add-to-favorite’ your website.
- How many people visit your website by directly typing in your web address.
You know your traffic (probably*) sucks if are people leave right away, don’t buy anything, never bookmark your site etc ..
You can determine what the numbers are for the above points, with a good stats program.
* People could also be leaving because your website sucks – bad usability etc.
THE MORE SPECIFIC THE SEARCH TERM/PRASE – THE BETTER
Let’s say you sell Irish Setters and you have good rating for the key word: ‘dogs’. And since lots of people search using the ‘dogs’ key word, you get lots of ‘dog’ traffic.
I called it ‘dog’ traffic because what you find, is that the vast majority of your audience is NOT looking for Irish Setters, most are looking for information about (all the) other types of dogs in the world …. and that’s if your lucky!
Who knows, maybe they are looking for information on bad stocks (a la stock market,) or maybe on not so attractive women … it’s hard to say with such a loose/broad search term.
OK, LET’S GET BETTER TRAFFIC
With this understanding, you now decide to target ‘Irish Setters’, and with work and luck, you get good position in the search engines. But now, you’ve lost your top ‘dog’ position … dog dangit!
But is it really bad news? Well no, because you now find yourself getting people who are actually interested in what you are offering (Irish Setters) and as such, sales go up AND you get more return traffic.
WHY GOOGLE TRAFFIC IS BETTER FOR BUSINESS
To the point: people who reach you from other websites are typically ‘browsers’. These people are not ready to ‘pull the trigger’ on anything specific, they are simply snooping about not ready to commit … that’s why search engine traffic CAN BE much better.
HOW WEBSITE CAN DELIVER GREAT TRAFFIC
That said, some websites can deliver great traffic, if they are designed to filter/clean up traffic properly.
For example: if my website has a link to your Irish Setter selling website, and the link text reads:
‘Buy superb Irish Setters’
Chances are that people who click through from my website to yours, will be more likely to want to buy an Irish Setter from you. If on the other hand, my link text read: ‘free Irish Setter Information’, the quality of the traffic will decrease – you’ll be getting a bunch of free-loaders!
Don’t waste your time chasing sucky traffic … go for the ‘killer’ traffic.
Stefan Mischook (The Web Design Heretic)