What Traffic Produces The Most Value Per Visitor?
Both newbies and veterans of the blogging and online world have a simple measure of site success that they start with, web traffic. Generally, the more traffic you have, the more successful your site will be. Easy enough, and heck, you can even use one of those retro counters to show people that they’re visitor XXX to your site. But, as your site matures — and you start earning some serious ad revenue — you may find yourself wondering, what kind of web traffic is actually delivering me the most per visitor?
Now to be fair, this isn’t limited to people new to the web, this same love of raw numbers pervades the entire marketing world too, where influencer marketing companies pay more if you have more Twitter followers, more friends on Instagram, more fans on Facebook and, of course, lots of raw traffic to your website. Even knowing that you can buy fans, friends and followers!
To learn about how to identify your highest earning ad clickers and attract more of them, check out this article instead…
Let’s set the record straight: website traffic is all about quality, not quantity. So, how do you identify quality — and just how relative is that term, anyway?
Quality traffic beats a high quantity every time
To understand why quality web traffic will help you understand value per visitors better, consider a Realtor. With signs all over town on properties for sale, their phone might ring 10-20 times a day or more. But it’s only the buyers and sellers who generate revenue, so if you were that Realtor and wanted to increase revenue, would you rather get twice as many phone calls or figure out how to convert more callers into buyers or sellers?
The technical term for the latter is “conversion rate” and it’s really the key to success online. Figure out who your buyers/clickers are and make sure that you’re appealing to them, selling to them, and are putting your best foot forward to convince them to spend more time on your site or purchase your products or services. We call this value per visitor.
If you like numbers and are a “quant”, consider this: if you have a site where 1 out of every 100 visitors buys something or clicks on an ad, do you think it’s going to be cheaper, easier and faster to double visitors to the site or to change either the percentage of people who click or buy on your site?
Try to have a clear focus
Many sites try to do everything simultaneously, so they’ll be paying for a campaign to drive traffic while they’re also working on their site design to improve the conversion rate (though to be candid, you’d be shocked at how many sites have low conversion rates and do nothing to try and improve it, assuming that more traffic -> more sales/clicks is their only option)
The foundation of any good website is content, whether an e-commerce site or an informational site like my own AskDaveTaylor.com, and so it’s always a good idea to expend effort towards producing the best, most interesting and most engaging content you can. A mantra I teach students when I teach online marketing is to write about what your visitors care about, not what you want to talk about.
The huge benefit of producing really good content is that your readers become fans and they’ll share and disseminate your content without you having to do anything further. If you’re lucky, you could go viral, but even without that if you make money off of 1 out of every 100 visitors, having your fans help drive traffic means that they’re helping make you money too. Darn nice of them!
Measure your visitors to determine their value
We say this again and again, but it’s critical that you have deep analytics. Whether you prefer Google Analytics, the solution that’s included with your hosting package, or the analytics of your online shopping cart and store management program, know your numbers.
This will give you insight into who visits your site and allow you to fine tune what you deliver to their needs. For example, more and more sites are finding that mobile users are now their primary traffic source, yet still optimize elements of their site for desktop (why)?
We’ve talked about the importance of offering up language options for overseas customers to Easily Grow Web Traffic Globally, but here’s where we highlight that you need to ask whether those visitors from overseas actually turn into valuable visitors or not.
If they do, it’s time to prioritize their needs to improve raw traffic and site earnings, but if none of them actually click your ads or buy your services or products, well, we’ve already agreed that raw traffic numbers – particularly from people who won’t ever insert value – is pointless…
Target Your Highest Value Per Visit Users
Targeting your traffic is another reason that smart marketers are turning more and more to social media. Sites like Facebook and Twitter let your potential site visitors self-identify by interests and the targeting opportunities for advertising are staggering in their detail and possibilities. Measure your site traffic, conversions, and ad clicks a before, during and after a campaign to ensure it’s truly valuable.
Using ad campaigns to drive money strictly through ads is typically not a highly recommended strategy, but boasting posts and exposing your best content to more viewers can increase the chances of it going viral and help you bring new (potentially valuable) users to the site for the first time.
Like everything else technological, the Internet isn’t standing still and many sites are seeing the rise of mobile traffic, typically to the exclusion of desktop traffic. If you and your designer are still working on desktop computers, you’re not experiencing your site as your customers will, and that’s a problem.
To really maximize your value per visitor, you must study your analytics and make sure that your most valuable demographic groups are being served well, whether its changes to your site design or alterations to your content and ad combinations. The only way you’ll ever know is through testing.
Dave Taylor has been involved with the Internet since it was known as the ARPAnet and has decades of experience as an independent online publisher. Dave owns multiple online businesses and websites. You can check out his site AskDaveTaylor.com or find him on social media as @DaveTaylor to learn more about how he sees emerging technology.