Friday, August 26, 2016

Traffic: Quantity vs Quality



I've been giving a lot of thought lately to the question of which is more important, quantity of traffic or quality of traffic when it comes to Internet marketing. Let's face it, content may be King but traffic is the Queen and we all know she wears the royal pants anyway, right? So let's dive into this topic and see where we end up, shall we?

Quantity of Traffic

There are many places you can get traffic online. Some are free, most are not. You'll see advertising selling anywhere from a few hundred visitors per day to hundreds of thousands of visitors per month. But is this type of traffic worth the cost? How does this play out in your ROI calculations? Let's look at one example to see what I'm talking about.

A traffic package I recently purchased cost $22 for 7k hits to my website. At the time of this writing, almost 3k hits have been delivered to the URL of my choice. So, how is that working out for me? I've had three sign-ups for the program I was promoting. Well, that's a 0.10% conversion rate. You'll see in a minute why that's pretty abysmal and how to tell which part of the funnel is "broken."



Quality of Traffic

Now what do I mean by quality of traffic, you might ask. Well, quality traffic would be well targeted traffic that is drilled down specifically enough to your target niche that when they click on your ad's link they are genuinely interested in your offer, kind of like website SEO. So much so, in fact, that they will present with a much higher conversion rate on your gateway, splash page, or squeeze page. How do I know? Here's a great example from a campaign I recently ran on Bing Ads.

For starters, my total cost all-in was $54.83 for the entire run of two months. During that time, my ads (I was testing and tweaking too, to be fair) were seen 35,928 times (impressions). Out of all those eyeballs, 364 clicked through to my gateway page. That comes out to a 1.01% click-thru rate. Not the best, but it was an aggregate of all the ads. My best performing ad saw a CTR of 1.10%. Now, let's take this a step further. Out of those 364 who clicked on my ad, 34 became members of the program I was promoting. This means that the gateway page was converting at a whopping CTR of 9.34%!!! So, for me, that's an ROI or perhaps a cost of $1.61 per new affiliate. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. Now THIS represents quality traffic.



How to Evaluate Your Traffic Source

So how can you evaluate your traffic source? Well, first you have to take control of some of the variables. For example, the gateway page I used in both of the traffic source trials I mentioned above was the same page. Therefore, I eliminated the gateway page as being a problem. With one traffic source it was barely converting at all, indicating that most likely the traffic wasn't very targeted or maybe random, at best. In the other example the page was converting almost 1000% better, indicating much better traffic.

There are other variables to consider, especially if you are running ads in different spots like Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, etc.. For example, how targeted is your follower base? Is it random, or is it people who share a common interest in what you are promoting? I've recently started a new Twitter account just so I can focus on a new, more targeted, demographic. Is it working? I don't know yet. If it does, I'll definitely share it with you! My experience thus far with Twitter is that the traffic isn't converting well, so I suspect my personal account isn't very targeted.

Another thing to think about is the advertisement itself. Is there a strong call to action? Does your ad use words that bring attention to your offer? Do you create a sense of urgency? Don't be afraid to try different ads and even tweak the wording on ads until you get one that starts clicking for you. There are professional copy writers out there who will write ads for you but most programs that you're promoting will provide sample ads for you to get started with. Use them and run with it. You never know, one of them might be the best ad you'll ever try. That's the case with one program I'm promoting!



Conclusion

What's the bottom line, right? Sorry I had to drag you through all those examples, but I think it's important to help you see that it really is the quality of the traffic that matters most. At this rate, my 7k visits will likely only generate 9 or 10 new affiliates for an average cost of around $2.20. I'm running my Bing Ads again and expect to get the same rate as before, about $1.64 each. The one requires thousands of loosely targeted (maybe) visitors, while the other just requires a few hundred of the right visitors (more on Bing Ads and PPC targeting in another blog post).

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