When it comes to website traffic, it seems like everyone is focused on the numbers. People will talk endlessly about the number of unique visitors they attract each month, but there's one thing you'll only hear a select few people discuss: quality of website traffic. But despite the fact that quality doesn't get as much attention as quantity, the reality is that the former is exponentially more valuable than the latter.
The website traffic fallacy
Traffic volume matters, but it's been overemphasized for years. After all, what does website traffic tell you? It says that you either have an excellent SEO strategy in place, or you're proficient at generating traffic from a specific source. Both are good things, but don't tell you anything about the quality of the traffic coming in and how much return you're generating from each visitor.
In order to understand why a focus on traffic volume over traffic quality is absurd, let's analyze the analytics from two fictional websites:
- Website A: Has 2,000 daily visitors with a bounce rate of 31 percent.
- Website B: Has 1,500 daily visitors with a bounce rate of 6 percent.
Which website is actually performing better based on these two isolated metrics? Well, at first glance you may assume that having 500 additional visitors per day (which comes out to roughly 15,000 more unique visitors per month) is ideal. However, is it really more valuable if your bounce rate is hovering at 31 percent? When you consider that Website B's bounce rate is just 6 percent, the answer is no.
The moral of the story is simple: lots of traffic with a high bounce rate is essentially useless, whereas smaller traffic numbers with high conversion rates are incredibly powerful.
5 tips for enhancing the quality of traffic
Let's be open about one thing: it's neither easy nor effortless to enhance the quality of your website traffic. It takes time, money, and energy to do so. However, the investment you put into increasing traffic quality will be returned multiple times over in the future.
Let's check out a few tips to help you get started:
1. Study the numbers
If you want to know what it is that separates your high-returning traffic from your low-returning traffic, then you must improve your analytics and begin studying the numbers.
"If you understand what drives your visitors to stay on your site, you can improve the 'quality' of your website traffic," explains datapine, a leader in self-service analytics. "The goal is to decrease your bounce rate steadily over time while increasing average session duration and pages per session."
How do you know what to look for? Well, you can begin by developing a list of key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that you believe constitute successful interactions. As datapine notes, these typically involve things like bounce rates, goal conversion rates, landing page conversion rates, click through rates, customer lifetime values and more.
The more specific you can get with your KPIs and metrics, the better chance you have of accurately measuring which visitors are valuable. From there, you can identify ways to replicate success and enhance the overall quality of your website traffic.
2. Streamline website navigation
Website navigation is very important. Unless you're only driving visitors to landing pages, you'll need to facilitate smooth transitions from one area of your site to the others. After all, a visitor who enters on the homepage needs to be taken to a conversion page, i.e. a product page, contact page or dedicated sales page.
"A simple rule to remember when designing your webpage is to have every page of your website accessible within two or three clicks," Kinecta, a leader in digital marketing, points out. "Because many eCommerce shoppers know exactly what they want, they rarely will want to browse through many listings of products. Therefore remember to make it easy enough for them to access the product quickly and easily."
Some will argue with technicalities behind the three-click rule, stating that it's really one click, two clicks, or five clicks. Don't get caught up in these pointless arguments. The point is that visitors should be able to find what they're looking for with minimal effort.
3. Improve quality and diversity of content
Diversity of content is a big thing in today's marketplace. While a simple, onsite blog was adequate in the past, you now need a multifaceted approach that takes into account a number of mediums.
While you'll ultimately figure out which types of content work best for your website, some of the most popular formats include video, case studies, white papers, webinars, infographics, listicles, how-to articles, interviews, podcasts and more. As you diversify your content strategy, you'll inevitably reach more people. And assuming your message is clear, you'll funnel higher quality traffic to your website.
4. Simplify design
Your website's design is critically important. If there's too much clutter, you risk pushing visitors away. If pages aren't visually pleasing, they'll also bounce. The key is to design a simple website that's attractive and engaging.
There are plenty of different techniques and strategies for simplifying web design. You'll have to make important decisions based on your branding, customer preferences, and other key factors. However, there's one thing you cannot forget to do, and that's test things.
"The best way to figure out if some aspect of your web design is working is to test it," marketer Ryan Joneson explains. "A/B testing allows you to test everything from different kinds of content to small color tweaks. You'll be able to get a better understanding of your visitors' behavior and determine which tactics help boost conversions."
You should be running optimized A/B split tests on virtually every component of your website. While it can seem like overkill to constantly test things, the insights you'll glean from these studies will ultimately allow you to better understand your customers. If you want to enhance the quality of your website traffic, this isn't something that can be ignored.
5. Enhance your social strategy
While you can control your website and mold it into anything you wish, you can't connect with visitors who you have nothing to offer. In other words, you need to start by ensuring you're driving the right traffic to your site. If you're a B2B company selling machinery, a B2C customer looking for home appliances will do you no good. It all starts with the procurement of quality traffic.
Make sure your social media strategy is designed in such a way that you're targeting the right customers and educating them in regards to what your company does and the products and services you offer. When people are fully educated before visiting your website, they're much more likely to convert.
Focus on quality over quantity
It's easy to fall for the website traffic fallacy that says more traffic is always better traffic, when the simple truth of the matter is that quality is always more valuable than quantity. The good news is that you can have the best of both worlds. If you're already generating a high volume of traffic, all you have to do is focus on enhancing the quality of the interactions between your website and its visitors.