Why traffic is not a reliable measure of success of your digital marketing strategy

What do you dream to achieve when you want to execute a successful digital marketing strategy?

Online sales and revenue are direct contributors to increasing the bottom line of your business through digital marketing. So, you obviously add them to your list of goals.

But what about traffic? Where should the traffic stats figure in your list of goals?

Traffic is merely a vanity metric which is not a reliable indicator for the success of a digital marketing strategy.

It is much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than by doubling your traffic - Jeffrey Eisenberg. Click To Tweet

Ignoring the revenue-generating potential of your content marketing strategy is one of the contributing factors for early failures in digital marketing and the reason why 90 percent of newbies fail in digital marketing.

Why high traffic does not equate with digital marketing success?

Website traffic is not a simple stat. There are layers to understanding it and when we examine what those layers are, we understand why traffic is the least important metric for digital marketing success. 

High traffic does not really indicate what users are interested in

It just means that users found the source of your website’s link appealing enough to click on it. Google simply registers a spike in traffic based on the number of visits. The users may read the content fully, or switch to another tab, or close the website altogether. In this last case, it will result in a low time-on-site and a high bounce rate in Google Analytics. 

If the time on site is high, it means users are liking something on your site. But you don’t know what exactly that is because a single traffic stat does not tell you anything that you can actually use to optimize your site. High traffic is a one-dimensional stat.

You can use heatmap and website activity analysis tools to know to find actionable insights that actually mean something for your business.

High traffic does not indicate clickstream data

Clickstream data is the data about the series of clicks after the user’s first visit on the website. This data is very important as it can show you the patterns in user visits. By analyzing these patterns, webmasters can figure out what pages users most interested in.

We can use it to optimize other pages where we actually want to direct the users to. We can also direct the users from these high traffic pages to high business-value pages such as landing pages and the pricing page.

It can also be used to show us when our conversion optimization practices are working. However, a single traffic stat does not tell us any of these things, which means we have to dig further into Google Analytics to find out clickstream data and analyze user visit patterns.

High traffic numbers could be inflated by bot/spam traffic 

Countless malicious bots crawl various websites all over the internet. All of those visits are counted too.

Modern spammers can fake any type of GA (Google Analytics) hit — fake organic or referral hits, fake ad clicks, or even fake direct traffic, 

Unfortunately, GA is not capable of recognizing any of these just yet. This leads to fake traffic! 

Therefore, it’s important to interpret the traffic with a grain of salt. If you see a really high stat, assume that a large portion of it is real. But there is also a small possibility that some of it may include ‘false positives’. Average the stats out by analyzing them over a period of time.

Google Analytics cannot track certain users leading to inadequate traffic stats

Remember that javascript code you copied to your website when you set up GA for the first time? Well, the truth is some browsers may still block that (and all other) Javascript on your website. 

Not just that, GA will also fail when the browser has blocked cookies on the user’s computer. Even if cookies are enabled, recent privacy laws such as GDPR (for EU users) force you to let the user disable them. Most users will ignore the message but if they do choose to disable, all such sessions cannot be tracked accurately in GA.

All of this renders GA’s script pretty much powerless when the browser refuses permission to use these features. 

How to use high traffic to increase your revenue?

Improving your revenue with high traffic is all about fixing the mistakes that lead to low conversion. Click To Tweet The visitors on your website need to pass through the different stages of your sales pipeline and ultimately convert to contribute to your business revenue. Only then can the ROI of your marketing efforts be computed. 

As you create your smart marketing funnel, these micro-steps will help you capitalize on optimization efforts and fuel the conversion rate growth.

Track and optimize your website for micro conversions

Conversions can be of two types: macro conversions and micro conversions. 

While payment-oriented macro conversions are important, they cannot be a single measure of success. 

Micro conversions are actions that indicate users’ interest before they make a purchase. For example, on an eCommerce website, checking out the reviews of a product can be a great example that the user is moving closer to purchasing that product.

Track such smaller events in Google Analytics and get an idea of how your visitors actually buy something in your niche. Use them to direct users toward macro conversions.

The more macro conversions, the more sales events, and the higher the revenue. This builds you up for a higher bottom line for your business.

Focus on link building for your highly influential content blogs

While the industry has varied opinions on link building, the truth remains that high-quality backlinks from high authority sites are definitely a very powerful ranking signal for Google.

Building landing pages centered around buy-intent bottom of the funnel keywords (BOFU) and then formulating a link building strategy to get those conversion optimized pages to rank is a rewarding plan of action for your business. 

When pitching to high authority publications, you need to search for medium difficulty MOFU (middle of the funnel) keywords having significant search volume and create content that links back to the conversion optimized landing pages and blogs. 

This link building approach involving writing content for high authority publications has two fold benefits. It brings in relevant referral traffic while building the authority of your website as well. 

Targeting the MOFU keywords means the content pieces you write for them are also targeted and directly result in conversions through content. The traffic you get from them can also be nurtured and targeted towards conversions. 

Final Words

Traffic is important, but should not be treated as the most important metric. Of course, it cannot be ignored. Without traffic, you won’t bring many conversions and without conversions, there would be no online sales and no online revenue. 

But if you do have good traffic, you must not see that as your only success. There is no place for complacency in digital marketing.

You must shift your priorities to optimizing your website design and content for conversion. The focus of your digital marketing strategy should be getting more conversions and more sales. 

After all, that’s why you created the website in the first place. If it fails to affect your business’ bottom line, the traffic is not very useful.

Interested in taking your business to the next level? Reach out to us through the form below and let’s help transform your business into a sales machine!