Whether you are already generating an income from one or more websites, or whether you are planning on doing so in the nearby future, it is imperative that you fully understand the relationship between website traffic and revenue. In this short article, we are going to take a look at this from an SEO prospective.
On one hand we all want our websites to generate as much revenue as possible, but of course we also need to acknowledge and accept the fact that without web traffic, there simply won’t be any revenue. Does this mean our top priority should be to drive massive amounts of traffic to our sites, and just leave future revenue potential in the hands of fate? Absolutely not!
As we all know, revenue is what we are chasing, so of course we can’t afford to neglect that sphere of our online venture, but in my opinion, many people could benefit financially simply by adopting better SEO practices. As a general rule, I rate traffic higher than I rate revenue, and I can say that this approach works well for me. Okay, let’s take a closer look at traffic vs. revenue.
Visitor Numbers and Site Revenue
A very common misconception is the widespread belief that the number of sales you make on your site is determined by the number of visitors you get. If this were true, a lot of sites which currently are very successful would be earning very little revenue. Likewise, many stagnant sites would be making a killing. I can assure you, there are many websites out there which get tons of traffic, but they generate very little revenue.
While I know some people will disagree, I can tell you from experience that it is actually relatively easy to drive massive traffic to your site. Driving tons of “QUALITY” traffic to your site is another matter entirely. When I say “quality” traffic I say targeted traffic. In other words, visitors who are actively searching for that which you have to offer on your site. These are the sort of visitors you want to attract and keep because they are the most likely to end up buying from you.
SEO and Web Traffic
There are of course many ways you can go about generating an impressive amount of traffic, but I am not going to go try and discuss all of them here. What I am going to say though, is that a robust SEO strategy is essential for the success of virtually any online business.
A recent study found that “organic search” drives roughly 51% of traffic. If you want a slice of that pie, you need to ensure that your site ranks favorably with the major search engines. Websites which haven’t been properly optimized are not easily going to show up in search results, which in turn means fewer visitors, and fewer visitors equates to less revenue. So, if we look at traffic vs. revenue from a SEO prospective, we can see that visitors are more important than revenue.
If you have a solid SEO strategy in place, you WILL get visitors, and they will be QUALITY visitors. Providing your website has been designed and set up correctly, and providing your service or product is priced reasonably, revenue will inevitably follow.
More Traffic or Better Conversion Rate?
As I have said earlier, more traffic doesn’t necessarily equate to more conversions, unless the extra traffic is genuinely quality traffic. Let’s take a look at an example where your website is a really good steakhouse located about 500 meters from a busy highway; your web traffic is the cars arriving at your restaurant, and your SEO will be signs and billboards advertizing your restaurant to passing motorists.
If you erect a large billboard displaying the words “Naked Pole Dancers”, you will almost certainly get loads of cars arriving at your restaurant. However, how do you think all those people are going to feel? It won’t matter if you have the best steaks in town. The fact remains that you deceived them, so not only are they going to leave, but they will probably never be willing to visit your restaurant again.
Since all your visitors are leaving immediately, you change the billboard to read “Juiciest Steaks in Town”. Suddenly you are getting very little traffic, but those cars that do arrive, are there because they want to try your steaks, which in turn means your revenue increases. Again, from a SEO prospective, targeted traffic is probably the most important aspect of your online business.
Quality Traffic but Poor Conversion Rate
If you are 100% sure that you are getting high quality traffic and still not seeing conversions, then you need to determine where the problem is. It could be the design of your landing page; it could be your sales copy, or etc. This is actually quite a common problem, and in fact, it is also the reason why seasoned internet markets recommend getting this aspect of your site perfected before you focus too much on traffic generation.
Now, please don’t think that I am disputing this advice, but my argument is that it is far easier to perfect your conversion rate if you are already getting targeted traffic. As with many things, it is all about finding the right balance.