Traffic: Quality vs. Quantity

July 20, 2018 Published by ontarget

When it comes to website traffic, rare, high-quality content can be more useful than the constant posting of lower-quality articles.

In a Shopify case study, two shop owners focused on driving interested traffic instead of driving clicks. They realized that 100 valuable clicks are better than 1,000 empty ones.

What does quality traffic mean? How do you know you’re getting it?

It depends on your company’s goals, but we will discuss ways to check your traffic’s quality.

Bounce rate

Percentage of people who come to site and 1. Exited right away or 2. Did not go to a different page within the site

The Goal: high traffic, low bounce rate

High traffic AND high bounce rate means visitors are less interested in the landing pages

Trace the source of high bounce rates – which page do visitors drop off at most?

Attract a relevant audience by:

  • Editing keywords
  • Change ads’ landing pages
    • Discover which landing page has the highest bounce rate

A change in bounce rate isn’t significant or something to worry about until it’s more than 10%, like the bounce rate pictured below. With this client, we have discussed the possible reasons for this high bounce rate and potential changes we can make to get it lower. We are working on simplifying the home page and using more visual cues instead of giants blocks of copy.

bounce rate website traffic

Average visit duration

Obviously, you want site visit duration to increase year after year.

The simpler the landing page, the more likely the visitor is to read it all.

Ask yourself: Are people searching for something and not finding it? Is that why they leave so quickly?

Visit duration is all about finding a happy medium. You want the visitors staying long enough so you know they’re finding what they need but not too long to say they can’t find what they’re looking for.

There are plenty of occasions where a shorter visit duration can be a success. For example, if you’re selling a product online and the visitor goes directly to the product they were looking for and checks out immediately, their visit duration will be shorter than someone who is just browsing. E-commerce is the one department where a short visit can actually be good.

visit duration website traffic

Pages Per Visit

When reading this metric, be conscious of the process your visitors must go through to give you a conversion. On an e-commerce site, visitors have to find all the products they want (one page/product) and go through the checkout process (enter credit card info, shipping address, etc).

For a primarily informative site, you will probably see a lower number of pages per visit, which is also fine.

What does a declining page view number mean?

  • You mastered the checkout process. Before visitors had to complete multiple pages in the checkout process but now it’s simplified to one page only.
  • You simplified the site and made it easier for visitors to find what they need, meaning they have to visit fewer pages.
  • They don’t care what you have to say. You may be getting a lot of traffic but they’re not staying where you send them.

What could cause a decrease in pages/visit?

Improving your site’s navigation so visitors have to look at fewer pages to find what they need

Adding a phone number button to the home page so they just click the phone number and can have all their questions answered via phone

This example is for a travel industry website so, increased page visits are good. That means people are investigating their trip options even more. The more engaging your content is, the more visitors will want to explore.

pages per visit website traffic

Percent New Visits

In order to see an increase in % new visits, you’ll have to dedicate a budget to improving website traffic.

If you’re already advertising, you might want to consider adjusting your designated audience or the visual/body copy for your ads.

To figure out which areas need to be adjusted, you can identify the campaign areas where you see the best-performing metrics year-on-year. Once you identify those, put more energy into improving those targeting strategies.

unique visitors website traffic

Phrases to Know

Pillar traffic

Consistently write quality content and watch your traffic rise, or at least maintain a steady flow, day after day and year after year. You may not see results right away but if you stick it, you’ll see results in the long run.

Spike and viral

High-volume of visitors over the course of a day. Usually, because an article got shared by someone with a large following on social media. Don’t get too used to it, though, because traffic will return to normal within a day.

Paid traffic

Paying a company or person to make sure your site gets x amount of hits per day. This is a good way to increase traffic, obviously but you never know if the visitors are actually interested in your product/service or if your investment will pay off.

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)

A feature that lets you customize your search ads campaign for people who have previously visited your site, and tailor your bids and ads to these visitors when they’re searching on Google and search partner sites. Google created a tutorial on how to construct these lists for your website.

Key takeaways

  1. The traffic you get will reflect the quality of your content. If you have high-quality content, you’ll get high-quality traffic that will keep coming back for more.
  2. Spike traffic is okay. Of the 50,000 views you get on a spike traffic day, there is no doubt that at least 100 of those will return in the days to come.
  3. Get people talking. The most valuable way to gain valuable traffic is to encourage similar sites to link their visitors to your site.

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