Web metrics: Website traffic – The More The Better?

With this post and some other posts about web usability and web metrics I take a different approach. Instead of going straight to the point and talking about web metrics and web usability, I chose a lengthier but more unexpected route — telling story for a change. Hopefully, you find it useful and interesting to read.

Sorry to hear that your website has tons of traffic!

Web usability | High traffic - not always a good thing

The story

A web designer guaranteed his client “I’ll optimize your website so that in the next couple of months you’ll get tons of traffic to your online store!” A couple of months later, the client came back to see her designer and requested “Could you… somehow de-optimize the site so that it gets less traffic?” “Huh????”

The twist

This is a… fictitious story, but it does have some truth in terms of web traffic. High website traffic is usually a good sign; it shows that your web content and coding have been effectively optimized for search engines to some degree. High traffic is good but not sufficient; what you really need is a lot of QUALIFIED traffic. The type of web traffic that well represents your target audience and will likely to buy your products/services from your website.

Just imagine instead of an online store, you own a brick-and-mortar store. You don’t just want to see your store packed with PEOPLE; you want it packed with CUSTOMERS.

More people/traffic visiting your store/your website means that more of your resources [time and labor in case of brick-and-mortar store, or bandwidth and server response time in case of online store] are being used. If you can’t get any income from those traffic for a long time, it’s just the matter of time that your business will be over.

Expansion: What can we do to qualify our traffic?

Lots of things can be done to eliminate unqualified traffic and to keep and drive only qualified traffic to your website. Some are simpler than the others, but the rule of thumb is to say loud and clear what your website is about on your home page, and on every single page. Website is not like a movie where you can just post a sticker PG, PG13, or NC17 on the website and expect those who come and stay on your site are your qualified traffic. Without that kind of stickers, what you can do is to concentrate on designing your site, writing and optimizing your content for your target audience.

  • Imagery, colors, font types: Images, colors, and font types create the look and feel of the website. With proper choice of images, colors and font types, a website of a childcare center will look completely different from a website of a pediatrician although both serve the same clientele.

  • Don’t talk about things that you are not or don’t have, and beware of potential confusion. Websites for kids such as games or cartoons… should attract both parents and kids, while websites for pediatricians or childcare centers may be better off attracting parents only. Where confusion may occur, calibrate your text content and optimize for your target viewers/clients

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