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Traffic: Quality or Quantity?

Traffic: Quality or Quantity?

September 27, 2006
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I’ve been thinking about website traffic a lot lately and considering both the quality and quantity of it and have come to the conclusion that without a massive acquisition budget (the ability to either pay for high-quality, highly targeted traffic or to provide for the manpower to develop it organically) that you are likely to have primarily either one or the other, meaning that broadly, the more traffic you have, the less it’s worth.

While I’m really speaking in generalities here, the overall trend points in this direction.

For example, let’s look at TGPs/MGPs: owners of moderate to high volume gallery post sites love to flaunt their traffic figures but usually aren’t so proud about their conversion ratios. The reason for this is due to the quality, not the quantity, of the traffic.

Gallery post sites typically receive the bulk of their traffic via blind, forced trades with other gallery post sites (the surfer clicks a thumbnail or other link but instead of seeing the gallery he hoped to, is now at a different gallery post site). Automated trade scripts typically manage the process, ensuring equitable volumes of traffic between sites.

“Shifting gears” on a surfer this way is hardly the way to earn trust or induce sales, but it does inflate the site’s traffic numbers – numbers that form the basis for ad sales, premium partner account placement and the sale of this traffic, directly or via brokers.

Purchasing this traffic might boost your page views, but it’s not necessarily the key to sales; and the more egregious the method of snaring that surfer – and number of times that he’s been jerked around since – all directly impacts this process. For example, you won’t know if the click you paid for started as a guy trying to hit a gallery for the fifth time, but for the fifth time was traded to another site, then another, and then finally sold to you. Think he’ll be eager to buy, regardless of your offer?

Don’t get me wrong; there’s a right way to trade traffic and quality traffic available for sale, but these are usually the exceptions rather than the rule.

This may not have been the most helpful post, but that’s partially because I’m simply thinking out loud here and not quite ready to tell you WHY I’ve been thinking about all of this, nor to provide some very specific examples of how “less is more” – but that’s coming shortly. In the meantime, I’d like to encourage you all to think about how you can improve the quality of your traffic – not necessarily the quantity of it – the big difference between the two being one leads to more sales; the other to more expenses.

Stay tuned for more…


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