When It Comes To Marketing Your Business Online, Not All Website Traffic Is Created Equal

traffic vs trafficWhen I was a kid I liked the old Spy vs. Spy comics and cartoons.  It always featured two spies, who are completely identical except for the fact that one is dressed in white and the other black. The pair was constantly warring with each other, using a variety of booby-traps to inflict harm to each other.  I thought of this old comic strip the other day when I was helping a client analyze two opposing online traffic sources.

There were member’s of his team who thought one form of traffic should win while other team members and I thought the other form of traffic should win the fight for the advertising dollars for that business.

When it comes to marketing your business online, not all website traffic is created equal and that became apparent when I was helping this client analyze two different traffic sources for their local business.  This particular business invested a good chunk of change in their online marketing this past year and they were trying to figure out how to best divvy up their online marketing budget.

Lets compare these two specific sources.

Video Version of This Blog Post

About the Two Traffic Sources 

Let me give you a quick breakdown on the two different traffic sources so you have some background information on the two.

spy-BLACK-tinyOnline Traffic Source 1 – (Local News Website) – This first traffic source came from Online Banner ads that were displayed on a Local News Website where people go to check the weather and read local news stories.

This particular news site gets a lot of traffic from people that live within the State of New Hampshire.


spy-WHITE-tinyOnline Traffic Source 2 – (Targeted Google Ads) – A targeted Google AdWords  campaign that only showed ads when someone looked for specific keywords in Google.   There was much less traffic from this source as compared to the News site but that’s not the end of the story.


What Was The Difference Between These Two Traffic Sources

spy-BLACK-tinyOnline Traffic Source 1 (Local News Website) – A little background, the business invested a LOT of money into paying for their banner ads to show on this local news website.  They paid top dollar directly to the sales representatives of the News station for a year-long ad placement.

The business marketing team assumed that since they offer services to a lot of people in the state of NH and because so many people visit this site to read News stories and check weather, it would be a good place for them to advertise.

We logged into the Google Analytics account for the business (you DO have Google Analytics installed on your website right?) and it showed a lot of traffic to their website from people who clicked on the Banner ads.  This may lead you to think this was a good investment of their advertising dollars but before I tell you what happened lets take a look at the traffic from the other source. white-spy Online Traffic Source 2 (Targeted Google Ads) – This traffic source was Google AdWords and its was run by my team and I here at NH Strategic Marketing.  For this campaign we only targeted specific keywords that we knew their ideal customers would be searching Google for. We had a fairly small budget as compared to the investment on the News site banner ads (it was only 25% of the budget devoted to the banner ads on the News site).

The Final Results – Traffic vs Traffic

spy-BLACK-tinyOnline Traffic Source 1 – (Local News Website) – Over the course of the year the client had over 5,000 people click on the ads and visit their website.  This may seem really good but when you dig a little deeper you may not be as excited.  When we looked at the Google Analytics information we noticed the “average session duration” was 7 seconds.  That means the people that clicked that ad are closing the web site as soon as they got there. Google calls this “Bounce Rate” and it is very reflective on the quality of the traffic. When a user clicks an ad and then immediately leaves its a clue they were not very targeted traffic.   Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.  In the case of the traffic from this news site they had a Bounce rate of 92%. That meant that only 8% of those visitors actually visit more than 1 page.  Not a great sign and its show just how un targeted that website traffic was. Lets take a look at the other traffic source.

white-spyOnline Traffic Source 2 – (Targeted Google Ads) – If you remember these ads were ONLY shown to people who actually were searching for what this business had to offer.  This means these people who clicked on these ads were ultra-targeted and actively searching for help (the definition of a much more qualified prospect).
This traffic had a 52% bounce rate.  That means that48% of the people who clicked on the ads visited more than one page on the site.  That is a 40% increase over the other generic traffic source.
By Comparison, people coming from Google stayed on our the website for 2 minutes which means that these website visitors were actually engaging with the website and were much more targeted visitors.
The fact that a user sticks around, reads different pages on your site, looks at your services is a clue its a more targeted traffic source and better lead quality.
Not looking good for the Black Spy (generic News Site traffic)…
The final nail in the coffin for the infamous Black Spy was this – the business reported that they didn’t track ANY business back at all from this traffic source.
A BIG investment in these banner ads on this News Site and they tracked absolutely No business generated from this source.


The Knockout Blow for the Black Spy

white winsCompare that to Google AdWords where we drove to a  customized landing page and could track EXACTLY how many people called the business or contacted them through a web form.
Even further, the business could see exactly how much business was generated from Google AdWords and it was a LOT (tens of thousands of dollars worth) – while they tracked NO business to the untargeted and generic website traffic from the news site.
The lesson here is that all traffic is not created equal and be careful not to falsely assume that just because one traffic method gets you ‘more traffic’ that it is ‘good traffic.’
Do you really want more traffic that doesn’t ever convert into a paying client?  Instead I encourage you to seek qualified website traffic from people who are actually interested in what your business has to offer.
Your advertising dollars will be better spent, you will get more qualified leads, and see an actual Return on Investment.
In fact, we just had another client total up how much he paid us to manage his Google AdWords account this past year, how much he paid in Google AdWords ad spend, and then how much money he generated in closed business from our campaign.
He discovered that for every Dollar he invested that he got TWO DOLLARS back in closed business.
A nice return on his investment.  ;-)
So there you have it my friend, a tale of two forms of Website traffic.  More isn’t always better so buyer beware.  Don’t become an advertising victim and fall for the false information some of these advertising predators push on small business owners.

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To your success,
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About Kyle

Kyle Battis has been involved in advertising and marketing for over 14 years. He has a background in Direct Marketing, Online Media Buying commanding $150,000 per Month Ad budgets, Live Presentations, and has extensive experience designing Marketing Funnels that make money.
He has been part of ‘Start-ups,’ been the Director of Marketing at $8 Million/Year companies, $15 Million/Year companies, and has helped coach his clients to Double and even triple their business.
Kyle is also the chief presenter of the NH Strategic Marketing live events and online events. During these events, Kyle takes business owners of all sizes and their teams on a crash course through the NH Strategic Marketing 8-Step Perfect Customer System.
The NH Strategic Marketing Program is a complete marketing system unlike anything you’ve ever seen. This marketing system has helped many businesses become the #1 company in their local market and it is based on principles that have been proven in over 350 industries.
The exclusive NH Strategic Marketing Program combines some of the best elements of proven marketing systems and strategies to help you control your market.
Kyle is also an author, coach, speaker, product creator, membership site manager, and has trained over 3,000 entrepreneurs in all 50 states and in over 40 countries on how to grow their businesses using the internet. Kyle lives in Concord, New Hampshire with his wife and English Bulldog Noble.

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