Quality Trumps Quantity

Mar 16 2013

I’ve learned a lot in the last 10 years about what it takes to make money on the Internet.  When it comes to online profits, one of the biggest lessons has been about site traffic.  Traffic is what pays the bills but not all traffic is good traffic.

For my built out sites, the traffic I am looking for is the visitor that wants to be there. They may not be looking for my site in particular, but they are looking for the information or product that I have.  The days of writing articles that are fake tie-ins to today’s headlines are over for me unless today’s headlines are relevant to the type of site I have.  I want type in, related article links, and relevant keyword traffic from Google.  In that order.  Getting traffic from Google for some big breast picture I put up only works if the rest of my content is men related (which on some sites it is) . Otherwise they come and go in seconds.  If you are using these visits to as numbers to gauge the success of your site you are cheating your advertisers and yourself.  These visitors are not monetizable by you or the people that are paying you to send potential customers.  In general I don’t think alexa.com is of much value but the one thing I use it for is the “high impact search queries” box on the right. That in addition to Google analytics, gives you a good idea of the quality of traffic from the referrers.   In the case of domainshane I want the visitors to be looking for information that is domain, business, or Internet related.  Even better, terms that would help my advertisers or affiliates.  Because the purpose of writing a site in my case is to have those in the industry get to know me, share and discuss ideas, and of course, make money.  It’s not to fake out someone looking for real information that I pretended to have because of stuffed titles and keywords.

There have been articles over the years here in the domaining community about having a small percentage of site traffic derived from Domaining.com.  Downplaying the importance or reliance on its traffic.  Certainly relying on one source of traffic isn’t wise, but having a source of traffic as targeted as Domaining.com is exactly what you’re looking for.  It’s the most targeted traffic I receive and it’s this type of traffic that pays the bills. To dismiss this traffic or to pretend like it’s not lifeblood would be naive.  I am always striving to have other sources of traffic and to increase visitors but I would love them to all to be as good as Domaining.com.

I mentioned this fall that Google sent 8,000 less visitors in October as they did in September.  My traffic dropped from 45,000 visitors to 38,000 visitors (even less last month) almost immediately.  At first I was upset until I looked at what happened.  It turned out Google dropped the traffic that was looking for completely irrelevant things at my blog.  What cheered me up was the fact that the site was continuing to make MORE money even after the drop in traffic.  Each month there is incremental growth in income despite the traffic holding steady and starting to grow again.  I haven’t helped the matter the last few months because I haven’t written anything but opinion posts and daily drop picks.  Not very good content for historic browsing.   But it’s certainly better than articles that remind me set my screensaver or that Frank Schilling took a dump.

In short.  As important as the number of people that visit your site is the quality of the visitor.  You want referral sources that are relevant to your content.  You want people that want to be there.  It’s at that point you can start to work on converting them into paying customers.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Jim

    Haha! Thanks for the Sat afternoon chuckle. Good post and and I also appreciate the wit. “that….took a dump” = funny.

  2. L

    A long standing truism that so few understand. They want “TRAFFIC!” instead of conversions, operating under the false belief that traffic=conversions.
    It doesn’t.
    Filtration = conversions.

    If my objective is to sell mortgages in Naperville, I couldn’t give a fuck about ANY traffic that isn’t derived from users in Naperville deliberately seeking mortgage information. That includes 100% of garbitrage traffic.

    Quantifying traffic quality has always been the last frontier, traffic buyers are starting to wake up since they’ve spent the better part of a decade lighting money on fire for traffic whose actual lead generation potential is colder than the north pole in January.

    5 uvs with 1 conversion beats the living shit out of 1000 uvs with 0 conversions, which is actually a liability, not an asset. Give me a domain name with FIVE type-ins per month in a lucrative leadgen vertical, I’ll show you a domain with substantially more earning power than something that gets 3000 typeins per month which, at best, you can only pray they accidentally click on your dumb tooth whitening ads.

  3. L

    The last sentence was unclear, but I don’t care enough to clarify it very much.

    Point is, there are instances where 5 or 10 leads derived from typeins are worth substantially more than 3000 typeins that are worth nothing to nobody.

  4. Mike

    Great Post Shane! Google is getting alot smarter, I notice the movement on my mega sites. You are doing a great job, with this Blog. Dont worry so much about traffic, as long as you have your affiliate links setup, (ie. Godaddy) your profits will grow. Whether you realize it or not, your blog has a 2 tiered content structure. 1st you have the steady and reliable daily picks, this will keep your visitors coming back everyday, like me. Your 2nd content structure is your EVERGREEN posts; ones like you did a few days ago titled ’10 Email Responses….’ notice how many comments you are getting on these EVERGREEN posts? Thats the social/interaction aspect that Google loves! My advice, increase the EVERGREEN posts!

  5. David

    A good valid post about why well-targeted traffic is more valuable than higher levels of non-targeted traffic.

    The problem is many advertisers do not realize that and are mostly interested in high traffic and a preference for 1,000 more or less random visitors vs 100 much more valuable well-targeted ones.

    P.S. A question for Shane is regarding “the one thing I use it for is the high impact search queries box on the right” but I don’t see that search box and was wondering where it is?

  6. DeliveryMaker.

    “I haven’t helped the matter the last few months because I haven’t written anything but opinion posts and daily drop picks” – this is what i like about your blog, your personality will come out in anything you talk about and that is the draw

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