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As Evolven’s marketing director since 2010, I directed all phases of both the creative and technical elements of marketing initiatives including event planning and organization, brand creation, print/Web collateral development, channel partner cultivation, lead generation, as well as running webinars.

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Phone: 054-921-3547 Email: martinperlin@yahoo.com

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7.22.2013

Smoke and Mirrors of Site Traffic

 

So I came across this request, to do more articles about comic book movies because those articles are showing spikes in traffic. The problem is that the site is selling irrigation supplies. What does this kind of circumstance tell us? A lot.

Analytics Addiction
Some people get a high for different things, and Google Analytics can be another addiction driver. The metrics produced by Google Analytics can be powerful indicators to different behavior in the website. This can help show if a campaign is successful, and what kind of results are being produced by our content development efforts. But when Google Analytics ceases to be a tool and source of metrics to measure our efforts, but the end unto itself, then it loses significance. This is the Google Analytics addiction, getting a high from just watch traffic spike up.

Why is this dangerous? Because it obscures goals and reduces the importance of marketing efforts. Instead of developing content for conversion to promote your business, you get sucked into basically a meaningless effort to keep the traffic spikes up without seeing how it effects the goals of the website.

The goals can be be grow subscribers, get prospects to inquire about the product, or download relevant product content. The folks visiting the site about articles on comic book movies aren't interested in irrigation supplies and won't inquire or share the site with their friends.

Empty Calories
This kind of traffic is essentially worthless, and just feeds the Analytics Addiction. This kind of traffic is described as non-targeted traffic.  Non-targeted traffic is really useless as these visitors are not interested in your content at all. Or as MaAnna Stephenson colorfully described, "Non-targeted traffic is like empty calorie food. It over-inflates your numbers, but you get nothing worthwhile in return."

Myth of More Traffic  
Isn't more traffic better? Don't we want to push up the numbers? Yes and no. Pushing up the numbers for the kinds of visitors that we want who would be interested in our site and product is good. However just pumping up the numbers for the sake of pumping up the numbers doesn't serve the needs of the site.

Off-topic content may pull in more initial traffic, but you have to think about why you want that traffic in the first place. If your site is intended to sell products, will 'off topic' traffic drive sales? Probably not! These visitors are visiting your site despite your products and offering. Therefore the chances of them buying a product or showing interest in a service is very low.

Such misguided measures should be avoided for promoting your website.

Vicious Cycle
As we see simply generating traffic is a self-fulfilling metric. When you diverge from your goals and rate your activity by the simple success of your own actions, then you fall into a vicious cycle that drives you to produce traffic rather than tangible results.

As Milica Pantic (Mitz) observes in How More Traffic Does Not Always Mean More Money, "If you stopped generating the wrong traffic and concentrated on making conversions and meeting your goals you would be shocked at the results you see. Webmasters spend 90% of their time trying to drum up traffic and 98% of that traffic is rubbish, while only 2% converts."

Stay Focused
Ultimately you must resist the lure of 'traffic high' Keep your goals clearly in front of you and focus on fulfilling them. Measure how your traffic is coming to the relevant pages of your site, signing up or subscribing, and actually purchasing on your website. When off-topic content only produces traffic spikes to those specific pages, then you moving further from your goals and becoming self-absorbed.

So how do you drive relevant, targeted traffic to your website?

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