Startup Marketing (continued): Nine levels of traffic quality

Original author: Rob Walling
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We continue to translate the article by Rob Walling . In his previous works, the author has already managed to highlight a number of important issues (Client disappearing at the bottom of the funnel and Why paying too much attention to traffic is dangerous for your business). He discussed the fact that first you need to "plug the funnel" into which visitors are leaking, then work on the conversion rate, and then work on attracting the maximum amount of traffic to your website. But we did not talk about the role that traffic quality plays in determining the conversion rate. I think it was not this material that interested me alone. Hope it will benefit many !.

Traffic quality

In this case, by "quality" I mean the following: how close each visitor to your site is to the image of your ideal client, and how much trust these visitors have in your site.

So, the high quality of traffic means that each visitor is as close as possible to your image of an ideal client, site visitors know you and trust you.

By the way, this is why TechCrunch traffic does not bring any benefits to startups. Such traffic is completely inappropriate (only if your market niche does not represent other startups), and the attracted audience does not know anything or knows little about your product. So her level of trust is low. Using our definition of quality traffic above, we can determine that such traffic is of extremely low quality.

This becomes apparent when you first send out a list of your contacts — the people you have been in touch with for a period of time. The conversion rate in this situation will be astronomically higher than your standard traffic (at best, 10 times, at worst - still 2-3 times higher). This is because traffic quality is much better.

At Academy, I regularly observe changes in conversion rates of 200%. They are based on the source (and, therefore, on the quality) of traffic.

Awareness of the importance of this factor helps you understand where to direct your efforts when driving traffic. If the people on your mailing list have a 5-10 conversion rate more efficient than Google traffic, you can direct 5-10 times more efforts to expand your email list. This is more effective than SEO, which allows you to just be at the breakeven point.

Similarly, if you see a huge amount of traffic driven by SEO, you need to know how many of these visitors buy your product. Without this knowledge, you move at random and do not have the ability to properly distribute your efforts.

Fortunately, there is Google Analytics, which can greatly facilitate this task. You will immediately see that some traffic sources do not increase conversion at all. Thanks to this, you can completely redirect your efforts to those traffic categories that increase conversion.

An example is Bidsketch, a product created by a member of the Micropreneur Academy. A few weeks ago I was creating a detailed case study about the launch of this project.

When I looked at traffic statistics, I noticed a huge leap in mid-November, due to a number of reviews of this startup in web-2.0 blogs. At the same time, the number of conversions remained the same compared to the previous week, that is, the conversion rate (number of sales per visitor) fell sharply.

Is it that bad? No, as long as you know why this happens. The point, of course, is the quality of traffic.

Getting Rid of Superfluous

My next step was to analyze all visitors who stayed on the site for more than 5 seconds, which automatically excluded 67% of the traffic. In other words, 2/3 of the people were on the site in less than five seconds. It was obvious that they were not the target audience and got there by accident. Considering these visitors when calculating your conversion rate would be a mistake. To consider that you are very lucky with the fact that you are mentioned in any blogs is also a mistake.

Of course, it’s good when several thousand people visit your site, but if they do not affect the conversion rate, there is no sense that they will visit your site. And do not think that you are creating a brand - you are not Coca-Cola. After a few seconds on your site, these users will delete you and your site from their memory forever.

General rules

It is impossible to unequivocally state which type of traffic is best for each individual site, but having experience in creating and updating 20 revenue-generating websites, I noticed a certain pattern between the quality of traffic and its source.

Here is my list of items, in decreasing order of quality:

1. List of contacts for mailing (users who have confidence in your site).
2. Your blog (users who have confidence in your site).
3. Referral link from the target website where positive reviews about your product are posted.
4. Direct traffic (this usually means that someone heard a podcast about your product, read about it in a print publication or online article (without links) or that person is your repeat visitor who remembers your URL).
5. Organic search by the name of your product.
6. Referral link from an inappropriate site, or from a site that does not contain reviews of your product (for example, TechCrunch).
7. Other organic search results (provided that this is the first user visit to your site).
8. Google AdWords.
9. Banners and other advertisements.

I can point out exceptions to this list, but overall it pretty accurately reflects the trend.


To attract high-quality traffic, create and blog, create RSS and a list of email addresses for distribution. Participate in discussions on other blogs and give interviews for podcasts (paragraphs 3 and 4). You should always pay attention to SEO-optimization of your page, as this simple step will allow you to move up the list if you have already exhausted the possibilities of several levels of attracting quality traffic.

Focus your attention on attracting high-quality traffic, and then this traffic will focus on you.

Good luck

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