The Myths and Legends of King Traffic and the Bounce Rates of Fatal
Once upon a time – the owner of a manufacturing company called us and asked, "can you help?".
He went on to explain, "we have been working with an SEO company and they have done a great job for us. Since they have been working with us, they have tripled the amount of traffic coming to our website. Unfortunately though, incoming leads have not increased much at all.
They told me that the problem is that my website is not converting. Can you build a website that does a better job of converting, of generating leads?"
"I expect so" I said. "We build websites that are designed to generate leads, that’s what we do."
In taking a look at their website however I was puzzled. Their site was pretty good.
What was Going Wrong?
In looking more closely I could see that their current SEO company had added a ton of content, mostly on their blog.
The content was very generalized and somewhat superficial.
They were posting content very regularly, a good thing, but it was all over the place in terms of what the posts were about, a bad thing.
While the posts were vaguely about their market niche, they were not specific to the search phrases that the client needed to rank for – in order to get the right traffic.
Not All Traffic is Created Equal
For example, if you have a business that is devoted to ‘building residential wine cellars’ you want people to find you when they search for things like, ‘residential wine cellars’ or ‘wine cellar builders’ or ‘wine cellar contractors’ or ‘wine cellar refrigeration’ and so on.
Each one of those key phrases needs a page created that is specifically about those subjects. One that goes into depth about those subjects. Ideally adding significant value or unique perspective on those subjects.
What do you think would happen if a load of content was added to this site that was only vaguely to do with wine in general? And that content was pretty light-weight. Maybe it just talked about different types of wine glasses or wine ratings or some other general topic about wine.
It’s possible that the site might end up ranking for terms like ‘wine ratings’. Is that good?
Someone visiting the site as a result of searching with the phrase ‘wine ratings’ would more often than not, not be a person looking to build a wine cellar in their home. Consequently, the traffic for the site might go up, but the conversion rate would not go up in proportion. It would probably go down.
More Traffic – Fewer Leads
While it does not hurt a website to have the odd piece of content that talks about a subject that is a peripheral subject, there are three things you should be careful of when doing this.
- The article should add value and not be a simple rehash of content that is already published and easy to find
- The content should address some subject that is on the mind of a typical customer of the business
- These articles should be a small proportion of the overall number of pages on the site
This is True for Any Market Where Visibility, Lead Generation or Sales Is the Goal
If you have a website about ‘dog boarding’, don’t have a third-party company add loads of superficial content about pets in general. Content like that may or may not bring extra traffic but it will damage the site’s ability to rank for the keywords that matter. The keywords that bring the right traffic. The keywords that convert.
When the wrong traffic arrives at your site, not only will it not convert but those visitors will quickly realize that your website is not what they are looking for. This means your bounce rate will go up. A high or a growing bounce rate is fatal for your website’s authority and consequently its ranking.
You’d be surprised how often we see this. You be surprised how often alleged SEO experts do this.
Why Lightweight, Off Topic Content Gets Added
This often happens because of the drive to add more content and the wish to have a third party, an outsourced, low cost, SEO company add that content. A digital marketing services company will never be able to add high quality, on topic, content to your business’s website on their own.
This is true because they will never be an expert, like you are, in your market. An expert in your business’s specialty.
You and Your Staff are the Content Experts
A smart digital marketing services company will find ways to extract and publish your expertise.
While traffic is king, it’s vital that you drive the right traffic to your website.
High bounce rates kill conversion rates and visibility in general.
With the manufacturing company mentioned at the beginning of this article, we worked closely with them to interview and record lots of detail about various aspects of their business, their services, their products. We gathered detailed examples of their customers and the way their customers used their products. We removed a lot of ‘off topic’ pages from their website.
Traffic Down, Leads Up – No Complaints
The good news is that while their traffic declined by about 30%, their incoming leads doubled.
This customer was happy to see their website’s traffic drop.