Ecommerce Marketing: Not all Web Traffic is Created Equal

Driving more traffic is one of the keys to predictably increasing your revenue.

But not all web traffic is created equal.

We can tell you countless stories we’ve heard of ecommerce stores that have driven hundreds of thousands of visits to their sites with next to no conversions.

It’s not hard to attract a lot of uninterested buyers. Of course no one aims to do this, but it happens all of the time (perhaps to no fault of your own) and it leaves you with a slew of problems such as:

  • Low conversion rate
  • Wasted money (if the traffic was paid)
  • Angry site visitors (if they felt tricked to come to your site or didn’t find what they were looking for)
  • Useless data (with highly skewed metrics)
  • Low (or worse no) sales

Not to mention that many people end up writing off good strategies due to poor execution, strategies that might prove highly lucrative if they were executed properly.

How do you end up with bad traffic?

There are 3 typical ways that people end up with a ton of low quality traffic to their sites (2 of which are completely innocent).

1) Brand Confusion

If you have a brand name that is similar to another well known brand, but is completely unrelated, you may end up with a lot of traffic that didn’t mean to be there. These visitors were looking for a completely different company and product, so obviously they bounce almost immediately upon visiting your site. This happens a lot when businesses pick common names for their brand name and are in their early stages.

How To Avoid This: Develop quality content to improve brand recognition over time, and make sure to be unique and memorable in your messaging.

2) Poor Marketing (Or a Poor Marketing Partner)

This is the not-so-innocent reason. You may be guilty of using unintelligent tactics and simple be buying the wrong traffic. This may be due to the wrong messaging, poor customer segmentation and targeting, or the wrong marketing channels. You don’t want to trick people to coming to your site because they won’t convert anyway. Focus instead on sincere messaging to attract visitors that actually want to be there.

How to Avoid This: Get clear on your ideal customer and make sure your messaging is highly targeted toward that audience. This will lead to intentional buyers arriving on your site. And make sure to hire good vendors and require regular reports on performance.

3) Spam Traffic

Many people aren’t aware that a significant portion of traffic to their site may be spam traffic, but is one of the most common culprits of low conversion rates.

How To Avoid This: There are two ways to deal with spam traffic. You can either filter the spam traffic out of your analytics or block spam traffic from accessing your site in the first place.

Is it possible to buy quality traffic?

Yes, of course it is possible! That is what all of these platforms are made for…although some offer better targeting abilities than others.

If you are looking to get the most targeted traffic, we recommend paid social media channels. They allow you to be very specific about demographics and define a very narrow audience.

However, this traffic is not looking for you, so they can be harder to capture. Paid search advertising, on the other hand, is full of people searching, which means they have more intent to purchase. Focus on keywords that accurately reflect your brand and your offer to attract traffic that is actively looking for you.

How do you determine what sources are working best?

The key is to have a quality analytics implementation and someone who can actually read and interpret the results, providing actionable insights. This will allow you to know what the top landing pages are by conversion as well as to dissect the different traffic sources and the visitor flow in order to determine where to invest more money and where to pull back.

Also make sure to look out for red flags. If you are getting a lot of traffic from a country that is not your target, or a significant proportion of your traffic from a single website, make sure to look into your spam filters to make sure this traffic is real.


Want to drive more quality traffic to your site?

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