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How to increase your sales with less traffic

Search engine optimization is not about getting as much traffic as possible. It's about getting the right kind of website traffic. Sometimes, less traffic can be better.

Many website visitors aren't necessarily a good thing

Many webmasters try to get as many visitors as possible. They join traffic exchange programs and they optimize their web pages for keywords that have very many searches.

Unfortunately, getting as much traffic as possible is not the right strategy for a successful website. Traffic that doesn't convert is useless traffic. If your website has thousands of visitors but only a few sales then you have done something wrong.

Why less traffic can be better

If you want to succeed with your website, you have to focus on the conversion rate of your web pages. A website with a good conversion rate will do much better than a website with many visitors. Here's an example:

  • Tom's website gets 10,000 unique visitors because it has a #1 ranking for the keyword "buy inexpensive brown shoes". The conversion rate is 2%.

  • Peter's website gets 1,000,000 unique visitors because it has a #1 ranking for the much more popular keyword "shoes". The conversion rate is .02%

Both websites will get 200 conversions. But why does Peter's website get the same number of conversions as Tom's although it has 100 times the number of visitors?

There can be several reasons for this. For example, Peter's keyword "shoes" is very general. People looking for one-word keywords usually aren't interested in purchasing. They are looking for general information about a general topic.

Peter's landing page also might have a poor design. His website might not offer what the searcher is looking for. That is very likely if the visitor found the website through a one-word keyword.

Tom's keyword "buy inexpensive brown shoes" is very targeted. Web surfers who use that keyword know what they're looking for and they are ready to buy. That means that Tom needs fewer visitors to get a sale.

Multiply your revenue without working more

Four word keywords such as "buy inexpensive brown shoes" have much less competition than one-word keywords such as "shoes". That means that it is much easier to get top rankings for these longer keywords.

Suppose it takes Tom five hours of optimization per month to maintain the #1 ranking. Each working hour costs $100. That means that Tom spends $500 per month.

To maintain the #1 ranking for the one-word keyword "shoes", Peter has to invest 30 hours per month because it is much more work to get and maintain high rankings for such a competitive keyword. Peter's working hour also costs $100, that means that the spends $3000 per month.

As explained above, both websites get 200 conversions. If each conversion is worth $15 then Tom has a ROI (return-on-investment) of 600% for every dollar spent on search engine optimization. Peter has a ROI of 100%.

If Peter had not invested his 30 hours in a single keyword but in optimizing 6 good converting four-word keywords

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October 2008 search engine articles