Your Website: Good Visitors vs. Bad Visitors

Jeb Banner suggests that “half the traffic most sites get could be considered ‘bad.’[1]” What makes that traffic ‘bad?’ It’s the fact that the content on the website attracted the wrong visitor. Such ‘bad’ visitors hurt your ratings with Google because they bounce back to the search engine seeking what they really wanted to find.

What can you do to ensure your website attracts good visitors? You should focus on two separate problems.

Website Usability

Is your site mobile-friendly? It’s amazing how many sites aren’t. The number of people using mobile devices to search the Internet surpassed desktop users in 2014, yet many business owners haven’t upgraded their websites to reflect this.

Google now considers delivering a user-friendly experience on mobile devices essential. Eliminate anything about your website which fails the user-friendly test on the smallest of smartphones.

One key factor of positive user experience is page load speed. Another is page redirection. Implement a routine schedule of testing to ensure all pages upload quickly, and test for broken links.

Content Targeting

Solving usability problems is simple compared to serving the right content so you attract good visitors. The first step—looking for keywords with high bounce rates—is moderately obvious. However, there’s more to consider than keywords.

Search volume is important, however commercial intent is even more significant. You may have thousands of visitors find you for a certain keyword, however that doesn’t make those visitors the type you want. It’s possible to have ‘bad visitors’ who spend time on your website. They don’t hurt your Google ranking. They just don’t engage.

Attracting the Good Ready-to-Buy Visitors

You want visitors who come to your website with a desire to explore what you have to offer. Thus it’s important to consider commercial intent.

Commercial intent keywords are the most effective if they include keywords buyers use when they are choosing who to purchase a product from. For example, free shipping or discount both suggest a buying decision is eminent.

Another type of keyword can lead to good visitors—product or service keywords. You’ll find words such as review, comparison, best and affordable are very useful. They attract people who are looking for solutions. They’ve usually gathered some information already. They know what they are looking for. However, they’re not quite ready to commit.

Recognizing What Attracts Both Good and Bad Visitors

Informational keywords attract both types of visitors. These visitors are ‘good’ from the perspective that they are likely to stay on your website. However, they may be ‘bad’ from the perspective of taking action. Unless the desire for information is deep, your visitor is less likely to respond to your call to action.

Words like ‘how to…’ or ‘best way to…’ focus on information gathering. If your visitor finds what they are looking for on the webpage, it could be your only encounter. Note: If you choose to invest some content toward providing information, focus on using keywords with high search volume and low competition.

Recognize that some keywords rarely convert visitors into buyers. In a world of ‘free’ this and ‘download’ that, there is no benefit from focusing on these as keywords. They may be part of a call to action; however, they have no value for attracting someone who has an interest in buying anything.

Identifying Who You Want to Attract

Unless you know who the right type of visitor is, you’re not playing a winning game. There’s strategy involved. One of the best is creating a buyer persona. Ask yourself if gender or age matters. Consider income, education and profession. Identify issues your target needs to solve. Factor in business versus personal needs.

Now, do a little research. Are there places where this perfect visitor can be found? Are there preferred social networks for their industry? Are there LinkedIn groups this visitor frequents? Are there business sites they visit? The answers to these questions will help you move toward your goal—desirable website visitors.

Moving Forward

You know who he or she is. Now produce content that’s targeted to your ideal customer, and promote it in the places that customer is found.


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[1] http://www.smallbox.com/blog/good-vs-bad-search-engine-traffic