Why You Should Not Concentrate On Traffic Generation

Traffic generation is constantly one of the best topics to cover if you want to generate traffic to your webpages (!?)

Half of the oh so many tweets that I get is directly related to traffic generation- even though I didnt sign up for traffic generation websites (unsubscribe 101 right?). But traffic generation and spreading tweets and ideas about traffic generation is easy.

Most people want to know about how they can get more traffic to their websites.  It is the “lifeblood” of any website. In real-estate it is: location, location, location. Whereas on the Internet it is: traffic, traffic, traffic.


Traffic is usually not the problems for many high end and much older websites. Even for the up and coming websites they can get a decent amount of traffic quite quick doing various “launch” techniques.

Every single time though, this is wrong.

Let me take you on a short experience I had yesterday.

I wanted to subscribe to a website which I found interesting and I know they would be producing content on a regular basis that I wanted to know about. The editor-in-chief (yep, they have one, so that must mean they know what they are talking about right?) was constantly on Twitter and I like those tweets, but they were mainly from them, not the website– you got some reference back to the website but I missed content every now and then.

This website is also ranked quite high in the ranking and has many people talking about it being a prime site for information.

Here is the problem, well a few problems:

  • no sign up page for email, social icons- there was social icons to share the content, but that was it
  • the “contact us” page was a form and the “about” page was a sheet of text
  • the editor-in-chief was the only way to get contact with regular updates, but as I found I only had the editor-in-chiefs perspective, not all of the updates from the website.

I now dont go to the website. I just read the tweets from the editor-in-chief.

Why SEO and traffic generation will be pointless for you.

Customer experience

Customer experience is what happens to the customer when they enter a business to when they leave. It also applies to their experience away from the business and how they interact directly and indirectly with the business

This idea is vastly not new, but it is one that just never gets mentioned.

Most businesses treat customer experience as trying to get them to buy something or sign up for something.

So most communication emails are selling emails.

I have seen website upon website stating the “best sign up forms ever”, or 201x sign up forms which get over 20% conversion…

When someone signs up to a company what does the usual sign up form state?

  • find out more tips, bargains and discounts
  • enter here to win…
  • sign up for a free ebook about x

Usual ones right?

But…conversion rates and retaining rates are two completely different animals and this is what many companies are missing and trying to figure what the heck is going on.

The solution is surprisingly simple and easy.

Segmentation of the communication between what you want from the customer and what the customer expects.

So lets take the 3 bullet points just made:

  • find out more tips, bargains and discounts. There are 3 items which the customer would wants. You have now no idea which one the customer wants from your communications. Do they want fashion tips? Do they want bargains? Do they want specific discounts? If you sent tips all the time what will happen to the list over a few months? It will adjust itself to the communication sent.
  • enter here to win…They entered, they might have won, now what? It is over unless you keep on creating contents- then your sign up box should change to reflect that decision and gain more subscribers who are looking for many chances of winning.
  • sign up for a free ebook about x. Once they sign up for the ebook, they will unsubscribe. You have created a solution to their problem. You might be able to upsell later on, but that upsell must be something that you can not cover in the ebook. Or, it is an instruction manual of how the upsell works 😉 Upsells only work if it gives greater benefit to something that came before it.

So if you throw tons of traffic to your sign up forms and you get low retention rates then you have to ask yourself why.

The majority of the time, if not all the time, it is due to the customer process chain of:

  • what you want to do with that customer
  • does the customer know what you are asking from them
  • can they find the solution to their problem following the procedure that you have set up

3 examples of SEO and sign up/ revenue failures

  • I consulted with a company and they sold books and CDs (first mistake :)) but only sold a few or they have returns. They spent a lot of money on seminars and website design. They refused to go digital. The problem? No-one knew which were which. They both looked the same. The books looked like CDs and the CDs looked like books. Once pointed out they increased their sales.

The problem here is no-one told the company. Customers or affiliate. The website designer thought the site looked nice, but it just wasn’t functional. They did their job.

  • I went looking for back pain information. I found a nice site through Adwords. I had to buy and download a book for the information. I went away. This website thought I cared about them and their book. I didn’t, it wasn’t for me. I had an acute pain, not a chronic pain in my back. The book was about chronic longstanding back pain. However the advert talked about back pain in general. They lost a couple of dollars through Adwords. They will blame Google or their website design.
  • I consulted with another company and really liked their topic. However I could not find anything that I wanted. One link went to somewhere, other links went to no-where, and in most cases the pictures were non-linked. They referenced the pictures to buy something, yet you couldn’t click on the pictures. Oddly enough, they had an in-house design team…yet they were so focused on traffic coming to the website and beating the competition they failed to figure out if the site actually worked.

Your whole website needs to flow. It needs to have a clear objective and not to muddy the water of that original idea.

It also needs to be 100% working.

Are all entry pages entering to the page which the customer expects?

So if you are selling an affiliated product through email, you need to figure out if:

  • your links work
  • your link goes to a landing page which is helpful to sell your promoted product
  • the product ships without any issues
  • they have a returns policy which is water tight
  • there are no intrusive upsells which can lead to cart abandonment
  • the trip to the cart is error free, spam free and understandable
  • your emails that go out directly understand who bought and who didn’t. This can get tricky with affiliate products as now you want to target people who have bought and those that didn’t. If I bought the product I do not want to be sent email after email regarding buying the same product. Because now that I have it I can check if you were right or wrong.

What to do.

Every webpage has a job. You shouldnt put a website up just because. It should do something for you- attract Adsense clicks, attract sign ups, attract people to buy something, attract them to click to the next page.

In most cases they do not.

So you think traffic should be enhanced and then you buy traffic…then you have a sale…so you input more money. But law of averages state that if you throw enough dirt to a wall, some is going to stick.

Why not make the wall out of super glue to start with?

If you can not get people to follow a certain path- using free techniques initially, then why on earth would they work if you paid people to come to your site?

Are you sure that your sign up box/ link/ page is what they are going to expect from you? If not, create more.

Create more sign up pages with different benefits. Then eventually you can cross promote.

So if you have a page all about Adwords then I just might not click on the pop up sign-up form that talks about getting more subscribers to your email account. I might be more curious if that pop-up was about Adwords. Kinda simple and obvious, but it takes work.

And there we have the stumbling block.