There’s more to SEO than just getting people to click on your title tag and access your page. Rather than just being concerned with the volume of visitors to your website (traffic), you should also be concerned with the traffic quality. What do I mean by traffic quality? Basically, it refers to the ratio of traffic to conversions. One important metric of quality is the bounce rate, which you can see in Google Analytics. If you’re getting a lot of traffic, but not quality traffic, there are some steps you can take to adjust accordingly.
First off, what is bounce rate? “Bouncing” is when a person accesses your landing page but quickly leaves the site. If you’re getting a high bounce rate, it could mean that people entering certain keywords come to your page but then either find out your site doesn’t have what they’re looking for, or get all the information they need just from looking at the landing page. Actually, Google measure bounce rates by seeing how many users spent less than ten seconds on the landing page before leaving the site.
If you have a high bounce rate (and SEO gurus advise you should try to keep it below 35 %, or even 25 % if possible) there are a few things you can do to try to lower it. First, you’ll want to do a thorough assessment of the keywords you’re using. Find out which ones are converting, and which ones aren’t. You can do this by creating a “custom setting” in Google Analytics and mapping certain keywords to the conversion metrics you’re looking for. Remove the ones that are not converting. Also, try using more long-tail keywords, but not to the point that you’re stuffing. In addition, make sure your meta tags (the concise descriptions of the page which come up underneath the title tag on a SERP) are optimized with relevant keywords, the ones you’ve tested to ensure they’re driving conversions (i.e., high traffic quality).
Even if you don’t have a high bounce rate, your traffic could still be of low-quality. For instance, you could be getting plenty of visitors and a high engagement time on pages besides your landing page, but not be getting a lot of conversions. There’s a difference between getting and retaining views and actually accomplishing what you set out do with your site. You can think of traffic quality as a measurement of engagement against conversions. If you’re getting tons of engagement but few conversions, then your traffic is of low quality. You want to ensure that there’s a direct correlation between engagement and conversions. As mentioned above, one of the ways you can assess this is by creating a “custom setting” in Google Analytics, so certainly try that out. If you have a higher engagement than conversation rate on your website, it means that there’s probably too many distractions. That is, your website is not clear enough to drive engagement. The whole purpose of many websites is to drive conversions, and this needs to be crystal clear to anyone accessing your page. Try optimizing your “conversion funnel.”
There are two metrics in Google Analytics which you should pay attention to when assessing the quality of your traffic. These are “Assisted Conversion Value” and “Last Click or Direct Conversion Value,” which are both under the Assisted Conversions Report tab and obviously you want to check these for organic search. Assisted Conversion Value is a measurement of how organic search has “assisted” other types of conversion methods, for instance, PPC or e-mail, whereas Last Click or Direct Conversion Value is an assessment of whether or not direct conversions are occurring on your website in the traditional way or whether or not conversions are occurring due to some other method, like a PPC or e-mail campaign.
If the Assisted Conversion Value has decreased over the last month or two, it means that you need to work on other campaigns you are running like PPC or e-mail. The thing is that all of your campaigns affect each other; for instance, if you start spending less money on PPC, this will affect your organic traffic conversions. In order to determine which marketing tactic needs to be adjusted, you can go into the “Last Click or Direct Conversion Value” section and see what it’s at for PPC, for instance. You’ll realize very quickly if this is the problem area, so respond accordingly.
If the Last Click or Direct Conversion Value has decreased for organic traffic, it means that you’re getting fewer conversions from people accessing your site. This could be due to a whole slew of reasons, such as changes in Google’s algorithm or more competition. This is more the domain of classic search engine optimization, as opposed to search engine marketing methods like PPC. However, as already mentioned, a downturn in the performance of some of these other methods can have a direct affect on the amount of organic traffic that is driven to your site. Lastly, your profit index may have gone down. The profit index is a measurement of the profitability of each individual page of your website.
In conclusion, you need to do some deep-digging and a wide assessment of all of your marketing techniques. Increasing the profitability of your website is not just about getting more traffic – you must scrutinize the rate of traffic to conversions. In order to drive only high-quality traffic to your site, you should assess the importance of certain keywords and change them according to whether or not they’re driving conversions. Obviously, steering traffic towards your website is important, but it’s almost worthless to you if you aren’t getting any conversions. SEO is much more important than just getting some page views and retaining visitors. You should optimize your site to get to the bottom line, to ensure that visitors aren’t distracted by superfluous information. If you take some of these steps, taking into account the effectiveness of all of the various methods you’re using to drive conversions, you will assure that you only bring the best traffic quality to you and your business.