Small business owners often monitor their website traffic. It shows whether or not their websites are successful. Monitoring this traffic provides valuable lead and sales information. Thus, this explains why the subject of traffic metrics is very popular. As a result, there are plenty of online articles on the topic.
In addition to monitoring their own website traffic, business owners also use tools to monitor competitor traffic as well. This is a concern for business owners because these traffic metrics are often higher than that of their own websites.
When I presented one business owner with this type of alarming information, he immediately suggested that the competition was eating him alive. The competition had a larger number of sales.
However, I advised that many of the tools used to monitor traffic tend to omit valuable information. For example, you don’t know what type of traffic is being monitored. Is it the right kind of traffic? Are people sticking around and asking questions? Also, these types of tools can’t confirm if a company is actually meeting marketing and sales KPIs.
Not All Traffic is Created Equal
About 2004, Nickelodeon created a marketing campaign for the show, “Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius.” I know this because my son watched this show all of the time. The commercial told children to look for special game codes on certain products. The kids could then use the codes on the “Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius” website. At the end of every week, player game activity was shown on the show.
I thought this was an awesome marketing campaign, and I wrote an article about it and posted it to my website.
Keep in mind that this was before social media was a huge traffic generator. But it only took a few weeks for me to get tons of website traffic due to this article. I got plenty of search engine results for the keyword “Jimmy Neutron game codes.” This happened for many months, but I eventually removed the article.
Why? This took place before Google’s “Not Set/Not Provided.” This meant that I could actually see which keyword searches were bringing in traffic to my website. The keyword phrase “Jimmy Neutron game codes” was not a keyword phrase that someone would use if they were looking for an online digital marketing agency.
Unfortunately, there were other such examples of this happening. I got traffic for particular terms, but getting a lot of traffic isn’t a good thing if it is not the right kind of traffic.
High Traffic Doesn’t Mean Getting a lot of Inquiries
My company did a website and marketing audit for one of my small business clients. Although the client was getting about 9k sessions each month, he was worried that he wasn’t getting enough website inquiries.
However, about 65 percent of this traffic was due to various blog posts. Amazingly, about 4 of these blog posts were responsible for bringing in 36 percent of all website traffic. The other blog posts give out company information, but they were “how to” blog posts that provided information without presenting a good call to action. Website visitors used the information and didn’t interact anymore with the company. Unfortunately, most of these blog posts did nothing to get company inquiries.
This happens all of the time with small websites. For instance, I wrote an article that showed 50 ways to get website traffic. That post was shared by many marketers and SEO practitioners. It accounted for half of my website traffic.
However, it never produced inquiries. Basically, this was plenty of non-targeted traffic that skewed the Analytics data. I deleted this post in 2016 and started creating posts that targeted potential clients. Yes, this messed up our traffic metrics in the beginning, but it was the smart thing to do. The good thing is that our traffic is up again, and we have targeted inquiries.
You Don’t Know the Competition’s Strategies or Business Goals
We get to see the business plans for many our small industrial manufacturing clients. The objective of most business plans is to make a certain amount of money within five to seven years. This means that the company must do certain things such as get into new markets, create new products or get new equipment.
As a result, we recommend marketing strategies based upon our client’s goals.
Basically, when you use many popular research tools and see high competitor numbers, this type of information is useless. If you don’t know your competition’s goals, you don’t know if they are actually meeting their targeted traffic goals.
This type of data doesn’t have context, which means you should never base your marketing strategy on it.
Do not monitor the competition’s website traffic metrics to determine how to create your own marketing strategy. Why? First, you don’t know if this traffic is good or bad traffic for the completion. Secondly, you don’t know why the competition has higher traffic numbers than you do. Third, these traffic numbers are useless because there are out of context.
Create a solid traffic strategy and stop worrying about the competition. Monitor your own numbers and determine what works. What do you need to do to get more inquiries and sales? Pay attention to what really matters. This will lead to success.
Category Search Engine Marketing