An Expensive Recipe for Search Traffic
May 1, 2012
Remember the good old days of 1993. A person could browse a list of new sites. Most Web sites then got some traffic. Today, getting traffic is not like 1993. (Is there an artist formerly known as Prince to write a tune about the shift?)
I read a recipe for traffic which appears in “Google’s Perfect Quality Score Sauce.” Among the tips are buying more keywords. Positive keywords and negative keywords are in the list of ingredients. But the operative words are “add more keywords.” Yep, spend more, get more.
The write up’s content comes from a Googler named Tanmay, but the important point is that key to traffic is a blend of cordon bleu methods which involve buying AdWords.
Will spending money produce clicks? The answer is, “Yes.” The reason is that without some type of exogenous lift, traffic to Web sites both desktop anchor and mobile on-the-wing are a bit like the income distribution in the US. One percent of the sites get the traffic. The other 99 percent do not.
The fact is creating a crisis of sorts among marketers who are pumping six figures into Web sites which yield a meager 2,000, 10,000, or 20,000 uniques.
Now the proper response to a CFO who questions the inefficiency of a traditional Web site is, “If we make one sale, the Web site pays for itself. And we get leads.”
One hopes the CFO says, “Okay, give me one sheet of paper with the sales the Web site has made in the last 30 days and a list of top 10 leads which have come from your Web efforts.”
Bad news, of course. Metrics are easy to talk about, but they are tough to map to hard dollars.
The good news about the sad state of traffic for most Web sites is that those who sell clicks, eyeballs, traffic, or other clever “evidence” of success is that Google will benefit. This is different from the good old days when a Web site was an event. Today a Web site is a distraction, an expensive distraction.
Stephen E Arnold, May 1, 2012
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