What is Traffic?

Internet marketers and search engine optimizers describe traffic as the rivers of potential customers shooting around the Internet. It can be people seeing your ads or banners, people typing in search terms or even people coming from different sections of your own website.
Each type of traffic is different and behaves in different ways. To make it even more of a challenge, types of traffic can vary.

  • The traffic from search engines varies greatly depending on the search term used by the potential customer. For example: traffic directed to your site from the query 'free writing software' is very different to 'buy writing software'.

  • The traffic from each search engine and Internet directory varies because each search engine or website directory sources and evaluates its website library using rules and algorithms.

  • Even the day, month, and year influences the traffic buying habits. Paydays, school exams and assignment hand-in times can all influence sales. For example, traffic coming to your site from the search term 'writing essays' may be during assignment time traffic and sales will increase.

  • World events, new movies, current affairs all create new traffic. For example, a movie about a great black American writer might open up a new market to chase because people start typing the writer’s name in everywhere, inspired to write their own novel.

You need to get to know these different sources of traffic, their characteristics and buying rates. The buying rate – sometimes known as the conversion rate – is most important because it tells you what traffic is worth chasing. Next: GENERATING Targeted Traffic watch tutorial



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Generating targeted traffic

Webmasters often brag about lots of people visiting their site. When I ask them: "How many sales do you get?" There is usually an embarrassing pause followed by the sheepish reply: "Not many".
To make money through a website you don’t need thousands of visitors – you need the right visitors – those that buy your product. It's far better to have 100 visitors and 10 buyers rather than 1,000 visitors and one buyer. So the first question you need to ask yourself is: “Who do I want to come to my website?"

This means understanding your products and the potential buyers. It’s pointless attracting visitors to your site who don't want to buy your products. You need to think about potential buyers. The three main types of customers to attract are:

  • Customers who know they need your product, and are searching for it on the net.
    StyleWriter example: Professionals and academics who know their writing style is terrible and are searching for software to improve their writing skills. They might be using search terms such as 'writing style software', 'writers software', 'style checker', or 'plain English software'. They are the easiest to convince to buy. But the number of people like this compared to the next groups is small.

  • Customers who need your product but are only searching for related terms.
    StyleWriter example: Training staff and business communication professionals who know their writing and their colleagues' isn't as convincing as it should be. They might have had their business plans rejected by the bank manager. They know they need help, but they're not sure what they need. They might use search terms such as 'writing help', 'writing tutorials', 'business communication', 'how to write a business plan', and ‘writing a good business letter'.

  • Customers who need convincing to buy your product.
    StyleWriter example: Lawyers, engineers, IT consultants and other professionals believe their writing style is perfect, but in reality, it is over-complicated, jargon-filled and long-winded prose. They may not be using the search engines to look for writing aids, but will instead frequent business, academic news portals, and read publications. It’s probably essential to convince these people to download the StyleWriter trial as it will show them they need to buy the program.

It is a good idea to brainstorm these different traffic types to work out your target audience. Start with searches on the major search engines using search phrases you think they potential customers may use. A good place to see what terms they are using is the Adwords Keyword Search Tool

This tool allows you to type in a search term and see the number of potential visitors and the related terms people search. Next: Analyzing your traffic watch tutorial



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Analyzing your website's traffic

To analyze the buy rate of traffic you need a good counter or analytics software that tells you how many people are viewing your page and where they are coming from. Some important things a counter can tell you:

  • Raw Clicks or Impressions: This is how many times visitors have seen your page displayed on the Internet. It is NOT how many visitors come to your site. Many people make this mistake. For example, I could visit you site's start page - which you have a counter on - and press my browser 'refresh' button all day. When you check your counter stats it would show 8,000 clicks! The truth is you've only had one unique visitor.

  • Unique Visitors: These are how many new visitors go to your website – a much more important and relevant statistic. They are 'new' potential buyers who have never seen your site, or been exposed to your marketing copy.

  • Return Visitors: Not all counters have this ability built in, but you can work this out by comparing your 'clicks or impressions' against your 'unique' clicks. A site with regularly updated content - say a news site - would expect high number of return customers and thus a low ratio of unique visitors to raw impressions delivering a constant stream of new customers who will buy your products.

Some simple rules of thumb when analyzing traffic and counter statistics:

  • Not all traffic is good traffic

  • More clicks does not mean more sales

  • More unique visitors generally translates to more sales

  • Sales ratios from one source of traffic cannot be applied to another source of traffic

In general, if you are offering only a few products and you don't update your page regularly, you want a high ratio of unique visitors' to 'raw impressions because you want a constant stream of new customers who will hopefully buy your products. Next: Using Analytics & Counters watch tutorial


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Using analytics software and counters

By comparing the information from counters or analytics software on your site you can learn about traffic on your site and how to improve sales

Do your ads and banners attract the right customers for your site? You may have a site on reviewing online dictionaries that attracts a lot of visitors. The site may have banners and links advertising StyleWriter. Because of the numbers visiting, these banners may send many people to your StyleWriter page but result in few sales. Why? Because your visitors are mainly interested in using online dictionaries. If instead you present ads offering 'software to help you write better business letters', you may get fewer customers coming to the site, but you may get more sales because you are now attracting the right people.

How convincing is your site's sales copy? Continuing with our example, you may now be getting the right visitors to you site, but still not converting many to sales. If this is the case, check to make sure that your product sales pages immediately picks up where your banners left off. If your banners offer StyleWriter to improve business letter-writing, present examples as soon as possible on your sales pages showing how the program improves business letters. Many webmasters assume visitors will stay around to read everything. It’s a big and costly mistake.

The ratio of impressions to unique visitors to actual sales. How much you earn in sales (commission) is what matters. This tells you the real value of each click at its source. One traffic source may make you $0.10 a click, and another may make you $5 a click. Divide the revenue you earn by the number of visitors to your site to get your revenue gained for each click.

It's this value of each click that’s important. This figure tells you which traffic is worth spending time, money and effort attracting. For example, a small Google Adword campaign could attract the best traffic with a high conversion rate and good commission that covers your costs and gives you a good profit.

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Video Demonstrations

Introducing StyleWriter

The world's largest style and usage checker makes you a professional copy-editor. VIEW DEMO watch tutorial

StyleWriter Smart-Spell

StyleWriter's revolutionary Smart-Spell™ technology finds errors missed by conventional spellcheckers. VIEW DEMO watch tutorial

StyleWriter Jargon Buster

Comprehensively checks any document for jargon. Banish corporate speak from writing.
VIEW DEMO watch tutorial

Editing Sentences

Analyze wordy, complex and long sentences to improve clarity and style.
VIEW DEMO watch tutorial

Advanced Statistics

Revolutionary readability and style indexes accurately assess your writing.
VIEW DEMO watch tutorial

StyleWriter's Audience & Task

Advice and readability for different audiences and tasks. VIEW DEMO watch tutorial

StyleWriter's Graphs

Essential editing information displayed. See your writing style at a glance.
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StyleWriter's Writing Samples

Examples of StyleWriter editing different documents. VIEW DEMO watch tutorial

StyleWriter's Editing Speed

The quickest style checker available. Check 10,000 words in 12 seconds.
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Customizing StyleWriter

Add your own proofreading and style issues to the most versatile copy-editing software.
VIEW DEMO watch tutorial

Writing Course Introduction

Teaches you how to write and edit like a professional editor. VIEW DEMO watch tutorial

House Style Introduction

Using StyleWriter to check your organization's house style preferences.
VIEW DEMO watch tutorial


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