People tend to break down their websites’ traffic mix by the channel that brought the visitors. Analyzing traffic mix is a great way to develop a better sense of who your visitor is and how your marketing efforts are performing. However, that only tells your marketing story from your traffic generation effort but it doesn’t tell you much about your marketing efficiency.

Instead of looking at your traffic by what marketing efforts bring the most amount of visitors and convert best, look at your visitor mix as a starting point to optimize how you generate traffic and then what converts them.

There are three types of visitors who can come to your website:

  1. Buyers. You know who they are because they converted to a sale or lead.
  2. Potential buyers. These are visitors who are in the market for what you offer, but for any number of possible reasons, don’t buy. They may be at earlier stages in the buying process, doing research to sell it internally, not adequately persuaded, driven away by bad usability, etc. The upshot is there are countless numbers of changes/improvements you can test and make to bump these visitors from potential into actual buyers.
  3. Disqualified traffic. These are visitors who wouldn’t buy no matter what (maybe they arrived to your website by accident – they typed shingles and were looking for the medical condition not what you put on roofs, or maybe they don’t have the type of budget your product or service needs, etc.). As a generalization, any traffic that bounced off your website immediately or spent less than 15 seconds there is generally considered disqualified. You can also have a more specific criteria set.

Research shared by Raj De Datta, CEO and co-founder of BloomReach, indicates that non-branded paid clicks have a 55 percent bounce rate from their landing pages. Google Analytics and KISSmetrics reports put the range from 10 percent to 90 percent with new visitors bouncing 62.9 percent of the time from paid search clicks.

On a typical website, 3 percent of visitors are buyers and the other 97 percent is distributed among the potential buyers and disqualified traffic.

You should be asking yourself these three key questions:

  1. Of your non-buyers, what percent are potential buyers? And how can you increase those? Are you making your value proposition clear? Do they understand the benefits of your offer? Are they concerned over risks? Have you earned or lost their trust?
  2. What marketing efforts are bringing ample amounts of traffic, but with poor quality traffic – i.e., what’s driving a disproportionate amount of disqualified traffic? One easy way to identify this type of traffic is to look at your PPC campaigns that have very low quality scores (four and below). There are ways to maximize the visitors that convert from here while minimizing the disqualified, low-quality traffic. Your team must remain agile.
  3. What is my cost per visitor (CPV) for bringing in each type of traffic? The only group you’ll be able to figure out revenue or profits per visitors (RPV) is the buyers group. When you are trying to figure out how to budget improving your marketing efforts, start by moving money away from those efforts that are bringing in the largest percentage of disqualified traffic toward efforts that help you convert more visitors (either buying better traffic quality or doing some conversion optimization).

Your data analyst should be able to tell you the answers to these questions.

The opportunity to increase sales is in:

  • Understanding that 97 percent of non-buying traffic is better
  • Bringing in less disqualified traffic and more potential buyers
  • More effectively turning those potential buyers into buyers

For example, if you look at the top converting retail websites, one of the key reasons they have such high conversion rates (way above 3 percent) is their intense focus on bringing back repeat customers. Note: You should subscribe to each of their newsletters to see some of what they are doing right!

How does your traffic mix look? What are your plans for improving it now?