Estimating visitor value

We love traffic.  We want as much traffic as possible.  It is really nice to see our traffic graphs jump really high.  With our PPC campaigns we pretty much obsess over our click-through rates.  We like to go after the keywords phrases that drive the most traffic.  Everybody is in love with Digg and Social Media.

All traffic is not equal, even search traffic coming from similar phrases.  What we really need is traffic that converts.  Visitors that take whatever action we expect them to take.  Buy an e-book, subscribe to our newsletter or download our software, etc.  We need traffic motivated to take action.

There is a big difference between running a site that get 10,000 visitors a day that makes $10,000 a month and one that gets 1,000 visitors a day that makes $20,000 a month. For the first, the visitor is worth 3 cents, and for the second is worth 66 cents — 22 times more.

While some might say that non-converting traffic is good for branding, I prefer branding that actually gets results.

The most cost effective way to get branding traffic, in my opinion, is via Viral Marketing, Social Media, Organic Search or very cheap CPM based deals.  I do not like the idea of big PPC budgets for branding only.

If you are planning or working on your start-up, you need to make the best use of your time and money, possible.

Here is a simple tip I use to get traffic that takes the action I want by measuring the potential visitor value before hand.

My tool of choice is Google’s Adwords Traffic Estimator.  I know it is not very accurate and many times the estimates are way off, but it serves my purposes.

1. Use the Google Keyword Research Tool to find as many relevant keywords as possible for the target content.
2. Include those keywords in the traffic estimator .
3. Set the maximum click to $100. Don’t panic! This is just for getting the #1 slot estimates.
4. Sort the results by cost per day. That is — the number of clicks times the maximum bid.

The reasoning is the following: If advertisers are willing to pay x for some particular keywords, that means that they are making at least that to break even.

It is a good idea to run the estimates several times during the week to rule out inexperienced advertisers bidding blunders.

If we sort by number of clicks, we only care about the volume of traffic. If we sort by the max cost per click we only want to target the most expensive keywords. Now, targeting the keywords with the max cost per day means we are after the money makers.

Use PPC, SEO or buy relevant ads or reviews on sites rankings for those keywords.

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