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Web Site Traffic Driving Revenue

A friend asked me yesterday "How does web traffic drive revenue?" It is a simple yet very important question.  There are a number of layers involved in the process.  Most businesses confuse the basics of traffic and revenue.  Because of confusion or ignorance many businesses don't do well online.  I'd also argue that too many businesses give deference to traffic over conversion.  There are a myriad of ways to generate traffic.  Converting traffic is a little more difficult.  The entire process starts with a simple formula and then branches into individual sections. Let's take a look.

A Simple Formula
Online Marketing guru Ken McCarthy provides his First Law of Internet Marketing: "Traffic + Conversion = Profits"  It's a very simplistic perspective on what it takes to be successful online.  For being so simple, the formula works. Unfortunately most businesses muddy up the process.  They add their own flavor and spin to the equation and get tepid results.  Check out "Why Do you Have a web site?" for a similar online success formula.

Markets and Generating Traffic
Online revenue generation starts with choosing the right online market. Many businesses incorrectly assume that if your site generates large incoming traffic streams that you will generate large sums of revenue. This rarely is the case.

Traffic generators can come from email subscribers, organic SEO, affiliate marketing, and traditional advertising.  There are a number of ways to generate traffic.  A simple concept that many companies confuse is the quality versus quantity debate in relation to traffic.  If you get 100,000 unique visitors a month and nobody cares about what you have to offer, your going to have a difficult time online.  I'd take 5,000 visitors a month that had a genuine interest and affinity for my product or service.  Visitors with affinity and interest for your product or service constitute qualified traffic.  You can help facilitate qualified traffic by selecting targeted keywords.

The Conversion Process
You need to convert your traffic.  Many businesses face the standard 1-2% conversion rates synonymous with the business world.  The nice thing about the Internet is that many online businesses have found a way to crush the standard rate. Some online entrepreneurs are converting at over 10% and others even higher.  When it comes to conversion you need to ask yourself: Do you have a sales process in place to convert traffic? You need to find a way to answer "YES!" to the previous question.  The web offers us many ways to create compelling offers.

Many web sites suffer from being poorly designed from a usability and direct marketing perspective.  Users quickly bounce off your web site because of the following: not compelled by the messaging, don't understand the messaging, or find the site difficult to use.  These factors usually result in the kiss of death for most web sites regardless of traffic. 

You need to create compelling messaging and test it on a regular basis.  Learn the techniques of direct marketers.  They have been creating compelling messages for hundreds of years. The web is only a different medium of delivery.

Back to the question "How does web traffic drive revenue?"  You accomplish this by smartly combining targeted niche marketing with a compelling offer on a highly usable web site.

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