Every website needs a steady stream of traffic to sustain it. In the absence of traffic, a website is a redundant entity.
As a result, all businesses prioritise web traffic as a primary component of their SEO strategy, but what is often overlooked is the fact that when it comes to web traffic, more is not better
There are instances where attracting visitors in vast quantities can actually be counterproductive. Where any of the following apply, efforts to generate more traffic may prove more harmful than helpful:
When There is a Clear Intent Mismatch
This refers to finding yourself on a website or page that has nothing to do with your original search intent. Not only are you unlikely to convert, you are at an elevated likelihood of viewing the brand or business behind the website with disdain. The more visitors you attract who are looking for something completely different, the bigger the subsequent bounce rate.
When Conversion Rates Are Disproportionately Low
Alternatively, you could be attracting plenty of qualified and targeted leads but continue to achieve a disappointingly low conversion rate. This suggests that you may be focusing too much time and effort on pulling in leads, perhaps overlooking the importance of converting visitors. All the traffic in the world is of no practical value if conversions are not happening.
When an Influx Occurs for Negative Reasons
If you suddenly experience a spike in organic traffic with no discernible improvement to your conversion rate, it could be the result of negative publicity; negative PR is a surprisingly influential driver of web traffic, though for entirely the wrong reasons. Reputation management can help you keep tabs on what is being said about your brand and where, but an influx of traffic triggered by bad publicity is never a good thing.
When You Overpay for Paid Ads
PPC can be great for driving highly targeted traffic, however it is only worth investing in paid ads if the cost-per-acquisition or conversion is acceptable. If you pay to drive a ton of traffic to a web page that sees most of them leaving before converting, it is probably a waste of valuable time and resources.
When Visitors Are Not Human
The use of spambots is rife these days, which can make it look like you have experienced a spike in traffic when you have not. Incredibly, estimates suggest that almost 40% of all website activity is bot-related. A figure that highlights the importance of keeping a close eye on your sites analytics and ensuring you know which visitors to your site are actually human.
When Your Landing Pages Are Not Up to Scratch
Lastly, there is little more annoying than using highly targeted search terms to find something very specific, only to be directed to a sites home page and have to subsequently search for what you are looking for. Channeling vast volumes of traffic to your home page might seem like a good idea, but is also a known catalyst for higher bounce rates.