In my post on Making Money Online I mention that you need two things to earn money an affiliate marketer which are product and traffic. In this article I am going to elaborate on traffic and its quality. Traffic is a flow of visitors that get to your website by following a link from another resource or typing in your website url directly into their browser. Each of them is a potential buyer. The quality of traffic is defined by how much each visitor is interested in your offering. It is measured by conversion ratio, a relationship between the number of visitors that come to your site and the amount of sales they generate. The quality generally depends on the source of the traffic, with Search Engines being considered to be the best one of them.

To understand why the traffic quality differs you need to grasp the concept of traffic filtering. The traffic can be filtered both ways. A filter or filters can either improve quality of the traffic or worsen it, which depends on the type of filtering.

Directory traffic

Directory listing provides a perfect example of traffic filter that affects quality of traffic coming to your website. When you submit a site to a directory the traffic you receive goes through a funnel like this: search engine > directory index > directory category > your site. In this way the traffic comes through a triple filter starting with the search engine that filters a visitor by search term they enter, the directory filters them down by category and only when (or if) a visitor reaches a category page he sees a link to your web site among hundreds of others that he may click. The chance of visitor exiting the funnel to an advertisement increases with the number of filters in the funnel. As a result of your site being in the end of the funnel you end up with visitors who are least interested in purchasing anything.

Search Engines

Let’s look at another example when a visitor goes from the search engine directly to your website. In this case you get all visitors looking for the product you advertise. They will be those who are willing to buy and those who aren’t. Visitors coming from search engines have only been filtered once - by the keywords they entered (you can use this information to learn which keywords result in more sales for you). Therefore, the chances of getting a sale from such visitors multiply many times.

Personally, I have been trying various sources of traffic, only to find out that search engines delivers the best quality of it. Once you get the traffic, you can start using a different type of filter which will now allow you to sort paying visitors from non-paying ones, target your offerings to them more precisely and other benefits. I will dedicate another post to describing this principle.

As usual, please post in the comments section in case you need something to be clarified. Remember, if you have a question than probably someone else will have the same question too…