Traffic Generation is Not Lead Generation

If you are addicted to vanity metrics, you may not recognize the huge drop between visitors that will never engage and the actual leads you get. Could be wrong strategy or even worse, the illusion of real opportunities.

Have you ever seen the reverse hockey stick of madness? It’s the graph that seems to be acceptable and ridiculous. For example, imagine a site with 15,000 visitors for the day. There’s much apparent activity. But there are only 10 new leads. And then maybe a customer or two pops out of the noise during that month.

That means there were 14,998 uninterested people. Possibly aggravated as well.

There are a few possible scenarios. Those visitors might not have really had a need. They could have gotten confused on the next step. Or, the supposed visitors were not real to begin with. Some kind of search term popped up and the gimmick worked to get them to click, but once they landed, they realized it was not relevant or meaningful. There was not true engagement.

In contrast, wouldn’t having even just 100 visitors and getting 20 leads from it be a better metric? It’s less sexy as far as traffic, but it’s more real. You are not wasting as many people’s attention, and your content is engaging enough to get people to take some kind of action. It’s more efficient for everyone.

Traffic generation for the sake of driving up big numbers may be appealing because the thinking bleeds into a form of laziness. Good things can happen with big numbers. But if it is disconnected, then it’s that wonderful saying at play,

“Don’t confuse effort with results.”

Lead generation should set up your sales process. A real lead is a person who is qualified and does not waste your time or theirs. Your sales team is able to speak with someone that has information symmetry. They know about you and your industry. They are ready for an intelligent dialogue to move forward.

You could say this is a strategy around quality rather than being enamored with pure quantity.

Vanity metrics can be distracting and just create noise. They can also backfire. People’s first impression of your brand can be negative rather than one built on trust. Your page ranking with Google might also go down, especially with the algorithm changes happening these days to drive out SEO gimmicks.

True lead generation will happen because a stranger took action. They found something compelling to want to engage you further in some way. If your systems and strategy are set up with this in mind, then you will see it in the eager prospects that want to take a next step with you.

Traffic generation alone can be a feeder, but it can quickly become noise if there is not a continuity of a visitor’s experience and their ensuing conversion.

As a company, we like to work around strategy. Asking questions in a backwards ways helps.

Who is your ideal customer?

How many would you like to acquire?

What would make them want to move to action?

Where do your prospective customers hang out?

What steps does a stranger take?

These are questions that need definitive answers and an experience to help guide a person so they are not lost in the traffic and noise. It’s a lead process rather than a traffic process.

Thinking it through, what could your strategy look like to get the real deal with people you need to be in the conversation with?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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