The Harsh Reality Of Online Traffic (hint, it’s not all created equal)

September 28, 2010 · 17 comments

This article builds on my recent post about tracking the source of your traffic and how that can help you understand more about the leads you’re attracting and the types of visitors to your site. Now, some cold hard facts. The harsh reality about traffic is this: “Not all traffic is created equal.” The source of your traffic will largely dictate the quality of the lead on your list.

The better the source, the better quality of the lead. For example: A direct referral from someone you know (say a past client) vs. dropping your business card in a fishbowl at a trade show. Which do you think will have more chance of building a know-like-trust factor and respond favorably to your content and offers? Obviously, the trusted referral source will yield a higher quality lead. Thus, the  “quality” depends on the source.

What are the best sources for high quality traffic? Here is my own personal view on the best types of traffic by source from high to low. There are obviously dozens out there but I chose the ones I work with my clients on directly the most:

  • Personal Trusted Referral (current and former clients, your ‘unpaid’ sales force)
  • Joint Ventures and Strategic Partners (raving fans and your ‘paid’ sales force)
  • Paid Advertising (prospects who are actively looking and willing to buy)
  • Social Media/Blog/Article Marketing (prospects who are casually looking and possibly interested to buy)

Why is the quality of the lead dependent on the source of traffic? The more hoops a prospect has to jump through in order to join your list, the more qualified they will be. The less hoops, the less qualified.

Take paid advertising (pay-per-click) for example. That prospect has multiple steps to go through before they opt-in to your list.

1.     Go to Google
2.     Search for information / answer / solution
3.     Sees and responds to your ad or offer
4.     Clicks ad
5.     Visits your site to review offer / content
6.     Sees offer and decides to opt-in

Now let’s use the example of social media. That prospect has far less steps to go through before they opt-in to your list.

1.     Sees a tweet / blog post / article
2.     Clicks on call-to-action
3.     Visits your site to review offer / content
4.     Sees offer and decides to opt-in

You might be wondering – why is this important? Answer – focus on the high quality source of traffic! The high quality source of traffic will largely dictate the quality and responsiveness of your list. I like to call this the 80/20 rule. 80% of the people on your list are not your ideal prospects nor will end up as your ideal client/buyer. They are ‘tire-kickers’ (looking only for free information) and often irritated by anything but content. The other 20% of your list are your ideal prospects and will end up as your ideal client/buyer (repeatedly). In the end, it’s all about quality not quantity.

And for authentic internet marketing, building your list is about quality, not quantity. It’s NOT a numbers game. Focus on the high quality of traffic in order to attract the highest quality leads (not the most number of leads). Authentic list building is all about quality – that is a strategy that will pay in the long run.

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

Want to use this article on your website or your own ezine? No problem! But here is what you MUST include:

Derek Fredrickson, Authentic Internet Marketing Specialist, is founder of the Authentic Internet Marketing System, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to authentically market your business online, in record time…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. videos and receive his authentic internet marketing articles on attracting more leads and converting more sales online to multiply your current revenues, visit

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Fabienne FredricksonNo Gravatar September 28, 2010 at 9:40 am

Thanks for busting the myth about list building, Derek. It’s NOT about getting gobs and gobs of people onto your list, it’s about getting lots of the RIGHT people on your list.

Well said!


Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar September 30, 2010 at 8:05 am

So true! It’s about quality – not quantity!


Sheri Chaney JonesNo Gravatar September 28, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Thanks Dereck. Finally, someone who is focused on more than just building a large list! Who wants to spend the time and energy writing a blog or ezine to thousands of people who never intent to buy? I would rather have the small list of 20% and develop relationships with them.


Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar October 3, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Thanks, Sheri! Glad you get it just as much as the rest of us. Quality – not quantity!


Diane ConklinNo Gravatar September 28, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Great points Derek. Marketing, message, media – applies to traffic too.

Your traffic information is terrific and you have great tips.

Thanks for sharing all your great tips.



Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar September 30, 2010 at 8:06 am

Thanks so much, Diane – glad you enjoy it!


Reem ShibelNo Gravatar October 4, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Great post, Derek! It’s making me consider things I hadn’t thought about before. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar October 6, 2010 at 12:55 pm

You’re welcome, Reem!


CathyPNo Gravatar October 6, 2010 at 11:13 am

Hey Derek – great reminder and I completely agree the JV/referral is absolutely the best. We’ve all gotta start somewhere though so what would be your number one traffic tip for new business owners?



Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar October 6, 2010 at 12:55 pm

I still think it’s the trusted referral from a current or former client – that builds the know, like and trust factor so quickly. They usually take the least amount of time from “prospect” to “client.”


CathyPNo Gravatar October 7, 2010 at 4:38 am

Thanks Derek – just need to try to convince my clients who have ‘list envy’ !!



LizaNo Gravatar February 7, 2017 at 8:49 pm

Yup, that’ll do it. You have my appancirtioe.


PPI LeadsNo Gravatar March 3, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Many Thanks, I’m attempting to find all the sales and marketing related stuff I can for my university work at the moment 🙂


Gaylord WergerNo Gravatar March 28, 2011 at 7:11 pm

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Derek FredricksonNo Gravatar April 7, 2011 at 10:19 am

We do get some spam comments but not a lot and we just mark them and delete them.


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