Online business owners advised to stop chasing traffic

Internet business owners should give up focusing on generating web site traffic. That’s the advice from Internet Psychologist Graham Jones. He claims that online businesses are focusing on the wrong thing by concentrating on web site traffic.

“Business owners are increasingly concerned that their investment in e-commerce and Internet marketing is not paying off,” said Graham Jones. “As a result they try to generate more traffic and their minds become focused on the visitor statistics.”

However, Mr Jones argues that by focusing on visitor statistics and traffic many online business owners have taken their mind off what they should be concentrating on, which is profit and return on investment.

“Many online businesses now have a culture which is driven by traffic, rather than by profit,” said Mr Jones. “The result is that several e-commerce operations are failing to work effectively because staff are being pushed in the wrong direction.”

Increasing traffic does not help raise profits as much as many people imagine, says the psychologist. What helps online businesses most is getting the right traffic.

“If you have 100 visitors who spend $100 each that’s better than 1,000 visitors who spend $10 each because it will have cost more to generate the additional traffic,” said Mr Jones.

Getting visitors to a web site is relatively easy if the web site is targeted at them specifically, says Mr Jones. He claims that few online businesses he encounters have a clear idea of who they are targeting. “As a result,” he said, “they need to generate tons of traffic so that a few people will buy.”

However, said Mr Jones, if web sites were more tightly focused the “right” traffic would come along thus increasing the chances of sales. “Businesses should focus more on the people they are selling to. If they do this, their sites will become more attractive to those individuals and sales would increase. Trying to appeal to a wide audience just does not work,” he said.

Mr Jones advises Internet business owners and those involved in e-commerce to write profiles of their customers and give them names. “Doing that helps people focus on the humans involved,” he said. The result may well be the need to develop dozens of separate web sites, rather than one more general site.

“Getting traffic to several tightly focused web sites is a lot easier than generating sales from a more general e-commerce operation,” said Mr Jones.

He advises people to concentrate less on trying to get web site traffic and more on the people an online business is trying to sell to. “That way you will make more money”, said Mr Jones.

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