While the primary objective of the vast majority of SEO campaigns is to surface listings on the search engines that drive traffic to the sponsoring company’s website, the resulting traffic numbers will include both high and low value visitors. Defining both types of traffic is as easy as analyzing the pages within the site that are viewed during each visit. For example, a landing on the home page with a quick departure would be the most basic definition of a low value visit, but navigation to additional pages such as “FAQs” and “About Us” and won’t necessarily change a visit from low to high value.
When analyzing these types of visits, assessing the information that is being consumed on each page can provide an indication of where the visitor is in the timeline of the purchasing process. In most cases, the consumption of general information would indicate that the visitor is doing research at the start of the purchasing timeline. On the other hand, the consumption of information with higher degrees of specificity would indicate that the visitor is closer to making a purchasing decision. It should be noted that measuring a higher degree of specificity in this exercise is relative, depending on the nature of the business. For example, a visit to the menu page for a restaurant is about as specific as it’s going to get and would indicate a high value visit. On a website with highly complex products, there would likely be a progression deeper into the site, which would also indicate a high value visit.
This is not to say that low value visits will not turn into conversions at a later date, but that drawing visitors to the site that are near the end of their decision making process offers a much higher likelihood of conversion. To that end, Google provided a huge assist in August of 2013 when it replaced its keyword-based search methodology with an algorithm that provides results based on conversational inquiries. The new search paradigm now provides the opportunity for businesses, through their SEO efforts, to focus on providing content that answers the types of questions that are posed just before a purchase. For example, an electronics store could develop content related to connecting a new Blu-Ray player to the components of a home theater, which is a question commonly asked just prior to the purchase of this type of product. In terms of arrivals on the site, this type of visit would rank at the high end of value as the decision to make a purchase has already been made, and oftentimes the site that answers the consumer’s last question is the one that gets the sale.