Do you ever wonder why some traffic makes you money and other traffic doesn’t? The answer is so obvious that it’s a proverb: Not all traffic is created equal.

Let’s take that old saying apart to see if it can deliver a return on investment for you. Let’s look into why some traffic makes money and everything else is a waste of server resources.

By the end of this brief guide you will know how to tease short- and long-term sales prospects out of your traffic reports. You’ll have a better idea of what your prime visitors are thinking, a better shot at converting them, a better map for finding more visitors just like them.

Understand The Searcher’s Needs

It’s no wonder that referral traffic from a celebrity site doesn’t want to fill out an auto-loan application. Similarly, I’m not surprised that someone searching “buy pink sandals” spends money on pink sandals.

It’s often easy to forget that there is actually a person sitting on the other side of the screen as you look at your analytics. When you’re thumbing through your keywords, take a deep dive into what that person wants to accomplish.

I know that sometimes search queries can be incoherent (take, for example, “apple mesh cats”) but what the person needs is often pretty clear. If you dig through your keywords you’ll probably find that most of them have some sort of consumer intent attached to them.

Two Key Types of Consumer Intent

Consumer intent can be the backbone of conversion. If you look at the big picture, people searching online are trying to do one of two things.

They either want to be entertained or they want to solve a current or future problem. Sure there are outliers, but these are the main two.

So, if our goal is to increase sales, we want to take a good look at problem-solvers because they’re the ones spending money.

Those Solving Current Problems

In your keyword report, find words that point to different stages of awareness of a problem. Now, awareness is a whole different topic, but suffice it to say that people searching for “buy” or “review” are very likely to be spending money in the near future.

These visitors have a current problem, understand the problem and are ready to solve it.

Get these people to your sales page in the fewest possible steps. Identify where they’re coming from, and find keywords with similar intent.

Then there are those who are just researching a product, service or industry, and they come from all over the place. They may come in with on your branded keywords or from long-tail terms. They’re the ones you want to cultivate as future buyers.

These people aren’t ready to commit, so an order page is not relevant to them. Ideally, you want to drive these visitors to a page that educates them about their problem and, incidentally, which shows them how your product solves said problem.

If you’re smart, you will persuade the researchers to accept a special offer in return for their E-mail address. That’s how you get a more captive audience, one that you can further educate about the problem and your solution.

Don’t Overlook Consumer Intent

Sure, consumer intent sounds like commonsense. It is. That’s why even seasoned pros need to be reminded not to take it for granted. Forget the audience, forget the business.

Nothing converts better than an intimate knowledge of your audience’s motivation. The traffic you understand is far more valuable than any other traffic. Look at your keywords. Learn from them what your potential buyers need at this instant. Educate researchers, and close with buyers.

Check out the SEO Tools guide at Search Engine Journal.

Know Your Customer — Know Their Keywords