The Quality of Website Traffic – Part 2

By - Posted under: Online Marketing, SEO on November 18, 2011

Previously we talked about the Quality of Traffic for a website here.

Today we are going to discuss where we have left off in this Part 2 and look at the 2 more segments that define the quality of the traffic for a web; Geographic and Traffic Source.

#4: Geographic
Geographic is important because it is where the offering of the products or services are based. For example, if a retail shop based in Singapore is attracting lots of traffic from Zimbabwe yet drawing little traffic from Singapore, then the effort to promote the products will be wasted. If a car repair shop based in Malaysia is attracting lots of visitor traffic from Australia and US, these visitors will hardly become their customers.

Generally speaking, based on the kind of products and services on case to case basis, it’s important to take a closer look at the geographical locations. For some, going international is great. For some, it is more important to have local web traffic. If you are not attracting the web traffic from the desire geographical location(s), then it is very important to re-look into your online strategies and revamp the online roadmap to attract your desired visitors.

#5: Traffic Source
Traffic Source is basically the source of your traffic. It has 3 categories: Direct Traffic, Referrals, and Search Engine. Let’s see what’s the difference between these 3 traffic source:

Direct Traffic:
Direct Traffic, as the name implies, means a person who entered your URL directly into the browser to reach your website. These people either (1) know your URL beforehand, (2) seen it somewhere like business card or brochure, or (3) got the URL from somewhere.

Referral Site:
Referral Sites are those people that link to your website or pages. Visitors from Referral Sites can mean they read something about you from another website and click on the link to find your website.

Search Engine:
Traffic source “Search Engine” are those traffic that came to your website after the user searched for some information and the Search Engine listed you as one of the relevant results. Search Engine could be from Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

Search Engine is an important source for traffic because that means your website is visible among the millions of websites in the world. Furthermore you are recognized by the Search Engine as a very relevant site in those keywords. But having high number of traffic doesn’t mean it’s all good. We have to look at Bounce Rate and Average Time Spent on your website to determine if we are drawing quality traffic. If high Bounce Rate and low Average Time Spent, we can assume that the visitors found your page or website, took a quick look, decided its not what they want, and then went away.

And it’s equally important to have Referral Sites. Referrals are basically free advertisement for you or sometimes it is the advertisement you paid for. Some websites might link you as resources, or someone wrote about your products or services and provided a link to your website. Referrals, or external links, to your website is precious and links can build up your SEO. (For more information about SEO, click here )

Conclusion:
By looking at the Bounce Rate, Average Time Spent, New Visitor (vs Returning Visitors), Geographic, and Traffic Source, we can determine a lot of factors to gauge the success of the website.

A website might generate lots of traffic by means of Black Hat SEO, or via other links from forum or social media. But high traffic doesn’t mean that the website is successful in serving the purpose. If a website has high Bounce Rate, low Average Time Spent, too high of New Visitor (vs Returning Visitors), or too low of New Visitor (vs Returning Visitors), wrong Geographic location and limited Traffic Source, the purpose of the website might not be met.

Some magazine websites have dedicated personnel on changing the content on hourly basis, checking on popularity of an article, the design (including the photo) and etc to attract new visitors and yet encouraging the visitors to spend more time on the site to read their articles.

Do you have that kind of manpower to do it? If you don’t, then it is important to develop a long term strategy for your website for your online marketing exercise.

It is important to identify good traffic and bad traffic. A bad traffic, meaning lots of visitors but unrelated visitors whom won’t be your potential customers, is a waste of resources. Some web hosting companies do charge by bandwidth and if you are having lots of bad traffic instead of quality traffic, you could be paying for the bandwidth yet wasting the resources and money that do not generate business from your websites.

But most importantly it is a must to have a tracking system to check the pulse of your website, obtain data on the traffic. By putting a website online yet ignore it can be the most fatal mistake a business entity could make.

If you found this page and want to improve the traffic of your website, or to ensure that your online marketing strategy is correct, please contact us for consultation and our team will be more than happy to discuss the matter with you.

The Quality of Website Traffic – Part 1

By - Posted under: Online Marketing, SEO on November 15, 2011

This is a 2 part articles. Please check back for Part 2 soon.

There was an old saying for website and any online services that goes, “It’s all about the traffic!”

I agree, and I disagree.

First of all, it is great if a website can attract 1,000, 2,000 or 20,000 daily unique visitor traffic (that is roughly 30,000 to 600,000 visitors a month). With such traffic, the function of the website, be it promotion of a product or service, awareness, branding, or marketing, will be fully served.

But is it?

At Zymora Technologies, we don’t take the average daily traffic as the benchmark because we believe that quality is more important than quantity.

What we want to achieve is getting quality traffic that landed onto the website instead of creating a huge number of visitors that come to the website but not contributing to anything for the website beside wastage of the bandwidth.

So how do we determine what’s quality traffic and which one is “just traffic”?

For SEO purposes, we have to investigate the following:

  1. Bounce Rate
  2. Average Time Spent
  3. New Visitor
  4. Geographic
  5. Traffic Source

#1: Bounce Rate
Bounce Rate, as what it says, are the rate of visitor that landed onto your website and then navigate away without staying or navigate further through your pages. Normally this happens when people found your website via search engine and then realized that you are not offering what they are looking for, so they close the browser tab or navigate away.

If you have 600,000 visitors per month and your bounce rate is 90%, then actually there were only 60,000 real visitors that really looking for the things you are offering. If you have 30,000 visitors, that means only 10% of that number is your actual visitors. The rest? They are just passerby.

So for the objective of creating quality visitors, we have to lower the Bounce Rate. Ideally if we can keep it at 35% and lower, that will be great.

#2: Average Time Spent
This data is actually telling us the average time spent by a visitor on the website. It has a direct relation with bounce rate and when the bounce rate is high, then the average time spent will be lower.

Bounce Rate has 0 seconds time spent on the website. So even if you have 300,000 visitors, and your Average Time Spent is 26 seconds, that means your visitors aren’t spending long enough time on your website and learn enough of what you are offering.

In conclusion, it’s important to reduce the Bounce Rate, increase the Average Time Spent to gain maximum exposure of your site to your visitors so they will have the time to learn what you have to offer.

#3: New Visitor
As the name applies, new visitor is the indication on how many “new” visitors that visited your website.

If your average traffic is 20,000 visitors per month and you have a very high number of New Visitors, that means you are attracting lots of new traffic, but you don’t have enough returning visitors.

If you have low new visitors but have a lot of returning visitors, that means you are not generating enough new visitors.

It is important to strike a balance. In an ideal situation, it is best to convert those new visitors to become visitors that visit your website regularly.

So the question is: is there a ratio of returning visitors and unique visitors? There is, but it depends on the cases in question.

Here mark the end of Part 1 of this blog. Please check back later for Part 2.

Adobe Ending Development of Flash Player for Mobile

By - Posted under: News, Web, Web App on November 10, 2011

It has been wildly speculated that Adobe will announce the development of Flash Player for mobile platform will come to an end very soon.

It is no surprise. Earlier in March, Adobe announced Flash to HTML5 conversion tool code name Wallaby. That was the first sign of Adobe giving up the development of Flash Player for mobile platform.

Sources close to Adobe that have been briefed on the company’s future development plans have revealed this forthcoming announcement to ZDNet:

Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores. We will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations. Some of our source code licensees may opt to continue working on and releasing their own implementations. We will continue to support the current Android and PlayBook configurations with critical bug fixes and security updates.

Additionally, the e-mail briefing to Adobe’s partners has been summed up as follows:

  • Adobe is Stopping development on Flash Player for browsers on mobile.

Adobe is now focusing their development efforts on:

  • Applications for mobile
  • Expressive content on the desktop (in and out of browser)
  • Increasing their investments in HTML5 in general

So what does that mean to web developer?

First of all, we can’t say that we didn’t see it coming. There were signs all over and especially when Apple’s Steve Jobs refusal to provide support for Flash for Mobile on iPhone and iPad platform.

Secondly, there were lots of web developer has already developed websites that support Flash and will have to invest the time and resources to continue to provide support to these websites, or have to take the next step by converting the Flash websites to HTML5 platform.

At Zymora we do not encourage our customers to develop a Flash website because we always felt that if the whole website is developed using Flash, the performance and loading time of the page became an issue, and with the booming of Tablet (iPad and Android tablet), smart phones (iPhone, Android phones, BlackBerry, etc), the Flash website will have performance issues and most often than not, will not be displayed at all. That’s hundreds of millions devices that can’t access the website.

HTML5, we believe, will be the platform that we should all invest in. That is the reason why we invest our time and effort to gain traction in the HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery platform as we want to provide the best flexible solutions to our customers.

Update:Even as this post is published, ZDnet has just confirmed that Flash is Dead, Long Live HTML5

[Original news from Engadget and ZDnet]

iPod Turned 10 and What Does It Got to do with Web Design?

By - Posted under: Design, News, Web on October 24, 2011

Original iPod

Exactly 10 years ago today, Apple Inc. introduced the iPod. It wasn’t the music player that had the largest capacity. It wasn’t the music player that offered the best music quality available. But it was the music player the revolutionized the music industry.

How did Apple do it?

It was the design. It offered what others didn’t offer.

For example, the Creative Labs Nomad was better as it had bigger capacity, and it offered great sound quality. But it was huge, chunky, and got too many buttons and options. And then there was Sony which was pushing hard for the MD format, where users had to download the music, insert the MD drive into the PC, synchronize the music, insert the MD drive into the music player, and again, there were many fancy functions.

What Apple did was the complete opposite. It offered very simple design, simple functionality, and offered iTunes to provide “one-stop” music purchase and synchronization. Want to play music? Press one button. Want to select different track? Scroll the wheel. And then people caught on because of how iPod was beautifully made and offer seamless and simple music purchase and listening experience. It became a big hit, and online music store started to boom.

So how do we translate that into our daily life? How do we translate that into web application?

Functionality

A visitor that comes to the website need not select so many options. As a designer, our main aim is to provide the simplest navigation experience that we can offer, without users clicking pass some secret code to find the information that they are looking for. It is technically cool to offer a website that offer functions such as background color, music track, different elements, and etc. But the million dollar question is: do the visitors need this? Most often than not, they don’t. Making it too fancy will actually make them feel visually impaired.

It is extremely important to know what are the main function of the website. Is it to promote a product or service or is it function to provide information of the product or service? Is it function to provide video or music, or is it function to provide news about the video or music?

Once the main function of the website is defined, then it will be easier to start designing the website as we will know what we should include (features) into the website and how the design should flow.

Simplicity

Like functionality, we should offer a simple yet elegant website design that offer easy to find information. For example, the menu must be clearly labelled for the sake of easy navigation.

Less is more – Robert Browning (1812 – 1899)

If we look at Apple product, for instance, we see the iPhone that offer less buttons. In fact, they removed the keypad, they removed the call or end call buttons. All they got was the big home button at the bottom.

Some websites cramp all the information into main page, or some show very little information and users have to click through many links to find out what they are looking for. The ideal way is that on the main page, when the visitors scroll from top to bottom, they already have an idea what the website is about and what kind of information they can expect.

Features

As for features, that’s always a struggle in terms of web design. But we have to draw a clear line that features do not equal to functions. A website can have many features that offer the visitors a unique browsing experience, but having too many functions will spoil the visitors browsing experience.

It is important to remember the distinction between product functions and product features.  Functions are the “product’s answer to the set of user tasks”; features are the “user tools” inherent in the product used to perform the functions (Wood, 1995).  Placing a telephone call is a function; the dial tone and the touch-tone keypad are features used to accomplish the function.

So we need to distinguish the difference between a function and a feature. Once we get that out of the way, we will be able to provide specific one or two functions but with many features.

Steve Jobs (1955 – 2011)

By - Posted under: News on October 6, 2011

20111008-160340.jpg

Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, has passed away.

Being a visionary, Steve Jobs had revolutionized the I.T industries, changing the PC and laptop styling (for the better instead of the boring square box with boring color),changing the music industry by introducing the iPod, changing how we use smartphones with the introduction of iPhone, and revolutionized the tablet PC with the introduction of iPad and the netbook industry with the MacBook Air.

The impact Steve Jobs made in our life can be seen almost everywhere around the world. Competitors were forced to make their devices more useable, better, and more aesthetic and beautiful when faced by the challenge from Apple Inc.

The world has lost a great visionary and icon in the I.T industry. We will miss Steve Jobs immensely.


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