Untargeted Traffic is Bad! Or Is It?


If you look at your site’s traffic statistics and are scratching your head at where some of your traffic comes from, you can bet that it’s likely untargeted traffic. Untargeted traffic means anyone that comes to your website with zero interest in your services from the beginning. Targeted traffic are visitors that have come in from an advertising offer or marketing result, and have clicked on your site because they are interested. Targeted traffic arrives with the willingness to convert, while untargeted is just nosing around.

Untargeted traffic can come from mistakenly clicking a link, friends emailing your site to each other, errant search results, or in the worst case scenario, you might get “scooped” and go viral on a major social networking site like Twitter or Reddit. You should have focused content marketing efforts and rich webpages pulling targeted traffic to your website, but sometimes content can pull unexpected guests. Believe it or not, there are perks to untargeted traffic, and they can actually tell you a lot about your marketing efforts and what you can do to improve them.

If you’re running PPC advertisements, backlinks from other sites or any other paid advertising, untargeted traffic can be bad. Traffic can cost you valuable PPC dollars, especially if it doesn’t lead to conversions. That’s not to mention hosting rates; if you pay for your server space based on usage, you might get slammed by untargeted traffic without any conversions to offset the cost. Ultimately, you’d rather have 50 visitors a day and 3 sales instead of 500 visitors a day and no sales, right?

A little untargeted traffic can be an excellent opportunity to improve your website.

If you have affiliate ad placements on your website, untargeted traffic can result in conversions to your affiliates that you might not have otherwise made if the offer is good. You may discover that your website ranks in search results you didn’t anticipate: perfect for re-focusing your SEO copywriting crosshairs on new keywords that are already producing results.

There are plenty of sites that offer tons of untargeted traffic at a ridiculously low price, but you’re really getting what you pay for. Pay-per-hit untargeted traffic arrives at your site from dubious pop-ups and sketchy banner ads that flash or force someone to click to your site before they can go away. Even if you think you’ve got ad placements that pay for themselves in impressions, those impressions pay fractions of a cent per view and will never offset the cost of hosting the ad and serving it to uninterested visitors in the first place.

So yes, contrary to popular belief, untargeted traffic can be a good thing in small quantities. A few extra hits a day can be great, if you know how to use them. You can do your analytics homework and figure out what search results and traffic sources are bringing people to your page. You can get creative and ask visitors to opt-in to a mailing list for your services, or for anything they might find interesting—you have their email, feel free to ask them what they want to see! As long as untargeted traffic isn’t eating up your monthly hosting fees, it can be an interesting source for new conversion writing strategies and business inspirations.

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Andrew Glasscock is currently based in Nashville, Tennessee. He graduated with a BA in English, specialized in Creative Writing, with a minor in Marketing this past May. Along with copywriting, he loves being an improv comedian, playing frisbee, and dogs.

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