This thread is of great interest to me...I think the brouhaha about traffic is really coming to a "head" so to speak. Traffic, per say, is basically just a lot of people stopping by to see what`s going on....so, you might say...hey, that`s great. But, I personally don`t care to have a lot of traffic visiting my site without generating any sales! Traffic may be important to sites that really don`t have any content, or, more appropriately put, aren`t attempting to sell a "physical" item, much as when someone goes to a "store" physically to pick up some item they want or need. Or, when the site is primarily for communicative purposes, as in information peddling. [Selling services or abstract goods by definition requires more time on the part of the seller]
So...average traffic and all those other technical terms are not as important to me as what I refer to as ...QUALIFIED LEADS. In marketing circles, this translates to less downtime, less spinning of wheels, less wasting of one`s time, efforts, and money, basically. So, traffic stats to me are interesting, even somewhat important, but they sure as heck do not translate into any stats that I consider the be all and end all of generating sales for one`s website without spending additional monies for advertising.
Sidebar: I know that wandering-in kind of traffic can be good for "impulse buying", as well as referral based sales...I just don`t think that this particular form of "traffic" on a percentage basis to ones total sales overall is going to sending rockets soaring and bombs blaring!
When someone "clicks" through on a keyword to someone`s website, there is absolutely no prior congnizance by the prospective customer of the level of quality of the goods based upon the simplified "keyword" transmission, or of the absolute "relevance" of that keyword to the items that reside on the website that they will be taken to. I have done searches over the years to more or less track just how bad this circumstance has progressed on the internet, and it is definitely getting worse. That to me translates into a higher cost of advertising due to a higher percentage of lost relevance. In other words, the more websites their are:
1) the greater the odds are that you will be taken to a site whose overall relevance to the keyword(s) entered is less and less;
2) the greater the probability that the prospective customer will be overwhelmed with finding the best possible vendor for their desired product;
3) the greater the probability [Given that even though the increase in internet usage and websites allows for greater exposure and greater selection for prospecitve buyers, but also requires a great deal more time to actually find what one is looking for...] that the website owner will continue to pay a higher and higher advertising cost based on CPC`s...this is assuming that massive changes to the technical details of how CPC functions behind the web interface function actually takes place.
To me, the most important part of selling on the internet is Branding! Without this, you really are just looking at generating as much traffic as possible. Auction sites are great at this! My website isn`t. Nor do I want it to be, without generating a higher percentage of sales from that traffic. When you are successful at branding, it has built in qualification to my way of thinking.
So, the stats of CPC, et al, are not nearly as important to me without gaining a lot more detail, so that I am able to gain a much greater level of control over the relevance of every dollar that I spend on advertising!