Should Digital Brands be obsessed with Traffic and Search volume?

There are common unifiers in every industry and attributes in every company. In these modern times, the common unifier with digital brands is their obsession with performance metrics. Achieving KPIs and increasing website traffic are attributes of a good content marketing strategy, but what happens when it becomes the sole standard of operation for a business?

What is performance-based marketing?

Performance-based marketing is a hot advertising trend but is also surprisingly controversial.

The idea behind performance-based marketing is simple: if you can measure your ad campaign’s success, you can optimize it for better results. But while this is a brilliant idea, there are many potential pitfalls along the way.

Performance-based marketing has existed for decades but gained traction in the early 2000s. The 2000s had digital brands display advertising networks such as Google Adwords, and Facebook sponsored ads began offering advertisers “keywords” that they could associate with their ads to gain visibility of their ads. In exchange for paying a small fee, these networks promised to deliver targeted traffic to advertisers’ websites or mobile apps.

Case study #1

Numerous case studies show the damage excess focus on performance metrics can cause.

In a study carried out by Partner Hero, two teams were given the same task but different metrics.

The study told team A to create 40 widgets per hour, while the study told Team B to create as many widgets as they could per hour. Once members of Team A reached the goal of 40, productivity stopped. No one tried to shoot for more, but Team B, on average, created 45 per hour. Not only did Team B generate more, but they were also more willing to share ideas that would increase productivity amongst themselves and, therefore, overall performance. (Source: Forbes)

This case study is one of many instances where businesses, especially digital brands, obsess over performance metrics and end up killing employee productivity and innovation.

Is the constant push for performance-based marketing all bad?

The idea that pushes metrics focus is seen everywhere. A simple Google search on how to improve your content marketing strategy will highlight numerous points as to the importance of metrics. Now, this post is not to negate metrics’ results because that would be false.

We have seen examples with companies like;

NameCheap increased its website traffic and search volume by 30% through a Twitter contest in December 2007. Their follower count jumped from 200 to 4000 in a month, and they gained a $1 million increase in revenue.

Stellar, a data recovery site in India, included SEO optimization in their content marketing agency campaign by changing their design to make it SEO-friendly and using keywords. The results were a 400% increase in website traffic and a 75% sales increase.

These results show that being a performance-based digital brand is not technically wrong, but it goes crazy when it becomes the sole factor by which a company operates.

What are search volume (keyword) and website traffic?

These are two words used religiously in SEO (search engine optimization) metrics for brands trying to rank high on Google or brands trying to increase sales, but what do they mean?

Search Volume and website traffic are two of the most critical metrics in SEO. They are used to measure the effectiveness of a campaign, track trends, and assess the overall health of a website.

Search volume 

Search volume is calculated by dividing page views (or visits) by the number of pages on a website (or URL), indicating how many people are looking at a page or site. Search engine results page (SERP) results are also included in search traffic numbers since they appear in search results when a query is performed by clicking on links.

Search volume is the number of times a keyword or term has been searched on Google. It is an important metric when measuring the popularity of a keyword.

Website Traffic

Website traffic is another important metric that provides insight into how well your website performs. For example, it measures how many visitors visit your site from external sources such as mobile devices or social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Website traffic is essential for measuring how popular your website is.

Search engine marketing professionals use search volume and website traffic metrics to evaluate whether their campaigns successfully drove new website traffic or increased traffic levels within existing users’ behavior patterns.

Effects of over-relying on SEO metrics

Dedicating time and scarce resources toward nurturing vital SEO metrics can help drive traffic and conversions. But it can also become an endless pursuit that takes brands away from delivering value-driven content. We often see these manifest because;

Keyword data can be inaccurate.

The data you receive on a keyword’s search volume depends on the keyword tool you utilize. For instance, SEMRush can show that “content marketing strategy” was searched 56,000 times, and Google’s keyword tool can place the same keyword at 44,000. However, if a business solely relies on these metrics, it can often push its resources in a different way. What should be increasing sales can ultimately have the opposite effect.

Broad content target

The type of content you are targeting can be too broad, or the information you are seeking is not easily found through a search. For example, if you were trying to find a product for sale online, and your keyword was “fountain pens,” you might need to target a broader word than “pen” for your ads to appear.

Difficulty determining visits from organic vs. paid ads

it can take time to determine how many visitors came from organic search results versus paid ads. If someone searched for something related to your offer and clicked on an ad, they were most likely coming from organic results rather than paid search ads. This means that it’s hard to know the likelihood of a click resulting in a sale.

Lose customer focus orientation

Relying on search volume can make businesses focus on goals over customer experience, ultimately hurting the brand. As a result, employees begin to see customers as profit markers instead of real people.

Balance: how can brands navigate the conundrum?

This post does not attempt to take anything away from the importance of SEO metrics. Instead, it serves to remind digital brands of the need to tailor their content strategies to audiences’ pain points instead of being obsessed with search volume and website traffic.

Digital brands can avoid this quagmire by adopting the following;

Consider metrics as helpful aids. 

We must acknowledge the results that metrics create, so the idea is not to do away with metrics but to consider them as adds to your content marketing strategy and not all of it. For example, if your company focuses on employee relevance and customer experience, employees will be treated better and, in turn, perform better in terms of customer experience.

Focus on growth over numbers

Many businesses believe that metrics are the reason for the growth they experience. While that is true, it undervalues the motivation employees need. For example, instead of focusing on a 59% increase in website traffic, you can focus on overall growth in website traffic. Numbers and metrics have a way of placing pressure on employee performance and killing intrinsic motivation.

Executive involvement in metric strategies

If those at the top become involved in metric strategies, it will be easier to effectively communicate the metrics to the employees. For example, it is easy to tell employees to meet business targets for website traffic, but without an active plan, the results can go either way. For example, if an executive or senior manager is involved, they can ensure that quality is not being pushed aside for quantity.


If you have noticed one consistent factor throughout this post, a content marketing strategy’s relevance pushes productivity over-generalized performance. And one of the best ways to ensure that employees are not operating a “factory product line” is to have good content that will draw in organic visits without pushing metrics.

If you want to partner with a content writing agency that puts overall and long-term performance over metrics through good content, look no further than Kaku. is a content writing agency that helps businesses in their efforts to create high-quality content for their websites and social media accounts. It saves businesses time, money, and struggle as it does all the work for them. We provide the best bank for your buck, and you gain traction in your business without shoveling metrics down your strategy. Visit us and book a consultation to see how we can upgrade your content marketing strategy.

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