What Type of Visitors Are Best for Your Site: One Time or Return?

For those of us who run websites, it’s no secret that our primary goal is to try and get people to our site.  I mean, what’s the point of taking all of the time to put together these sites if nobody is going to read them?

That being said, what type of traffic should you be targeting?  Should you target the one time traffic – the type of visitor that’s going to quickly scan your page for what they want and then leave – or the repeat traffic – the type of visitor that checks out your page every day or so, reads your new posts and is then on their way?

On the surface, the answer may seem pretty apparent, but in actuality, the best answer may not be so obvious.

For those of us who monetize our sites, whether it’s through Google Adsense, affiliate programs or selling your own products, I believe that it’s the one time visitors that are the best traffic for your site. 

Here’s why – one time visitors usually don’t show up to peruse your content, check out your archives, post comments, all that good stuff.  Nope, they typically show up because they are looking for something specific and they’re hoping that they can find it on your site.

I don’t think that it really matters how these one timers get to your site, whether it’s through a search engine or through a sites like Digg, Netscape, Reddit, Fark, etc.  All that matters is they’re at your site and they’re looking for something.

Because they’re on this mission, one time visitors are probably much more likely to click Adsense or affiliate links or check out the products for sale on your site when compared to repeat traffic.

Now, if you run a site that isn’t monetized or you don’t particularly care about making money and you’re more focused on providing lots of content that will keep your visitors entertained and occupied for hours on end, then I would say your best traffic is going to be repeat visitors.

So what should you do if you run a site like this that’s monetized and is meant for reading lots of articles?  Because you’ve got the best of both worlds, you should try your best to take advantage of both types of traffic! 

Just know that your one time visitors aren’t going to be as numerous, but that they’re probably going to generate most of your revenue and that your repeat visitors are far more likely to comment on articles and read more than one post, but are much less likely to get you into early retirement.


  1. Excellent insight, Brian. This situation is full of ironies. I think the best mix for a monetized blog is just that – a mix. You’ve gotta be open to the fact that one-and-out hit-and-run traffic tends to be more clicky-clicky and generates more instant ad revenue – but it’s also good to remember that having loyal readers may well be more valuable from a long-term financial standpoint. For example, if you cater only to the one-off folks, it’s less likely that you’ll be able to seek one of them out and ask for help spreading the world about your blog or website.

    Great post and good to meet ya!

  2. Easton – Thanks for the comment. That’s a good point about in and out visitors being good for short term success and repeat visitors being good for long term success. Case in point, on one of my other sites I just finished an advertising deal thanks in large part to my repeat traffic.