Contrary to many beliefs you don't need Google to get website traffic. There are actually FIVE methods to get traffic (or visitors) to your website and we'll be going through all 5 of them in this blog post.
Is one method better than the other?
It depends on your traffic strategy and your budget, each has pros and cons and a mixture of all the methods will bring you the most traffic.
1. Paid Traffic
There are lots of different platforms where you can pay for ads. Search engines such as Google and Bing are the most popular for search traffic. This is where you bid on a keyword or range of keywords and when someone clicks on your link, you pay for that click (pay per click.)
Other popular platforms that offer paid ads are the social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter. YouTube, although a social network comes under Google.
Pros: Immediate Traffic to your website.
Cons: When you switch off the money, the traffic stops too.
2. Organic Search Traffic
There's no question that organic search traffic is a valuable commodity. After all, when someone Googles a term related to your business, they're already interested in what you have to offer and are potentially ready to buy.
You may be forgiven for thinking that search traffic is effectively 'free' traffic, but it's not.
Search traffic can be expensive. You need to compete with other businesses for those top spots in the search engine results pages (SERPs), and if you're not willing or able to invest in SEO, you'll likely miss out on a lot of potential visitors.
Pros: Over time, focusing first on longer tail keywords, you can get thousands of visitors to your website.
Cons: Can be expensive for high volume search keywords. Slow to get decent traffic volume.
3. Social Media Traffic
Social media traffic comes from websites such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok. There's more than putting up a post and expecting thousands of website visitors minutes after posting. With the different algorithms on each platforms which decide how many of your followers and non-followers see your content your content may not be shown to anyone.
You need to work on not only building your audience on social media, those who actively search for your content, you need to produce content that makes you stand out from the crowd.
Consistency is also key. It can be a lot of work to maintain a profile on one social network, add in a couple of more then you need to start thinking and producing more strategically.
When starting out, select one or two platforms at most to master, then add another only when you are getting consistent and quality traffic from those you start with.
Pros: social media has big, popular platforms with a lot of potential visitors.
Cons: the competition for attention is fierce, and it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd.
4. Referral Traffic
Referral traffic is one of the most important factors in driving quality traffic to your website. If you want to increase referral traffic, consider adding referral links to popular blogs and websites in your industry.
Referral traffic includes clicks on a link to your website that came from another site, in an email, or in a document.
These links can also be classes as 'backlinks' which can help with SEO.
Pros: Referral traffic can be high quality and lead to valuable customers.
Cons: It can be time consuming to build these links up by leaving quality comments/content for each one.
5. Direct Traffic
Direct traffic is defined as visits with no referring website. This means that the visitor typed the URL directly into their browser, or clicked on a bookmark. Sometimes it can also include clicks on links in email campaigns or social media posts. According to Google Analytics, direct traffic is any source that doesn't have an associated referral string.
This type of traffic includes offline or direct marketing such as marketing flyers, ads in newspapers etc where the person has to copy the url into their browser to get access to your offer.
Pros: You have complete control over the messages that go out. You can target a specific audience with your message and you don't have to rely on anyone else to get it in front of them.
Cons: It can be difficult to track, and you can't necessarily scale it up like you could with other marketing channels.
Now that you are aware of all the different types of traffic you can send to your website, what traffic strategy are you going to create for your business?