Website traffic means the (amount of) visitors who go to your website. Unless your website is on the internal network for a limited number of users, there is no point of having a website that no one visits.
So what are the main traffic sources for a normal website? There are a few that can be broken into 2 main categories
- I. Paid traffic: Similar to the traditional brick and mortar stores you can actually pay to attract visitors come to your store (via advertising, promotion, affiliate programs, etc.) A few examples:
- Google adwords
- Facebook and other social network ads
- Affiliate programs
- II. Organic traffic: People may have the need for the type of products and services you provide and may find you through search engines, words of mouth etc. A few example:
- Search engines (Google, Bing, etc)
- Words of mouth
- (Free) Endorsement from 3rd parties
“ Paid traffic is good for short-term gain (such as launching a new promo campaign next weekend) while organic traffic is essential for keeping a constant, low-cost visitors flow to your site. Smart use of both sources is the key to success. ”
Depending on the exact type of products and services you offer on your website, one traffic source may bring more potential clients than another. When you first start you should analyze and pick the source you see the most potential to focus your resources, then later expand your campaign to other sources.
“ 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product when conducting a search on their smartphone. ”Google, 2016
Pay for traffic
Actually, you pay for traffic either way, the only difference is how and who you pay for it. Is it worth the money paying Google, Facebook and other ads network to display your offers? It depends. Basically you need to check your cost per order and see if you can still make any good profit from it. The effectiveness of paid traffic depends on the specific industry you are in (which in turn decides the average profit margin you have per order).
The general rule of thumb is that you should consider utilizing paid traffic if your offer fits at least one of these criteria:
- High Customer Lifetime Value: you know, the type of services/products that can generate recurring businesses for a long time such as medical treatments, educational programs, utility providers, and subscription services.
- High Profit Margins: if you have great profit margin per order, you can afford the cost of sales per customer (some industries can even afford paying hundreds of dollars per customer). Some examples are law services, home renovations, vehicles,...
- Niche Products: if you sell rare product/service that is difficult to find then you can also rely on paid traffic to find customers. Reason? Since you have few competitors you may have higher conversion rate and lower cost per conversion.
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Get organic traffic
For most businesses, we recommend optimizing your site for Organic traffic first then taking advantage of Paid traffic if your budget allows.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO, is the process of getting relevant organic traffic from listings on search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Search engine optimization is essential because:
- The majority of search engines users are more likely to click on one of the top 5 suggestions in the results pages (SERPS)
- Users trust search engines and having a presence in the top positions for the keywords the user is searching increases the website’s trust.
- SEO is good for the social promotion of your website. People who find your website by searching Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. are more likely to promote it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or other social media channels.
- SEO can put you ahead of the competition. If two websites are selling the same thing, the search engine optimized website is more likely to have more customers and make more sales.
Most modern search engines listings are results of very complex ranking algorithms to display relevant results on search engine results pages (SERPs). The items displayed on theses results are web pages and other content such as videos, images or local listings. The goal of each search engine is to provide the best possible matches for a given search term. While these algorithms are kept secret, there are fundamental rules we can follow to optimize improve search engine rankings:
- Having useful, relevant content related to the topic you want to be found by.
- Having interesting, well-written and unique content related to the topic on your website.
- Getting mentioned, linked back from relevant and trusted source such as other well-known websites in the same industry.
“ 66% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. ”Hubspot, 2016
Every website we deliver for our clients are made with the essential SEO standards. This, however, is just the first step in a long road to get your website in the top ranks of the search engines.