Introduction to Traffic Options, Organic And Paid Sources
This is an overview of the different options available to you for Organic and Paid sources of traffic for your website.
Before embarking on any programme of traffic generation, you need to carefully think about who your target customer is, and where you can find them. These factors will largely dictate which options for traffic generation you choose.
There is no point in generating traffic and sending it to your webpage or website unless you are ready to be able to convert the visitors in some way, whether this is to secure their contact details, at the initial stage of contact, or to encourage them to buy something (Call To Action) at a later stage in the Sales process.
This post from SmartBug explains the difference between Direct and Organic Traffic Options.
What Are The Different Traffic Options for Any Business?
There are broadly two categories of Traffic available to any business, Organic Sources of Traffic and Paid Sources of Traffic.
Organic Sources Of Traffic
Email marketing is arguably the best traffic source, but in order to take advantage of it, you need to build an email list of subscribers who are interested in your products and trust you enough to consider purchasing from you.
Once you have a list of subscribers it is free to use and re-use, unless some people unsubscribe as a result of excessive emailing, spamming or loss of trust if low-quality offers are made.
You have control of your email list and it cannot be shut down by a quasi-authority such as Google or Amazon.
There are more than 4.6bn email addresses in the world.
The Return on Investment from an email list is a massive $44 from $1 of Advertising spend.
The cost of email marketing is quite low, but the time needed to harvest returns is quite high, but the engagement is also high.
The audience is your email list who are in your niche and have purchased from you or have at least received a Lead Magnet from you, a prospective purchaser.
The top results in Search Engine Optimisation get the most clicks and visits to their post or website. The aspiration is to be #1 in Google, Bing, Yahoo, or on the other search engines Youtube and Pinterest (visual search engine).
By optimising your blog and updating it you can take advantage of the Google algorithm to project your post to the highest possible level and therefore get traffic to your website.
There are 63,000 Google searches per second! 93% of internet journeys begin with a search engine search. There are 1.2 trillion global searches per month, and 91% of internet users use a search.
77% of all internet users read blogs.
Although the Google algorithm is complicated, it is generally agreed that blogs with high-quality content rank highly for featured keywords.
An active blogging site with high-quality content, targetted long tail keywords which are easy to read, and has diagrams, images and featured videos, banners and calls to action will do best.
Cost of blogging is not high, although the time investment is great. Engagement varies depending on the age of the site and authority, engagement etc, but can be enormous.
You can enhance your email list by inviting other trusted associates to swap or invite their email list to buy your product or service. Similarly, you may invite other associates to pitch offers to your list.
Guest blogs can be used in a similar way to build engagement.
Another way of achieving organic traffic is to recruit affiliate marketers who will sell your product or service in return for a commission. This commission can be quite high, sometimes 50-100%, so there is a high incentive for affiliates to make conversions.
The cost of affiliate marketing is high, but there are guaranteed sales, and you only pay upon that sale, not if the product is not sold. There is a risk for the affiliate marketer, because he may expend resources trying to sell but not succeed.
Engagement is pretty good.
The audience is in your niche, and the audience intent varies depending upon the offer, the niche and the platform.
Social Media Engagement
A video is a fantastic way to build organic traffic, using the platforms of Youtube, Vimeo, or Facebook Videos.
The medium of video comprised 75% of all online traffic in 2017, which is projected to grow quickly to more than 80%.
It is recognised that including a video within an email results in a much higher rate of conversion.
Youtube is the second biggest search engine in the world with 3bn users. There are 300hours of video uploaded to Youtube every minute.
80% of all 18 – 50-year-olds watch Youtube. How to videos and review videos are extremely popular on Youtube.
So in summary, if you post a good quality video (which keeps the attention of the viewer) with a targetted keyword in your niche, you can be fairly sure of getting good engagement.
Cost of video making need not be high, and time involved also not excessive, but engagement as a return on that investment is usually high.
Neil Patel is a regular broadcaster on video and podcast when talking about SEO
Podcasts And Public Speaking Engagements
Podcasting of interviews, as well as guest speaking and guest blogging, can use an existing platform to boost credibility. An example of such a Podcaster is Neil Patel the King of SEO, who regularly issues podcasts and blogs weekly, as well as newsletters and bulletins for various purposes.
This method is great for building Brand. It also enhances reputation and authority and credibility.
Cost of this activity is low, but time involvement is high, however, it can result in quite high engagement.
Niche engagement is one of the best ways to attract organic traffic to your site, because of your involvement and engagement with the community. You can become an authority figure in the community which further enhances engagement and therefore traffic. You are building credibility and providing value to people by solving their problems and answering their questions.
You can contribute to various forums in your niche. Also, you can create links to your site by answering questions from such sites as Quora and Reddit, the subject of course to their terms and conditions and rules.
The cost of such niche engagement is very low, but the time engagement can be high, but engagement is also high so the returns on investment are good.
Referral Marketing And Influencing
Referral marketing is a fantastic way of getting traffic because you are getting the power of someone else´s testimonial endorsing your product or service. The referrer is influencing the purchaser to take an action, on the basis of trust between the influencer and the prospective purchaser.
It can be seen in many instances where successful marketers use other powerful influencers to endorse and recommend their products. For example, Anik Singal has his Lurn products endorsed by famous author and businessman Robert Kiyosaki.
Publicity Stunts and Competitions
You can create traffic and interest in your product or service by doing some unique publicity stunts or competitions in order to grab the headlines. Sometimes such events can be recorded on film or video and can go Viral which can have a dramatic return on investment.
Such events can dramatically improve brand awareness and can encourage new buyers and a different audience sector.
Ideally, the publicity should target your niche, but in a much broader way in order to gain a better return on investment.
Costs can vary immensely but you are in control of how much money and time is spent. The engagement can be tremendous if the publicity stunt is a success or the competition is popular.
Directories and Publications
You can get traffic if you are seen as an authority figure in your niche by contributing articles to directories and relevant niche authority publications. You can leverage these by including your bio in the article and links to your website. The higher quality the directories and publications, then likely the higher returns in terms of traffic. The cost of such articles is very low and the time needed also usually not a lot. The engagement is unpredictable.
You can share your posts and documents and reports on websites for uploading and sharing content.
Such documents are returned on Google, Bing and Yahoo searches for particular keywords.
The more documents you share, the more engagement there will be as a result, especially if you have links to your website built into the documents.
This activity helps to build your brand. It is a low-cost way to complement your blogging activities and they help to build your authority and credibility. They do not have to take a lot of time, if you already have the content, you are finding another way to share it.
Paid Sources Of Traffic
The Sources of Paid traffic are as follows:
This is the most popular of the Social Media, and best for advertising because almost everyone is on Facebook.
Advertisements can be expensive, especially when advertising to a targetted audience for conversions (as opposed to for engagement). You can, however, test out audiences and results from a very low level of around $5.
Facebook provides the best available targetting of Ads, and there are plenty of prospects so it could be viewed as beneficial for both advertisers and consumers. You can even target specific interests in your target audience so that the value of the Ads is quite high, they reach those who are receptive to them.
Additionally, Facebook Likes, Comments and Shares give the potential for posts and Ads to go Viral.
Instagram is also integrated into Facebook.
Features of Facebook and Instagram Ads are an attention-grabbing headline and an associated image.
There are basically four types of Facebook Ads:
- Text Ads – which tell as a story to a lookalike audience.
- Story Ads – which are a sort of long form sales letter.
- Image Ads with a shorter text.
- Video Ads or a series of images inside Facebook, or possibly animated video with short or long text.
Facebook Ads can become expensive especially for conversion ads. The time investment can be relatively small and the engagement can be good if the lookalike audience has been accurately targetted in your niche. The audience is not necessarily looking for purchases on Facebook they are more likely to be looking for content, and it can be hard to get their attention because there are lots of distractions.
Youtube is the second largest search engine, but at the moment is relatively little exploited, there is not much competition. Also at the moment, Youtube Ads are relatively inexpensive.
Youtube Ads tend to play at the beginning (before) videos are played, and sometimes during the time they are playing.
There are two types of Youtube Ads, Stream Ads, and Video Discovery Ads, which appear in a search.
Youtube videos are good for building Brand Awareness.
The cost of Youtube ads is relatively moderate, and time investment not excessive, and engagement is pretty good.
The audience is the targetted audience on Youtube and the Intent is usually to search for content (information or reviews) not necessarily to purchase.
Google Ads can be complicated, but there is buyer intent because people are searching for particular keywords.
The cost of Google Ads is relatively high, but the time investment is relatively low, and engagement moderate.
The audience is people who are searching for particular keywords, and there is intent to purchase.
Bing And Yahoo Advertisements
Bing and Yahoo are search engines similar to Google but with a smaller share of the overall search market.
Their Ads are less expensive than those of Google.
You should test out each of these and Google as well, to see which one gives you the best results.
There are already Make Money Online Paid Ads on Bing and Yahoo platforms.
The cost of Bing and Yahoo is moderate, and the time investment is relatively small, and the engagement level only moderates because these platforms are less popular than Google.
The audience is searching for particular keyword search terms, and the buyer intent is there because of that.
Twitter advertisements are good for connecting initially with prospective customers, often from initial cold contact. However, Twitter users are not usually in a receptive mood for Buying Intent. Twitter advertisements can take a cold contact and make them brand awareness so that they become a warm contact.
Twitter has good targetting features, but not as good as Facebook.
Certain Niches are more active on Twitter, such as Politics, Comedy and Technology.
Typically Twitter advertisements would have an image and a small banner ad with a clickable link.
There is more than 1 bn registered Twitter users, 100m active daily Twitter users and more than 120m unique visitors per month. More than 550m Twitter account holders sent at least one Tweet.
Twitter ads are moderately expensive, however, they take little time investment to initiate, and do get fairly good engagement.
The target audience is your target audience on Twitter, who are generally looking for content on Twitter, not usually having Buyer Intent.
LinkedIn is a great platform for Business to Business (B2B) transactions.
Advertisements on LinkedIn can be expensive, and users are not as active as they are on other forms of Social Media, such as Facebook or Twitter.
LinkedIn does have very useful targeting features, for example, job positions like CEO´s or HR Manager or other specific skills.
You can put your LinkedIn Ad into your target´s feed, in a similar way to Facebook Ads appear in your feed.
There are 443m registered LinkedIn users. 80% of all leads are Business to Business (B2B).
Examples of LinkedIn Ads are:
Sponsored Content – where the Ad appears as content in the target´s feed.
Text Ads – Where the Ad appears on the right side of the page in the column using traditional text ads.
Sponsored in Mail – Where the Ad is sent out as a message to someone´s inmail.
LinkedIn Ads are moderately expensive but can be justified if they can be accurately targeted.
Engagement of LinkedIn Ads is quite good.
The target audience is limited to LinkedIn members, who are generally seeking business contacts and networking, possibly for career advantage.
Pinterest Ads are highly visual and mostly images, although videos are allowed as well.
Pinterest is a great platform for marketers and is used for ideas and cool products.
It is appropriate to advertise any niche on Pinterest particular is effective for Fitness products, Health, Cooking, and possibly Fashion goods.
Good Pinterest Ads (PINS) do have the potential to go Viral, and you can promote your PINS to give them a publicity boost.
Pinterest is great for advertising to Women, and more than 80% of all visitors to Pinterest are women.
Women go to Pinterest for good ideas and to look for inspiration, particularly around special occasions such as weddings and births, baby goods.
PINS tend to consist of a brightly coloured High-Quality Image (or video), to catch attention, and a brief text headline, with a clickable link.
There are more than 175m active Pinterest users, and there are more than 50 bn PINS, on more than 1 bn boards (PIN collections). 87% of PINNERs have made a purchase as a result of inspiration from Pinterest. 5% of referral traffic is from Pinterest, and more than 93% of Pinterest members are active.
Advertisements on Pinterest are moderately expensive, but take relatively little time invested in order to achieve great results and a lot of engagement.
Your audience on Pinterest is your followers in your niche, and this audience is generally looking for content and inspiration in that niche.
Solo Ads are basically using someone else´s email list to advertise your products or services. It is extending your own email list. You can use the email to attempt to build a relationship with this new prospective customer.
A recommended resource for Solo Ads is Clickonomy.com.
You can also buy clicks from verified sellers in your own niche.
Solo Ads are moderately expensive and do take some time to formulate and target effectively, but they do give a relatively good level of engagement if done correctly.
The audience is targetted and interested in your niche. Audience intent exists because of the level of trust from the owner of the email list from which you buy, so there is an element of risk.
How Do You Choose The Most Appropriate Traffic Source For Your Needs bearing in Mind All The Possible Options?
The decision about which source of traffic to use depends upon the answers to the following questions so can change as the answers to these questions may change. So you could start off with one form of traffic and move on to a different traffic source.
Who Is Your Ideal Customer?
Do you know the Avatar for your ideal customer? If not, then it would be beneficial to formulate such as Avatar, based on the following criteria:
Customer Age, Gender, Work and Home Location, Work profession, hobbies and interests etc.
Where Do Your Ideal Customers congregate?
At what location, physical or virtual, do your customers hang out?
What Niche Are You In?
Certain Niches are matched to certain Social Media. For example, Fitness is usually marketed on Youtube, owing to historical conditions.
What Is The Goal Of Your Campaign?
Is your campaign designed to achieve engagement or conversions (email addresses or sales).
What Does Your Sales Funnel Look Like?
Have you designed your Sales Funnel, with Doorbuster front-end products and upsells, downsells and cross-sells?
When you know the answers to the above question, then you are able to make a decision about the most appropriate Source of Traffic to use.
OMS Conclusion And Recommendation Traffic Options
In order to use traffic sources efficiently, you need to properly understand the respective advantages and disadvantages of each type of traffic and the monetary cost or the time implications of each type of traffic.
You need to plan which traffic options you will use first before trying out each of them.
If you need to do things quickly, you need to be sure of the timing of the application of the investment.
A strategy which is planned around the use of Social Media will usually take longer, but not demand as much financial investment.
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