It doesn’t really matter what business sector you operate within or for that matter the size of your business, the way it generates its traffic will come from a long list of many different potential opportunities.
That said, from this long list then there are truly three different areas to focus on, direct traffic or those visitors that come directly to your site from either knowing your brand or from your other marketing sources. Search engine optimisation (SEO), this is organic traffic and will be earned from search engines by the nature of your website’s information delivery. Finally, there is search engine marketing (SEM), this is paid for traffic and will be generated by implementing adverts that people see when looking for specific key terms. Let’s understand a little more about each sector.
The first sector we detailed is ‘direct traffic’ or those visitors that come directly to your site as they know or have seen your brand elsewhere. This shows how important it is to make sure your external or offline marketing works in hand with your online advertising. In this day and age then the vast majority of people will look you up on the internet once they have heard of you and are therefore considering using your services. Every area of your advertising should include your web address as a minimum!
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO as it is also known utilises a variety of techniques for increasing traffic through the “organic search” areas of search engine listings. Essentially, this means taking steps to make it easier for Google and other search engines to find your site’s content, “judge” it, and to match it to the search terms that people use to find material on the web. This costs nothing — that is, there is no charge directly from the search engines, its the talent from your SEO specialist that really delivers success, and this will cost anything from a few pounds to many thousands. This is ultimately explained as ‘earning’ attention!
The last option we are discussing is Search Engine Marketing or SEM, a major component of this is Pay-Per-Click marketing or PPC which is often referred to as paid search. You bid for keywords to appear in paid listings at the top of search results. The winners, judged according to many factors, appear at the top of the search listings. If a searcher clicks on a paid link, the site’s owners must pay a fee directly to the search engine.
It is difficult to generate the traffic you need through SEO although the majority of online sesrch engine users do utilise these ads rather than the paid ads as they understand the paid ads are exactly that, purchased. Because of this then the pot of people searching for your service or products is vast and if you can attract these then your potential to increase you traffic will be massive.
With PPC listings then you are buying this traffic and this can be extremely expensive however, it is the only way to guarentee page one position one listings. The majority of companies utilise their paid listings to generate all traffic where as it should ultimately generate the key terms that lead directly to the call to action or sale, what ever is required.
Your SEO should therefore generate all of your ‘bread and butter’ listings including your brand visibility and this will therefore be suplemented by your paid search.
If you operate both together and support this with your direct trafic from off line marketing sources then you are maximising the potential from all of this traffic that is looking for your services right now!