Although Driving Traffic to your website is a big subject, I’m going to simplify it into TWO basic areas:
1) You can either BUY TRAFFIC
2) Of you can GROW TRAFFIC naturally
In an ideal world, you would do both, because they have complementary advantages and disadvantages.
There are many types of media that would fall into the category of BUYING TRAFFIC. But the biggest and most broadly used service is PAY PER CLICK (PPC) advertising. And the biggest service in the PPC area is Google’s Adwords.
Adwords is like putting little classified ads on the internet, especially next to the search engine listings for search terms.
As an example, if you are selling “Acme Widgets,” you can pay to have small ads show up on the search engine results page when people search for “Acme Widgets.”
Your little ads will be viewable on the page of search listings, in a special area, usually off to the right of the page.
Buying traffic is the fastest way to get your website in front of people that are looking for what you have to offer. It’s an exceptionally powerful way to drive traffic to your website.
But PPC is so powerful, that if used incorrectly, it can lose you more money than you make. It’s not uncommon that even if you know what you’re doing, you may still lose money when getting started.
In fact, in the beginning, Google will charge you MORE money for clicks until you PROVE that you know what you’re doing with the traffic they send you.
Because PPC is such a great way to generate traffic and sales, the costs have gone up over the years and the manner on how to conduct Pay Per Click marketing has became more sophisticated. In short, PPC is a very powerful media when used skillfully by current standards.
Google’s Adwords is is not the only way to buy traffic on the internet, but it is the biggest, and mostly widely used way to do so.
Growing Natural Traffic with Search Engine Optimization
But what if you could get traffic for FREE!?
Well, that’s the idea that is fundamental to GROWING TRAFFIC naturally, or organically.
The beauty of SEO is that there are things you can do to make your website more friendly to search traffic which results in gaining more visibility in the search engines, which in turn, gives you more visitors (which will result in more customers, clients, sales, etc).
SEO comprises a large body of strategies and tactics that, when used effectively, will deliver visitors to your website in an ongoing stream – without buying the traffic.
But it’s not actually correct to say that SEO is “Free” traffic.
Developing traffic with SEO does involve labor. And that labor has a cost, whether it’s your labor or someone else’s labor.
Also, SEO doesn’t work as fast as PPC.
Differences Between SEO and PPC
You can turn on PPC traffic today and get traffic today. And of course, when you turn PPC off, you stop that flow of traffic.
Conversely, when you start creating and growing traffic with SEO, your traffic continues to arrive indefinitely into the future. (But not as quickly as PPC).
Stated a different way, SEO is like investing in the ownership of a home: you are building an asset. SEO strategies and tactics are like the equity in your home because you not only benefit from ongoing traffic, but the traffic can continue to grow larger and larger as it expands into a more valuable asset. Over time, you could build up such a flow of natural traffic that it is simply unstoppable, even if you discontinue creating the traffic. (However, from a practical perspective, the value of continuing to grow an increasingly larger flow of natural traffic can become quite substantial).
On the other hand, PPC is like renting a home: once you stop paying for it, you have no visitors and no asset. Using PPC can drive you a lot of traffic and if your site is set up to build proper relationships and convert the visitors to customers and clients, it will work, all by itself, as an effective business model. But you’ll never have a true asset in the way that someone who is using SEO will.
In an ideal world, one would use both PPC and SEO as part of a strategy to launch one’s business into orbit.
Final Thought On Traffic
The marketing industry uses this term “traffic” as an impersonal representation of the all the unique visitors arriving to our website. But for you and I, we are much better off defining this flow of interest and attention more accurately: It’s people. In fact, even that’s too general. It’s individuals. Even though the visitors coming to your site are for the most part, people you do “not” know, some of these people you “do” know, and more importantly, some of these people may become customers or clients.
In fact, a better way to consider your visitors is not just as individuals, but as potential “friends.”
Sure, depending upon what you are selling, that concept may seem exaggerated. If you are selling some inexpensive widget that is pulling in customers solely because it is the lowest price, and you never communicate with them, well, “traffic” may be a better depiction.
Conversely, even in that circumstance, you might be surprised that if you viewed your visitors as real individuals, and treated them in that light, and communicated to them as friends, and considered their attention to be valuable, you might find that whatever it is that you are offering is able to attain a greater value, and you might be able to sell either MORE of your widgets, and/or sell them at a greater profit.
But more importantly, for those of us that rely on providing SERVICE to our visitors, the concept of viewing our visitors as individuals, and even as FRIENDS, serves not only our visitors well, but ultimately, it benefits our own bottom line by way of engendering more satisfied customers and clients who may then help to promote each of us by word-of-mouth, which is the most effective marketing benefit we can receive.
Stay tuned to tomorrow’s SKYWORKS ORBIT installment of “The 7 Orbits of Internet Marketing” when we’ll get into the basics of THE REAL POWER of internet marketing.
PS: By the way, the subjects of SEO and PPC and driving traffic are quite large. There is more information about these topics on this website. However, if you are interested in quickly determining what is the right way to mix PPC and SEO for YOUR business, the door is open to take advantage of my free 30 minute consultation to get that answered. Just click “Contact GA” and let me know a good time to call you.