One Size Does Not Fit All: 4 Ways To Increase Different Types of Traffic
December 31, 2014 - SEO
Traffic makes the Internet world go around, and more is always better. Everyone’s favorite key performance indicators depend on good traffic. But as online marketing evolves, the types of possible traffic are changing – and our strategies must change to adjust.
Let’s take a closer look at today’s types of Web traffic. If you know how these three varieties behave, building strategies to improve becomes easy.
Some types of traffic, like direct traffic (depending on direct URL navigation) and campaigns (depending on web ads and emails) are self-explanatory and can be improved with traditional marketing tactics. But other types are much more susceptible to SEO. Here’s how:
Organic Traffic: Specificity and Elbow Grease
Organic traffic represents visits from people conducting searches and clicking directly from the search page. SEO strategists are extra-familiar with organic traffic, which depends primarily on web rankings and keyword searches. About half of all website visits come from organic traffic.
Modern efforts to increase organic traffic rely on quality linking, specificity, and a ton of hard work. For most companies, selecting general keywords is a recipe for disaster, because other sites with higher rankings already are using those words. Selecting less-common long-tail words is better. Make your keyword phrases specific to help get your site on the first page of search results.
Different approaches can help with this. Local-based SEO, such as tagging your pages with the name of your city or town, is a fantastic option for small businesses. Brand names and references to ongoing promotions can also produce effective long-tail keywords.
The other part of the organic is continual effort. Organic traffic increases when you implement consistent SEO strategies. You have to maintain a high level of output, which means plenty of content, healthy links and activity. Think of it as raising the temperature in a cold room: A single great post or article is like a small flame. It’s nice, but you need to crank up the heater for a quite a while to make a real difference.
Social Traffic: Evolve Your Engagement
Social traffic includes links from social posts and profiles. For most companies, this means Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn, plus newer entrants such as Pinterest, Instagram, and even the social aspects of YouTube. At the most obvious level, putting links in these networks can help drive social traffic, and the more people sharing these links, the better. Social advertising is a separate but related branch of traffic that’s not as shareable but can reach lots of people.
In some ways social traffic is easy to amplify, because professionals and serious customers are used to social media links these days. The primary question: What kind of content leads consistently to more traffic? Selecting interesting and shareable topics is fun, but your engagement needs to drive people to your site. This can be challenging in the environment of social media, which encourage cursory looks.
That’s why you need to pay attention to both detail and evolving approaches. The more you’re doing something no one else is, the more attention you’ll receive. You need to jump on features such as Facebook hashtags, Vines,interest boards, and captivating Instagrams before your competitors do … and then consistently do it better. Watch for strategy shifts, both nationally and close to home. Are your competitors using their social media to address customer complaints? Are they posting links to helpful tips that establish them as a go-to information source? Would any of these tactics prove beneficial for you?
Referral Traffic: Scrutinize and Diversify
Referral traffic depends on external websites and blogs sending traffic through links and articles. Yes, inbound links do more than increase your SEO: They can be reliable sources of referral traffic as well.
Traffic data are valuable when you’re trying to increase referral visits. Consistently analyze how many referrals you get and from where. This information can help you start building relationships with other sites and content creators. The most effective options include:
- Affiliate Relationships: Long-term connections with partners, community bloggers and friendly sites that promote your links, often in exchange for cross-promotion.
- Blog Comments and Forum Activity: When well-managed, these conversations can seed links and create immediate referrals.
- Guest Blogs: Great for attracting readers interested in expert opinions or favorite authors.
- Some Advertisement Referrals: These can’t easily build relationships with other sites without a direct partnership, but they still account for plenty of valuable traffic.
- Professional Coverage: Press releases, interviews, and professional. These links attract high numbers of viewers.
- Social Media Behavior: Shares by fans, followers and other businesses can win huge traffic in a short time. Location sites such as Yelp can also prove valuable.
Mobile Traffic: Innovation and Investment
Reports show mobile web traffic at around 17 percent of total traffic, and that number will rise. Know how it’s different to attract your share of the growth.
Mobile traffic thrives on features that work only in this world. The foundation is a mobile-optimized site or an app. Location-based services, QR codes, mobile coupons are great additions, especially when used in conjunction with a social strategy.
The other key part of the mobile solution is significant investment in mobile content. If you want people to find you through their phones and tablets, you need to spend the time and make the room in your budget.
Some techniques work regardless of the type of traffic you’re aiming to increase – great content is always a winner, for example. If your goal is more specific, though, consider what strategies work best for organic, social, referral or mobile traffic.