Three Types of Website Traffic — Whiteboard Wednesday Writeup
Knowing the different types of traffic we send to our website is a huge benefit for any digital marketing strategy.
Many small businesses we talk to at WebriQ Goes Mad need some help developing a traffic acquisition strategy and this Whiteboard Wednesday Writeup is about shinning some light on the 3 types of website traffic.
As you seek to build a traffic strategy for your digital marketing and website it is important to think about the 3 types of website traffic. They are as follows:
Traffic you rent
Traffic you influence
Traffic you own
Traffic You Rent
Simply put this is advertising, plain and simple. You are paying to show your ads and therefore the traffic that those ads deliver to your website is paid for — or “rented”
We use the term “rent” because if you stop paying for the advertising the traffic stops coming to the website.
There a few ways to rent traffic. The most common two are Search Engine Ads and Social Media Ads.
On Google and other search engines, you can create an advertisement that will display in search results. You place a bid on keywords that are relevant to your ad as well as to your website. Google then displays your advertisement in search results— based on the competition and your bid — and you pay per click on your ad.
The same is true with social media networks like Facebook. You place your ad on the platform and target certain demographic indicators to have your message and ad display in the social feed for specific people. Again the bid plus demographic targeting allow your ad to display and have people click it.
In both search engine advertising and social media advertising, you pay to play. This rented traffic that you buy can be very beneficial. However, if you aren’t ready to catch this traffic and track their behavior and focus on conversion it may be a wasted spend.
Be cautious with traffic that you rent.
Traffic That You Influence
We use the term influence because we are getting organic traffic off of platforms we do not own. Think Google Search or Facebook. This organic traffic simply means when a visitor clicks the link and visits our website we do not have to pay per click. Organic means free.
This organic traffic that we get to the site from other places like social media and search engines is influenced traffic because we need to influence those platforms to deliver the opportunity to receive a click. This doesn’t happen magically.
With search we need to make sure our website is crawlable and that we have good content and information for our target customer. Google and other search engines are all about delivering information to people searching for answers.
If we can provide that content and keep our site optimized for search engines we can influence those search engines to deliver our website pages high up in organic search and therefore earn ourselves organic search traffic.
The same is true with social media. The more we can create an engaging experience for our social media followers the more likely the social media platform is to deliver our content in the feed.
The more impressions and the more engagement the likelier we are to influence our followers to click through to our website.
Organic traffic is great!
However, we need to remember we do not own it and it can go away if we take our eye off the ball. We are merely influencing platforms we do not own or control to deliver our content to our customers.
This type of influence is something we need to put into practice and then consistently evaluate and improve or our marketing efforts can become waylaid by changes in platform algorithms or new customer behavior.
Traffic That You Own
There is no such thing as the best type of traffic, but traffic that you own is close. Often we use rented and influenced traffic to introduce ourselves to customers and then when they opt-in and give us permission to continue speaking to them we can really make a relationship.
Traffic that you own is simply customers and prospects that have given you permission to reach out and market to them. Here are a few examples of customers opting-in:
They have subscribed to your newsletter.
They have commented and chatted with you on social media.
They have submitted a contact form on your website.
These are high-quality indicators that the visitor is interested in your brand and willing and wanting to receive more information.
The best part about traffic that you own is your brand’s ability to control the timing and direction of the marketing and content you deliver to the customer.
Your marketing efforts have a lot of great information about what topics and messages work and what does not work. This information feedback is excellent for improving your other traffic channels and can help you build up a quality marketing strategy over time.
A Deeper Look
There is no magic bullet as I mentioned before. It is a balanced and measured approach that will see the best results. If you are looking for more information visit the Insights section of our blog or read our article: