The Question is Traffic: organic and/or paid traffic?
Internet traffic, visitors, internet users are the bloodline of any business website. Without traffic of any kind you’re simply invisible to the world and your business won’t be a business unless you do something about it.
Getting traffic to your site is an industry in itself. As soon as you put up a website there’ll be many businesses who will try to introduce themselves and get your attention about this phenomena. These businesses will be coming to you from close and afar. Isn’t is funny that here you are trying to get traffic and the ones that notice you are the ones who you want last on your list. But, I write to say otherwise. If your business site is new to the internet then you must pay close attention to those people who offer services to get you more traffic.
Internet traffic comes in two forms when we talk about money. In reality there is only one form of traffic since you’re paying for both either in money or time. Anyway, the two forms that you will have noticed on the internet when it comes to talking about traffic is paid traffic and organic traffic.
So, what does it mean to get organic traffic to your website? Before we answer that question we need to know what is considered organic traffic. Organic traffic is simply traffic that makes it your way without you having to pay for it. Your sites URL or link is located wherever the traffic is coming from. At some stage your sites link is found on another site and people click that to come to your site. This is great and is perhaps what everybody wants more of.
Thus organic traffic is traffic that has made it’s way from another site or a direct link that one has.
Here’s a list of possible locations where organic traffic could have come from:
- Search engine listing.
- A link on another website also known as Referral Traffic.
- From a Mail-out (an embedded link in an email).
- Bookmark or Favourite on a browser (someone has made a bookmark in their browsers database).
- Social Media Traffic
Organic traffic is all good and has the usual bells and whistles of traffic. This is the ultimate in free traffic. However, organic traffic builds itself through the passage of time. One cannot get instantaneous organic traffic flowing when one puts up a new site.
The sister phrase for organic traffic is “activity outside your website”. In order to build organic traffic to a particular website one must engage on other websites and leave hooks and sign posts of one kind or another. In a way it is like “fishing with line and hook”. The more lines and hooks you have on the web/net the more likely you will bring in organic traffic.
But it doesn’t work as simple as that. Using the wrong type of “line and hook” does not always bring the best of fishes. In other words to attract the right audience you need to leave hooks and bate that is suitable for that audience. For example, if you’re into plumbing and want to attract people who are in need of plumbers that can fix their plumbing problem then it would be insane to go and talk about plumbing on a car mechanics site. No one is going to listen to you about your plumbing mumbo-jumbo.
Ever heard of the phrase “like attracts like”? It holds equally well for organic traffic. To attract people who are in need of a plumber then make sure to get involved in places where plumbing is the main topic of conversation. In the world of SEO, we call this “targeted audience”.
So, organic traffic is not something that happens overnight. It takes hell of a long time and results appear anywhere from one month to a year. This depends on how much outside activity you involve yourself in. In other words, the more reference your site
Now that we know what organic traffic can mean and how valuable it can be to our website, let us now look into what “paid traffic” is all about. Paid traffic is precisely that, traffic that is paid for with money. The biggest difference is the time it takes to bring in the traffic. Paid traffic can be instantaneously produced.
The only factor that determines how much traffic gets to your site is based on the amount of money one spends for each visitor. The more money you set aside for paid traffic the more traffic you will undoubtedly get to your site.
Paid traffic can be very expensive and rightly so because of the very nature of how a business wants to receive instant customers. Mind you not every person that comes by your site will engage with your business. Statistics show that a very small percentage of visitors actually engage with a site for the purposes of making contact or buying a product or service.
What every business owner should understand is that most visitors will stay a visitor only. There are many factors involved in getting a visitor on-board and making them a customer. That is another topic for another time.
I bet some of you would be interested to know where this paid traffic originates. Paid traffic is something that is happening at that very moment. It is live and real. It is instantaneous and there is high potential to make a sale of some kind. Most paid traffic comes through other sites that have regular visitors looking for answers to their problems.
Let’s have a look at how paid traffic makes it way to your site.
For example, if I need a plumber to fix my leaking pipes at home, what can I personally do find a suitable plumber to come out and fix it for me in the quickest possible time, like right now. The answer is most obvious to a lot of us today. If I need to find a plumber then I have to search for one as quickly as possible. If you’re a Google person then you would fire up your browser and type “plumber” into Google. It’s that simple.
Just for the sake of keeping everything simple I will tell you that Google will display “ads” before it’s organic listing just like any other website who is engaged in providing ads to it’s visitors.
Google is one of thousands of sites (probably the largest company providing paid traffic service in the world) out there that provide paid traffic to it’s visitors. The ads on Google search engine are highly targeted and it’s algorithm (software code) ensures that it provides the correct ad to the right audience.
Google explicitly places ads in prominent positions on it’s search results. The ads that has been paid for are shown on top of the results, some along the right and a few at the bottom of the page. Where your ad appears depends highly on many factors. Namely the amount of money are prepared to pay for each click. It is sufficient to say that not all ads will receive visitors due to competition. The more you’re prepared to spend the greater your chance of receiving paid traffic to your site. Once again I must emphasise here that not all paid traffic will convert into a sale of some kind. Perhaps I will write more about the conversion of visitors to customers in a future article.
In the long run whether you’re building sign posts, leaving bate, hook and line back to your site is the really the same as running paid ads of some kind. There are many types of ads out there that one can go out and sign up for.
Example of paid traffic:
- Google, Bing, & Yahoo Ads
- Banner ads on other sites
- Directory ads
- Advertising your banner on any site is also considered a paid ad.
What strategy should you use to get traffic to your site?
It all depends on you capacity to spend and time. If you’re someone who has just started up a new business then you would be someone with a limited budget who needs to take a path where you don’t blow up your budget and thereby put your business into a cash poor period. I would suggest you do some more research on the costs involved in either strategy and find how each works. Both strategies require money, time and effort to function.
In the short run one would choose paid advertising if budget permits and on the long run have some budget that will build organic traffic well into the future. A combination of both of these strategies is used by businesses who are on a growth path.
The more you spend and the more careful you are with that spending will inevitably result in some business. Like anything in life, please do your research thoroughly before committing and depleting your business funds. We all love spending, but careless spending is a sure way to an early business suicide.
I hope you have gained something from this article. I would love to hear any of your feedback about this topic, please use the form below to leave your comments.