Online Traffic: Free & Paid Traffic
Online websites and businesses thrive on traffic. That is the number of people visiting as well as purchasing products or services being offered. As such, it is critical for every website or business owner to have a strategy of generating targeted traffic to their business or site if they are to be successful.
This blog post will tell you exactly what to do for relevant online traffic, instant online visibility, authority resources and greater visitors.
For starters, there are two kinds of website traffic: paid traffic and free traffic.
Difference Between Free vs. Paid Traffic
Free traffic is mostly generated through search engine optimization or social media. That is generating organic traffic through optimizing your content, blog or website for search engines. This way, your content can have a good standing on search engine results pages hence have traffic from the search engine directed to your site.
You can also generate free traffic through social media by linking your site to social media platforms and building great profiles. The people visiting and interacting with you through these profiles can then visit your site for more details or make actual purchases. Free traffic can also be generated through video and article marketing, among other strategies.
Paid traffic on the other hand involves making payments to have traffic diverted to your blog or site. This includes strategies such as Pay per Click (PPC) where an ad platform is paid to host your ad and you are only pay for each click on the ads that eventually generates traffic to your blog or site by redirecting the visitors. Adwords are an example of paid traffic.
Some social media platforms like MySpace and Facebook also allow placement of paid ads on their site at a fee. In fact, Facebook allows you to sponsor a post that will only be shown to those people that match the ad criteria. Other great platforms of generating paid traffic include YouTube etc.
What Is Free Traffic?
It’s basically visitors who find your blog or site after using a search engine like Bing, Google, or Yahoo, so they are not “referred” by any other website. Unfortunately, you cannot just set up a website and hope that people will start clicking on it. First of all, there are millions of active websites on the Internet so the chances of your website getting clicked are almost impossible. Secondly, Google does not know you. Just by having a website does not mean that Google will put you on a pedestal for everyone to see.
How Does It Work?
As I mentioned earlier, to have organic traffic you need good SEO. You may already know that SEO is costly if you are really serious about it and pushing for that number one spot. SEO is search engine optimization. It’s the process of getting traffic from the “natural,” “free,” “organic” or “editorial” search results on search engines.
How to Get Natural Traffic to Your Website
First of all just to warn you, SEO is a very long process that can take up to 6 months at least until you make it to the first page of Google. So if you are looking for a way of ranking overnight you are not going to find it here. Also ranking overnight used to be possible by spamming the net but with all of Google’s new algorithm updates your website can get seriously penalized for that.
The beginning of SEO is long however when you finish doing it all your really doing after is optimizing and putting more high-quality content. Here’s what you need and need to do to rank organically on Google which will lead to more traffic.
- High-quality backlinks
- Optimize meta descriptions
- URL structure
- Register for Google my business
- High-quality content/blog articles
- Keyword research
- Optimize titles
- Site speed
- Inner linking
- Google map embed
- Social shares
- Social media account set up (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ and so on)
- Press release
- Recheck your NAP info (name, address and phone number)
- SSL security
- Mobile friendly website
- Get your business on Google’s local 3 pack
- Fix broken links
- Google Analytics (GA) Account Creation
- Google Search Console (GSC) Account Creation
- Google Tag Manager (GTM) Website Installation (after GA and GSC integration to GTM)
Though this may seem like a lot of work, the end result is totally worth the work you put in.
Advantages of Free Traffic
- It is free
This means that you do not need to spend any money to have people visiting your site. All you need is a good strategy that may include incorporation of good SEO tactics or good content on your site. It is free to some extent, no money yet it will cost you time.
- It is less demanding
Campaigns of free traffic are not as demanding as paid traffic campaigns and can therefore be left for a couple of days even as you continue to enjoy good traffic flow.
- Traffic will continue to flow-in long after you have stopped the campaign
For instance, when you adopt a good SEO campaign and get your site at the top of search engine results pages, you can be rest assured that traffic will continue to flow-in long after you have stopped the campaign. This is simply because of its ranking.
- Free traffic attracts highly qualified prospects
Is the quality of your traffic any good as its numbers? As compared to paid traffic that brings visitors from all walks of the internet, free traffic aims at attracting users that type in a search query with a specific intent. Users with a potential to convert into customers.
- Free traffic assures higher credibility
As it turns out, most consumers bypass paid results and proceed to the top and click on the organic results in search of the most relevant answers to their queries.
- Gives you a more competitive edge
Search engine optimization is non-negotiable in the online space. The fact that you are investing in free traffic means you are utilizing SEO. This gives you a competitive advantage over your other competitors who are using different ways to acquire traffic.
What Is Paid Traffic?
Paid traffic is sending visitors to your blog or site using search engine marketing. Same as organic traffic, there are many types of paid traffic sources too.
- Google Adwords. AdWords are an old-school paid traffic source that still offers huge potential rewards, though the cost per click is often high.
- Facebook Ads.
- Outbrain Amplify For Advertisers.
- LinkedIn Ads.
- Twitter Ads.
The most popular sources today are Facebook ads and Google Adwords but today we will only concentrate on Google ads.
What is Google Adwords?
Google Adwords is a paid ad source which consists of getting traffic to your website by paying for clicks.
The process of it is that you basically search and chose a keyword that you think your viewers will search for and then you bid on it.
Now you can use dynamic search ads, a feature that customizes your ads based on what’s on your website and what people are searching without having to fiddle with your list of keywords all the time.
Advantages of Paid Traffic
- You get traffic fast
pending very little or even test the campaign before you commit more money.
- You can easily reach your target market
This is one of the best thing about paid traffic as you reach your targeted market effortlessly through specific keywords.
- Allows for detailed data analytics and conversion tracking
Paid traffic lets you keep track of your prospects by giving you access to their geographical information, the pages they viewed on visiting your site, and their preferred device for surfing the web.
- Gives you more control
Another advantage of paid advertising is the control it gives you over your overall marketing budget.
Which Way, Paid Traffic or Free Traffic?
Let’s take a look at some statistics from WebpageFX regarding both SEO and PPC.
2017 SEO Stats
- 93 percent of online experiences start with search engines
- 70 percent of clicked search results are organic
- 6 percent of all SEO leads close (as opposed to 1.7 percent of outbound leads)
- Google fields more than one trillion searches per year
- 89 percent of marketers say SEO is successful
2017 PPC Stats
- PPC visitors are 50 percent more likely to buy than organic visitors
- 65 percent of all high-intent searches result in an ad click
- Search ads increase brand awareness by as much as 80 percent
- 32 percent of companies use PPC to sell products directly to consumers
- On average, businesses earn $3 for every $1.60 spent on AdWords
Both of these strategies tote some impressive numbers, so then how do you decide what is best for you? Before making that decision, it is important to understand that none is better than the other because each of them has the capability of delivering desired results. Your choice can be guided by one major factor, and that is your budget. If your budget does not permit you to spend on advertising, then you will do well by sticking to free traffic. Even then, ensure that you employ good strategies for better results.
On the other hand, if you have some money on hand and need instant traffic, then go ahead and get paid traffic. If you want to have a reference about web directories that can help you to get more traffic, you can go to Ldmstudio Directory or Blogs Directory.
Also remember; never depend on one traffic source just like how you wouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. Let’s say you’re getting a ton of relevant hits to your website from just a YouTube video you uploaded then YouTube decides to take it down citing that you used copyright material. The moment that happens you will no longer get any hits which mean you are not getting any sales. My advice is to get out there, get involved in different communities, and make a presence known.
Tips and Tricks
In the end i have compiled some smart online marketing practices and tricks to ensure that your website gets the traffic and attention it deserves.
- What’s and when’s of organic search traffic
Think about the content you are creating and answer two questions:
- What does your audience need?
- When does your audience need it?
It’s not enough to be relevant and timely with regard to your content topics. You need to delve deeper. The keyword here is User Journey.
Smart marketers focus on user personas and journeys in order to understand what their audience needs and then strive to deliver it when they need it. This is the content that’s irresistibly enticing to your audience.
A great way to start (as with everything else) is a Google search. Search some of the top keywords for your niche. Only this time, instead of focusing on your top competitors, pay attention to the links downstairs in related searches.
- Q and A keyword phrases
This is a surprisingly underrated trick to get organic search traffic.
Users often treat the search engine input box like an omnipotent, sentient being – asking questions and phrasing them that way. Once you find these keyword-strings-phrased-as-questions, there’s only one logical thing to do – answer them.
This is where you use your older, high ranking content to get some more limelight and renew the audience’s attention.
If you have published some (relatively) high ranking content in the past, it’s time to whip it out again. Review and revamp the posts, update it with timely information (and edits), add internal links to related (and newer) content, and update the Meta tags + description with keyword-rich (not keyword-stuffed) details.
- Inbound marketing
As traditional online marketing using Google AdWords or Facebook Advertising becomes increasingly expensive, businesses are turning their collective minds to inbound marketing.
This beautiful, sustainable technique relies heavily on premier quality content and its distribution to precisely targeted audiences in order to drive traffic as well as conversions through the roof over time. It relies on patience, smart decisions backed by data, and a keen understanding of the target audience.
A good, inexpensive way to start is with your blog. Create fresh, relevant, and timely content to pique your readers’ interest and keep them coming back for more. Add keywords (smartly and sparingly) and a unique tone that’s inherently yours to help build a solid foundation for SEO and brand identity.
- Influencer marketing
If influencer marketing is good enough for the gaming industry, it’s good enough for everyone else.
Influencers are people with long years of credibility and authenticity in their particular niche. Consider them Gandalf or Dumbledore – everything they say is practically gospel. One good word or mention about your product or service (heck, even one of your blog posts) will send people flocking.
When done right, influencer marketing will drive the most conversion-ready traffic to your website. Identify the top influencers in your niche (use Followerwonkor or BuzzSumo) and reach out to them about your product/service promotion. Those with massive reach may even have special media packages with details about promotional activities they’ll conduct in exchange for a fixed payment or sales percentage.