Everyone wants more traffic to their website, but there are many ways to go about getting it. For instance, as a marketing strategy, you could exclusively go after Twitter and generate all your traffic through the social networking site. As well, you could start a PPC campaign that delivers all your visitors (or at least a majority) through Google Ads and other online advertising methods. Or you could concentrate exclusively on content marketing, like many content farms that try and predict every possible search term and become the #1 page for each result, so they can gain click-through ad revenue. But these schemes always seem to fall through as evidenced by the recent farmer update to Google’s algorithm that unceremoniously bumped a number of sites like Associated Content and EzineArticles down in the search ranks.
The problem with relying on one stream of traffic is that that stream can always dry up or be cut off by Google. The fact of the matter is, relying solely on SEO site wizardry to get you to the top of a Google search can be very tricky and Google can change their minds and algorithms at any time, leaving you in the cold. To avoid this pitfall and save yourself from financial ruin, it’s best to diversity your traffic streams. Not only will diversifying your traffic streams keep you well ensured against stream cutoffs, but it will also boost your SEO.
Lately, as search engines become more and more complicated with their ranking systems, they’ve been opting to count external website forces more than internal ones. For example, just because you have a lot of keywords on your site doesn’t mean you’ll rank number one when a user inputs that term into a search bar. More and more, Google and other search engines are relying heavily on backlinks and social media shares to determine your trustworthiness and usefulness as a website rather than your own site content.
This can be very frustrating to a site owner who is just getting started. It means there are no quick fixes to getting to the top (at least none that will help sustain your site over the long haul). It means you have to work hard at promoting your site to the right people and increasing your organic traffic. Keep in mind that organic is all natural. And Google like to shop at Whole Foods, if you know what I mean. In other words, Google likes websites that appear to be getting natural traffic instead of artificially high traffic from one or two sources. So the question remains, how can you diversify?
Now is not the time to say, “I don’t think social media is the right way to go for us” or “We’ll wait and see if that new technology becomes popular before using it to gain traffic.” The truth is, search engines are expanding their reach all the time and reevaluating how they boost or downgrade search engine result. Just recently, in fact, both Google and Bing announced that they are counting public Twitter and Facebook feeds in site ranking. If you’ve ignored social media up till now because you thought it wouldn’t help, now you have to play catch up.
The best strategy for online engagement is to try out every new technology and see if it works for your website. Whenever you can share links to your website with interested parties, you should take that opportunity. You never know who is listening or watching, and it may result in a large number of backlinks and traffic from unexpected sources later on, not to mention the SEO boost you can get from search engines that crawl public feeds.
We’ve already touched on social media channels briefly in regard to Facebook and Twitter, but let me reiterate that search engines are aware of how social media influences the internet and the way we behave online. Facebook and Twitter are two of the biggest places you should start if you are trying to diversify your traffic streams for SEO. On either one, you can help people connect to your website or brand through targeted messaging, good use of key phrases, and a little finesse.
Another great place to go is the blogosphere. If you don’t already have a company/organization blog, start one now. A blog gives you a great opportunity to create content that will be consumed by the public. And it gives users a way to get to know you and connect with you in meaningful ways. It also gives other bloggers a way to point other readers in your direction (through links) that will increase your traffic and your SEO.
Beyond those streams, there are a number of other ways to experiment online to get your name out there and get more people to visit your site. Try experimenting with Foursquare, Meetup, Quora, and more to diversity your audience and traffic streams.
The fact of the matter is, not only will diversity protect you against possible stream blocking, but it will boost your SEO, and it will simply give you more traffic, which is never a bad thing.
Brad Anderson is the Founder and CEO of Fruition. Brad’s focus is supporting Fruition’s team to enable sustainable growth and excellent client satisfaction (EBITDA growth). With a strong statistical background, Brad built Fruition’s in-house software that is used to manage client success.
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