How the 2 Types of Online Traffic are Like Your Investments

SEO and PPC to your IRA and IPOs This topic goes deep. Way deep. But in these “Hudge Helper” essays, I like to give some digestible tips that you can take away right here, right now… so here’s your disclaimer:

We’re not going to go into a deep-rabbit-hole-dissertation on SEO silos and whether to use “rel=Canonical over a 301 redirect” (I swear, that’s the techiest jargon you’ll come across) – I’m just going to spell out some helpful info for anyone who has ever scratched their head and exclaimed, “I searched for [our service/product] and we’re nowhere to be found!”

Let’s get started. When you think investments, usually, you think in one of two ways:  long-term and short term. So when you think traffic to your website, you can think a similar way. Long term investing vs. shorter term quick returns. Fiscally savvy people who have goals and vision for the far-off future, will invest relatively small amounts of money, usually a fraction taken from their regular paycheck, over a long period of time. This might look like a growing 401k or an IRA (Traditional or Roth). These investments tout great returns rewarded to those who prove to be disciplined enough to continue to add more and more cash to the pot, letting compounding assist them over time. Let’s make a parallel between this and organic traffic.

What does “organic” traffic refer to?

Organic is a term used to describe your site coming up when someone searches for your product or service… “naturally.”

So if you could wave a magic website wand, your site would show up at the top of the list – for the search words you wished it would – completely from doing nothing more than putting up a site on the web.  But that’s not how it happens.

“So how do sites show up organically?”

A complete breakdown of a page's search listings (no YouTube videos in this example)

A breakdown of a search results page’s listings

There are several strategies and best practices to get great organic search results but, in order to stay on track with the parallels I’m making between investments and online traffic, I’m just going to focus on one particular strategy: Fantastic content.

Content does a lot of things that are great for your organization.  When it comes to search engines like Google and Bing, the fact that you have a greater quantity of content for them to discover bodes well for your business.  Makes sense, right? The more content you collect – or invest in over time – the more there is to find when a prospect searches for something having to do with your business.  But there’s more to it than quantity.

I don’t want to give anyone the idea that quantity is the key to this. The age-old saying of “Quality over Quantity” certainly holds true here. Anyone having the two options of quickly tossing up a lot of content vs. publishing great content that will speak directly to an intended audience, should ALWAYS opt for the latter. Again, this is like a 401k.

A great content strategy happens over time. It’s an investment. It demands commitment.

Before moving to the short term returns, you should have a very simple overview of what makes good content good content.

It’s relevant to your audience/target market. People searching for services for a loved one don’t care about whatever brand of equipment you have. You’re in the loop on that; not them. Speak to them.
It actually provides value.  That means, someone’s life is at least a little bit better after having consumed something from your site. This is good.
It is part of your company’s overall mission and goals. Plan your content. Don’t just necessarily speak to what’s trending in the industry (although, that’s good too). But remember your organization’s mission and align your content between that and the questions your patients and clients are asking.
That’s it. It’s that simple.

Is investing in your Roth ever a bad idea?

So is investing in sound, value-focused content ever a bad idea?

Nope. This is what will provide your organization with the trust and credibility long into the future. And when people come across it, even if they don’t read all the words or watch all the video you’ve published, the result is still the same: they trust you.

No one does business with anyone they don’t trust.

And certainly keep in mind, for those wondering when “social” was going to get a mention, that the term traffic refers to people finding you, regardless of a Google search.  How many times have you read something an article that a Facebook friend posted (or a respected Twitter follower tweeted)?  See? You didn’t actively perform a search for that article. On some level, it piqued your interest and you found yourself reading it.  And so long as that post wasn’t  backed with some cash, that’s organic traffic too.

See how that works? Content that speaks to a particular audience, piquing their interest, is bound to receive some traffic – one way or another.

Alright, onto the the next investment/online traffic parallel.

Too bad there's no such thing as PPC campaign ZoltarsSeveral investors are adventurous, especially ones that play the stock market daily. The most bullish-types are constantly doing their homework and keeping a close eye on particular companies for their IPO (their Initial Public Offering… the price of their stock when they “go public” and open their stock to the world to buy, sell and trade.)  Let’s say you were one of these stock-Zoltars that could predict the future for the IPOs of LinkedIn (LNKD) or the Container Store (TCS)… you’d fair pretty well. Really well. You’d invest when the offering becomes available to you gaining very healthy returns in just a few months or sometimes, even immediately!

Sponsored traffic is like this.  It can bring a quick return of very targeted leads to your site almost immediately.  What does this look like? Lots of various ways.

  • These are the text-only ads that [may] appear on top of the stack of search results as well as line the right side of the page.
  • These are also the various images of different square and rectangle sizes that are embedded in the pages of the sites you’re perusing while you’re looking for a good hummus recipe or researching that gadget by reading up on all its Amazon reviews.
  • They’re Facebook ads or boosted posts.
  • These types of ads can even appear overlaid over YouTube videos, or the video that you skip to get to “Charlie Bit My Finger.”
  • And also noteworthy, the image banners that now appear within apps and games on your smartphone or tablet

– all of these examples, the big deal about them is they’re backed with a little cash.

And what’s the return? Well, they can get traffic to your site immediately, especially if

  • your site is a new web property
  • your site is a new web property in a very competitive local market
  • your organization is adding a new product or service (and you just simply do not have much relevant content yet pertaining to that new offering)
  • no one really knows about you, and therefore you launch branding and awareness campaigns
  • you’re offering free resources, and wish to direct traffic to the reports, white papers or videos you’ve made available (branding, establishing authority in the industry)
  • and on and on.

The point is, sponsored traffic, like Google AdWords or Facebook campaigns can send a surge of traffic where you choose (NOT just to your site’s home page. Please don’t do that, unless you like burning money).

I made a subtle suggestion in the first part of this, claiming that investors that have “done their homework” are the ones that seem to experience the awesome quick wins from getting in on a company’s IPO likely to soar.  Doing your homework can’t be taken lightly either. The best conversion rates from sponsored traffic strategies occur from having an entire game plan carried out, from the search, to the click, to the landing page, to the downloading of… filling out the form of… making a donation to… calling the number… or booking the assessment… (the conversion action, whatever that may be).
So even at the heart of a conversion-purposed sponsored traffic strategy, is… you guessed it – quality, relevant, informative, entertaining, and valuable content.

There you have it. Online traffic broken down into two basic types.

Non-paid and paid. Organic and Sponsored. Long-term and short-term.

If you’d like to brainstorm some of the ways your organization can achieve the results of more traffic with a real person, you can reach out to us for a short session. Sometimes, it’s all that’s necessary to get “unstuck,” coming up with the ideas that lead to great content suited expressly for your target audience.  Call 270-681-0324.

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