3 traffic sources you should know about

A big part of growing any business or organisation is getting more leads. On your business website, this means that you need more traffic. So how can you get more traffic to your website?

Ultimately, there are 3 basic types of traffic; earned, bought and owned.

Earned traffic

This is what most people think of when they think about how they can rank better on search engines, or what we call SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Earned traffic is generated by content that your business has published, curated, shared or pushed out through a website, blog or social media. The more helpful and relevant the content is to your audience, the more effective it will be in generating the traffic you want.

Examples of earned traffic:

  • Writing helpful and relevant blogs on your website
  • Writing a guest blog on another website
  • Participating in conversations on social media about your industry
  • Posting helpful information on social media
  • Allowing people to share helpful information they find on your website
  • Creating a free e-book that requires an email to download.

Bought traffic

This is where you are paying to attract traffic to your website. You can buy Google adwords or social media ads.

Examples of bought traffic:

  • Google adwords
  • Promoted social media posts
  • Social media ads
  • Re-targeted ads.

Owned traffic

These are your existing customers; people that you already have a relationship with – most likely through an email database. This is a hugely underrated source of traffic. These people have already purchased from you previously and probably will again if you are continually providing them with value or information they might find helpful.

Examples of owned traffic:

  • Email database of customers
  • Email database of subscribers to your blog
  • Social media likes (arguably, sometimes referred to as rented traffic).

So how do you know if your traffic strategies are working? Before investing too much time in any of the above, make sure you have the ability to measure the traffic on your website. You can do this very easily with Google Analytics.

Not all the examples, or even types of traffic, are going to work for all businesses. So testing and measuring is crucial so you can refine your approach and find where the most effective source of traffic is.

While traffic is important, sometimes more is not necessarily better. If you aren’t getting traffic that will interact or convert to customers for your business, then you might not be making the most of your time and money. To make sure your traffic is working the best for you, you need to make sure you understand what your customers actually want and how you can engage with them. This is called conversion optimisation, which I’ll cover in another post.

While I’ve spoken mostly about online strategies here, the same rules apply for offline. While a little hard to track and measure, simple offline ideas should not be overlooked; like having your website address on your business cards and marketing material.

Joel Warren

When Joel has a free minute, he’ll often paddle out to catch some waves. He loves to learn about peoples stories and their businesses. No two businesses are identical, just like no two waves are the same. Guiding clients through the process and bringing out the businesses true instincts is what Joel is passionate about.