The number one traffic channel is organic search, and content marketing for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), when done right, absolutely works. On most websites, when you look at analytics, out of 1000 visitors in a month, 600-700 of them would come from the search engine. Over 80% of them from Google. The rest of the visitors are distributed between social media, email, direct, paid or referral sources.
Traffic Sources by Niche Industries
This graphic from GrowthBadger.com, breaks down each industry and how they get traffic to their websites. You’ll see that search far exceeds the other sources of traffic. Content marketing plays a direct role in your website coming up when someone is searching for what you have to offer.
Definition of Sources of Traffic
Search: This is people searching by keywords or phrases, even asking questions on a search engine like Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo and still even AOL.
Direct: These people have your web address and type it into the address bar to go to it directly. They could have seen it somewhere like in an ad or a business card. We’ll never know which.
Social Media: When you share your blog posts or content on the social media networks, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, you’re creating a backlink to your website. Notice that Instagram is not on this list. That’s because links don’t work in posts like on the other networks — unless you pay for them. The only link you get, without paying is in your profile. However, If what you post is strategized and effective, your content — videos and pictures — should entice people to visit your profile and click on the link. I had a client for whom that worked tremendously.
Referral: This is your link on a relevant website. For instance, I write for SCORE Greater Phoenix regularly and I’ll get referrals from there. Other relevant sites would be associations or groups that you belong to.
Email: Sending even a monthly newsletter to a list can help drive potential customers and repeat customers to your site. There are ways that you can set up an automated RSS (Really Simple Syndication) email to go out. If you don’t write anything, it won’t go out. That’s how mine works. It’s set to go out every Saturday morning. If I don’t write an article by Friday afternoon, it doesn’t go out.
Display Ads: Lastly, display ads. Notice that for most of the industries listed, this is the least effective method of driving visitors to your website. Now, the question stands — when should you buy ads and where? Obviously, this requires having an advertising budget. I’ll get to that in a minute. Consequently, I get asked this question all the time.
First, your competition. If you’re in a highly competitive field, like health, fitness, tech, fashion, even Real Estate, you’re probably going to have to spend some money to get yourself noticed.
Second, your target audience. One thing good about doing paid ads is that you can pinpoint your target niche and reach thousands with a small budget.
Third, time. It usually takes a good 3 months to build a social media following organically (non-paid) as well as producing enough content to get Google’s attention. By then, you should start seeing traffic on your site. Moreover, if you’re looking at the holiday season, you’ll definitely need to do some paid ads.
Again, it depends. How fierce is your competition? Are you seeing their ads everywhere? Most online ads work by pay-per-click. You set a budget, then create the ad and you are charged each time someone clicks on the ad.
If your budget is tight and it’s the first time you’ve tried paid advertising, start with $100. Split it over the 4 networks. You can do Facebook and Instagram together. Research and get to know your audience first. Try the ad for 2 weeks, then see which network brought you the most results.
I usually tell folks to try content marketing for SEO organically (non-paid) for 3 months and see if you get results that you want.
If you have a brand new website or haven’t blogged for a while, you’re going to have to blog at least 3-5 times a week for the first 2 weeks, then go down to 2-3 a week in the first month. After that, you can probably get away with blogging once or twice a week.
Clearly, analytics and insights are essential for you to know what’s working and not working. Especially when you’re investing your time and effort in content marketing for SEO. You must review them after each month to see where your traffic is coming from and if it’s steadily increasing. Based on that data, you adjust your strategic and tactical marketing plans accordingly.
Subsequently, if you’re getting more people from Facebook and Pinterest, then it’s obvious that you need to focus more time on those two networks.
What if I don’t get the results I want?
That could be for several reasons.
- The marketing message was wrong — you can tell this if you get the reach (visibility) and no one clicks to your site. Try something else. A different offer maybe? Go back to your research.
- You got the reach, 50% clicked through, but only 1% converted. A conversion could be a sale, or opting-in to an email list in response to an offer. Here, the problem might be the call-to-action on your website was not set up correctly. Or, your landing page has too many choices. You can’t have any distractions on the landing page that may draw the visitor elsewhere. Your intake form could be too long. Don’t ask more than 2 or 3 questions to help segment your list. Your payment gateway may not look secure or easy enough.
- You’re not selling your product or service correctly. The copy or content on your website should lead the visitor to convert — either into a lead or a sale. Worse comes to worse, the product isn’t good. Or, something on your website turned them off.
Many times, if you aren’t getting the results you want, you need to take a step back and figure out why. That’s where an impartial coach can come in. Many times, someone will come to me and say, “I don’t know what I’m doing wrong!” I’ll usually take a look and instantly know what the problem is.
What Type of Content Marketing for SEO should I be doing?
- Blogging. Google wants fresh, relevant content written for the human reader in natural language. Write for your target audience with the search engine in mind.
- Videos. Videos are hot!
- Podcasts. These are way easier to do than videos. If you offer advice or commentaries on news and current events, then podcasting is for you.
All in all, content marketing for SEO is still king and it works!Follow Me: