SEO Traffic


How Traffic Impacts SEO


You know (no matter how new you are to website creation) that you want people to visit your site. Preferably lots of people, right? In the world of websites, visitors create traffic to your site, and – in this one instance – traffic is a good thing. When you have a lot of traffic, search engines like Google and Bing sit up and take notice. When your traffic gets boosted, search engines index your site higher on their search result pages, resulting in even more traffic. This is the web traffic cycle: more web traffic, higher SEO – higher SEO, more web traffic. Obviously, someone has to find your website first, and you’re not going to be #1 on Google your first day in cyberspace. Luckily, there are a number of different channels you can use to impact your traffic, as well as your SEO.

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SEO Traffic

Direct Traffic

Direct traffic is probably the most common source of website traffic. Either a visitor saw your website advertised somewhere, or they are copying and pasting it into their browser. This is good news because it indicates that you have a domain name that is both memorable and attractive…

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SEO Traffic

Social Media

Social media is a game changer when it comes to increasing your website traffic. It also can greatly impact your SEO. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “going viral,” but what you don’t know is that “viral” is synonymous with great SEO. Social media “shares,” “likes,” and views are crucial to getting traffic back to your website…

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SEO Traffic

Email Traffic

Most people, if they have a website/blog/social media page they wish to share, place a link to that specific website in the footer or sign-off of their email. Not only does this help your current clients, friends, or family find your website, but it also helps potential clients or new contacts view your content…

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SEO Traffic

Paid Advertising

Paid ads are simple, and some can be cost effective. Programs like Google or Facebook ads can even provide “retargeting” ads, which essentially tracks individuals who have searched your website (or a similar one). These are effective, but can sometimes be quite expensive depending on the pricing structure (pay-per-click, pay-per-impression, etc.)…

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SEO Traffic

Backlinks and Referrals

Embedding links in content, using referral sites (like Pinterest, YouTube, etc.), and creating backlinks on other sites are all effective ways of generating “referral traffic.” Analytics programs will see that you’re being filtered through another site rather than a search engine, which weighs more heavily on your overall search engine results page (SERP) ranking. This is mutually beneficial for you and the referrers because it generates traffic on both ends…

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SEO Traffic

Analytics Platforms

If you’re ready to get started boosting your SEO and website traffic, one of the important things you need is a way to analyze your current (and future) traffic. Analytics may sound like a really fancy term that makes you think it’s way over your head, but there are two programs that can track and measure your traffic easily for you: Google Analytics and Adobe Omniture.

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SEO Traffic

Fighting for a Piece of the Pie

When you create a website, you probably have high hopes for it and your corresponding business. Google, Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and a few “adult sites” are the most visited websites on a daily basis, earning a large majority of the views from users every day.

Direct Traffic

Direct traffic is probably the most common source of website traffic. Either a visitor saw your website advertised somewhere, or they are copying and pasting it into their browser. This is good news because it indicates that you have a domain name that is both memorable and attractive. Direct traffic is a great thing, except in cases where you don't have any connection to Google, Bing, or any form of analytics. You could have 500 direct views a day, but Google will not know that unless you starting using Google Analytics. Essentially what this means is that if you're new to the SEO game and you have only a few views every day, that's not going to help your SEO. What you need is a way to track who views your site, how many pages they visit, how long they spend on your sites, and so on. This way, search engines can index your site for proper results when keywords are used in a search. More on this in a moment.

Social Media

Social media is a game changer when it comes to increasing your website traffic. It also can greatly impact your SEO. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “going viral,” but what you don’t know is that “viral” is synonymous with great SEO. Social media “shares,” “likes,” and views are crucial to getting traffic back to your website. When people click a link that is shared on social media, they are transferred to your site, thus increasing your view count. This also helps analytics and search engines index it, evaluate how long a user spends on your site, and the outcome of their visit (subscriptions, purchases, etc.). Without social media, it would be much, much harder to spread an idea and increase your traffic like we can today. SEO is boosted when you gain traffic from a social media share.

Another very important aspect of generating traffic from social media is that it increases your rankings in search pages based on “high activity.” Have you ever searched for a business or person on Google or Bing and found their social media to be the top ranked pages? This is because this is the most active area that they post content to, and, therefore, have more traffic flowing through those pages. This is crucial: websites and businesses need social media accounts for this reason alone! Bing has even said that they take “authority” on social media into account – how many followers, likes, tweets, shares, etc. you have may impact your SEO rankings.

Also, keep in mind: those videos on YouTube that “go viral” generate a huge amount of search engine traffic. Think about it. What’s the last thing you searched for based on what other people told you, you just had to see? “Cute cat drinks from toilet,” or “Man sees double rainbow” are SEO gold – people search for keywords based on viral content, and voila! That content becomes ranked higher in search engine results pages.

Email Traffic

Most people, if they have a website/blog/social media page they wish to share, place a link to that specific website in the footer or sign-off of their email. Not only does this help your current clients, friends, or family find your website, but it also helps potential clients or new contacts view your content. Many website owners, and especially bloggers, also send out newsletters with updates about new content. This allows people to continually return to your site, and to also forward that information on to others. Unfortunately, you don’t increase your SEO just on the number of emails you send out with your links (sorry). The people you’re emailing must interact with the links and content in order to drive SEO up.

Paid Advertising

Paid ads are simple, and some can be cost effective. Programs like Google or Facebook ads can even provide “retargeting” ads, which essentially tracks individuals who have searched your website (or a similar one). These are effective, but can sometimes be quite expensive depending on the pricing structure (pay-per-click, pay-per-impression, etc.). Display and banner ads are common as well, but there are some concerns that those don’t actually generate as much as retargeting ads do. Search ads (the ads that pop up on the side of Yahoo, Bing, Google, etc.) are effective and cost-efficient if you keep an eye on them.

A mixture of these ads can definitely ramp up your traffic quickly, but the more traffic you get, the more you may have to pay out to those providing the ad space. It can also increase “cannibalization” - the odds that a competitor’s product or site may reduce your own visibility even on your own page! Even with increased web traffic, it’s important to note that search engines usually note advertisement-sourced traffic as “organic” traffic, which is harder to track and harder to analyze in their algorithms. This means that even with higher traffic, your SEO might not increase for a while.

Backlinks and Referrals

Embedding links in content, using referral sites (like Pinterest, YouTube, etc.), and creating backlinks on other sites are all effective ways of generating “referral traffic.” Analytics programs will see that you’re being filtered through another site rather than a search engine, which weighs more heavily on your overall search engine results page (SERP) ranking. This is mutually beneficial for you and the referrers because it generates traffic on both ends. Backlinks are also great if you link to your own content on your website, which essentially increases the time and interactions a specific user has on your site. Search engines will index this, including a user’s time from landing page to the end trail, where they left your last product or blog post. This increases SEO dramatically and is usually more likely to be found by visitors for longer periods of time, as opposed to being lost in social media storms or email lists.

Analytics Platforms

If you’re ready to get started boosting your SEO and website traffic, one of the important things you need is a way to analyze your current (and future) traffic. Analytics may sound like a really fancy term that makes you think it’s way over your head, but there are two programs that can track and measure your traffic easily for you: Google Analytics and Adobe Omniture. Google Analytics is the one that most people refer to first because it’s simple to use and it shows you a ton of data based on the largest search engine – Google. Google Analytics has all the fairly straightforward data you need and has plenty of visuals (charts, graphs, etc.) to help you understand trends. Google is the less complex of the two, making it a favorite for people who are “new to the game.” Many people use this because their main target is increasing their SERP (search engine results page) rankings on Google because there are nearly 3.5 billion searches there per day.

Adobe Omniture is becoming quite the competitor, though, and provides a much more in-depth and customizable approach to analyzing web traffic through search engines (and collecting data from Apple and Adobe). Because it is more complex, it can be overwhelming to the newcomer, but it allows you to create specific and customized “goals,” or points you’d like to reach with your web traffic and SEO. It also allows you to study your data and define certain points (whether or not someone accidently clicked on a link, or actually interacted with where the link took them, etc.) that aren’t easily defined on Google Analytics. Omniture also has paid support, making it a favorite for seasoned SEO vets. Omniture is a compilation of different services provided by Adobe, like Adobe Analytics, Ad-Hoc, SiteSearch, and so on. This is also nice because users can pick and choose which services they like.

Fighting for a Piece of the Pie

When you create a website, you probably have high hopes for it and your corresponding business. Google, Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and a few “adult sites” are the most visited websites on a daily basis, earning a large majority of the views from users every day. Where does this leave a smaller scale website? Check Alexa.com if you ever want to see just where your site (or any other site) ranks on the World Wide Web. Google is usually always #1, and any other smaller site may be #1,000 or even #10,000,000 (read: way far down the list).

You may never be the Google of your specific industry (the “go-to” that everyone uses), but you can attract a large amount of web traffic and increase your SEO, which feeds into that cycle of traffic generation. Google, Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, and “the big kahunas” of the Internet don’t need to really worry about their SEO or generating traffic because they’ve already got their name out there. Smaller sites have to use analytics platforms, social media, email links and backlinks, paid ads, and essentially whatever they can access (that fits their site’s function) to create higher traffic. If you’re wondering how to increase SEO, start with increasing your web traffic. Generate content that people want to view, share, forward, and interact with. Search engines will start to take note, and your rankings will continue to increase because of it.

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