What is traffic? When you are talking about online traffic are referring to getting visitors to come to your website. The reason why traffic is crucial to you as a business owners is that without people coming to their websites, no one will be able to see and hear your message online and will not be able to interact with your product and services.
There are many different ways in generating traffic to bring people to your website or other web properties, contrary to the belief of some people thinking that is a traffic problem. There are paid methods like Google Adwords and Facebook Ads and there are non-paid methods such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and social media, guest posts on blogs or participating in forums.
However, there are two factors that you need to consider to spend when you participate in online traffic generation regardless of channel or source; and that is time and money. Whether it is a “free” or paid method, be aware that there may be additional costs that you may have not considered particularly if you’re paying someone else to create your designs and your images or you if are employing a marketing agency to look after your marketing strategies.
Paid advertising can generate traffic to your website fast, but it does cost money as you need to have good cash flow to pay for the advertising. However, if you do not have a well optimized site with clear goal objectives them it will cost you even more money from lost revenue and non-targeted traffic.
Organic traffic such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and social media are deemed as “free” traffic sources, but in reality it might take a lot of time to build up traction around these channels. It could be many months till you see significant results from your efforts. While the upfront costs are significantly less in non-paid methods, you will need to factor in what your business may have lost from spending this time; perhaps missing out on potential revenue or losing the first to market advantage because your competitors have already established a foothold in the marketplace during this period.
The ideal situation is to have a combination of strategies, both paid and non-paid traffic sources coming to your site, so you are not “putting all your eggs in one basket” so to speak and minimizing risk by utilizing multiple traffic sources. Relying on one source of traffic is risky because if that source no longer works for you due to some change that has happened in the marketplace, or some policy change made by Google or Facebook then your business will be severely compromised.
If you have paid traffic coming into your website that converts and brings you steady cash flow, then it should be able to keep the ship, that is your business, afloat until the non-paid campaigns kick into gear. What you ideally should notice then is that the return on investment (ROI) of your campaigns has improved and you will then be able to decide whether you want to reduce the budget of your paid marketing campaigns and focus on your non-paid campaigns to reduce your monthly ongoing costs, or continue with both your paid and non-paid campaigns and work towards improving your margins.