Traffic, visitors, customers, subscribers, readers, or people, whatever you may call it. It is the thing we want for our websites, regardless of the purpose of the website. Traffic is “the most important” thing. And traffic in itself means different thing to different people. For some it is something that you get as an result of search engine optimization (SEO), while for others it may be something that you get after investing some dollars in online ads (PPC, media buying, banner ads, Facebook ads, etc.). So what exactly is the nature of traffic; that is to say, what are the types of traffic?
There are two categories under which every type of traffic could be classified. Those categories are:
- Paid Traffic
- Free Traffic
The traffic for which you have to pay even a single dime to the traffic source falls in this category. Traffic from PPC (Pay Per Click) ads, PPV (Pay Per View) ads, CPM (Cost Per Thousand) ads, Facebook ads, MySpace ads, sponsored tweets, banner ads, sponsored forum posts, etc., are the examples of paid traffic. And I must add here that your SEO agency does not fall in this category.
Paid traffic is said to be of high quality. It is believed that people clicking on the sponsored links are those who actively seek the solutions — whether informational or transactional — to their problems. But a proper care and due diligence is required on the marketer’s part to reap benefit from this source, for a small mistake can possibly cost you hundreds and thousands of dollars, if not whole business.
Free traffic is the traffic that you get from Google, Yahoo, Bing, or any other search engines, or traffic even from twitter, Facebook profile page, MySpace, Digg, StumbleUpon, or any other social bookmarking or networking sites. Even traffic from classifies websites fall under this category.
Any traffic for which you do not have to pay to sending source is called free traffic. This is the best traffic you can imagine to have, and most of the Internet marketers focus on getting this. But some sources are too slow to deliver results — like SEO (search engine optimization).
For years, free traffic (unlimited) was supposedly Holy Grail of the online marketing industry, but soon the marketing community realized that paid traffic is also a good bet. And they started investing in it, big time. Paid traffic is worthy of admiration, for this is not something that depends upon the search engine’s (read Google) mood swing (read algorithm updates).
Google and other major search engine do affect paid traffic as well, but not the way it affects free traffic. It is advisable, therefore, to have a balanced mix of both kinds of traffic in your traffic getting plan.
That’s it for now. In the next article, I will talk about some traffic getting strategies. I am hoping to make it a series. Let’s see how it comes up. Till then keep reading.