One of the most fundamental questions for any business is how do you want to advertise yourself. Traffic is essential for any business, however, it can be difficult to choose what traffic sources you should focus on. Especially, if you don’t have enough resources to focus on them all simultaneously. Should you advertise on Google and Bing? Or Facebook, Instagram or TikTok are a better fit? Or maybe you are likely to benefit the most from organic traffic and SEO strategies? How do you find out which type suits you best?
In our experience, a lot of business owners struggle to differentiate between different traffic sources, how they differ from each other and which ones are best for their business. No wonder - the number of platforms and ways to advertise only continues to increase. Without a clear understanding of how they work it is difficult to make an informed decision.
If you feel confused about what is the best way to promote your business, we would like to make your job a bit easier. Here is a simple breakdown of different traffic sources and when are they used best. In the long run, it is best to combine various sources and develop a solid omnichannel marketing strategy. However, if you are only starting up, it's best to focus, so you don't end up spreading your resources too thin.
Social Media Paid Advertising - this includes veteran platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, and more fresh or niche newcomers such as TikTok or Pinterest, etc. Social media ads work best when you offer a highly visual product which is not too cheap or expensive. If the product is too cheap, the customer may be reluctant to pay shipping costs. If it’s too expensive, he may need more justification to buy, which by nature of social media ads may be difficult to provide in the ad.
The traffic from social media is generally considered “cold”. With this type of ads, you try to reach relevant audiences based on targeting which you define yourself and hope to develop the need and desire to buy in person who may not have it yet. Because of that, you can reach wide audiences at low cost. Therefore, if you only have a small budget, social media would be a good starting point. Furthermore, if you decide to focus on social ads, make sure to work on your content beforehand - that your profile bio is filled out, you have at least several high quality posts shared and that your account in general is appealing and easy to understand right away what you offer. This way, you make yourself legit in the eyes of potential consumers and create more trust in your offer.
Search-Engine Advertisement (SEA) - this includes not just text ads on top of search results, but also displays on a wide variety of websites and shopping ads when looking for a specific product. A distinguishing feature of these ads is search intent. This means that your ads will be shown only to people who are already searching for a specific product or service. Therefore, the traffic which comes from these ads is "warm", meaning that often there are not going to be as many steps between the ad and the sale itself.
This type of ads have higher conversion rates, but also higher costs. Therefore, before launching ads on Google, Bing, or other search engines, make sure that nothing stands in the way of conversion - that your website is well optimized and loads fast, you accept all payment systems used by your customers and all the information on the page is clear. Paid search ads by their nature suit well to promote well-established concepts with a constant demand. If your customers already have a well defined need for your product, and you are capable of investing sufficiently high budget for equally high, predictable results - paid search ads are a good choice for you.
Organic Traffic / SEO. Although this traffic is not advertisement, it is usually evaluated by business owners together with the previous options. Just as the name suggests, organic traffic is traffic which comes to you without you paying for it directly. This includes both your website being found through search engines and other websites referring you.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t make it free. Gaining a high position in Google search results takes a lot of time and investment in high quality content. How you are ranked also depends on search engine algorithms - it's not possible to predict how fast your new content is going to be crawled. Further, creating a website which would rank high on search engines is a very difficult task for non-professional - meaning that you will still likely require to hire an SEO specialist.
However, all this extra effort pays off with a higher level of trust to your offer by your prospects. As a rule of thumb, SEO strategy works best for complex products and services, which solve specific problems. So if you have resources to create high quality content, which will be helpful to your prospects, organic traffic can be a good fit for your business. However, if you need to attract short-term traffic, consider supplementing it with paid advertisement before it starts working.
Regardless of what source of traffic you choose to go for, keep in mind to always test your assumptions. Do not invest all your budget without trying things first. Run different campaigns first to collect enough data about how algorithms and your prospects react to them. And if you still have questions about how to promote your business in the best way, let's have a chat and find out together!