Many people think that Pay-Per-Click (PPC) traffic and Organic traffic are two different entities, but in reality they work together to benefit one another.
PPC traffic is great for quickly gaining and sustaining traffic and conversions, possibly while you’re waiting for your SEO efforts to be seen by the search engines. PPC is also great for promoting sales or seasonal promotions, while SEO is good for building website credibility, escalating your reach and increasing conversions. PPC allows you to control targeting, select search terms that you may not have an organic presence for, and choose which phrases you do not want your ads to appear for (negatives key phrases). SEO and PPC compliment one another and allow for different types of control, reach and conversions, but also help one another to achieve their top potential.
Google AdWords operates on a Quality Score system. That score contributes to how much you pay for a click and how well your paid ads are positioned. There are a handful of factors that go into that score, such as click-through rate, ad copy relevance and page load time. Believe it or not, following SEO best practices can actually lead to a higher quality PPC landing page. If you fully optimize your site’s code and have taken into account page load time, then you are more apt to have a high quality score for your PPC efforts.
So when it comes to SEO vs. PPC, there is no clear-cut answer as to one source of traffic being better than the other, unless you’re limited by funds or resources. Both SEO and PPC work great independently, but using these two marketing channels together will add additional leverage. By running both SEO and PPC together, you give your online business more opportunities to reach more of your customers.
There are a variety of ways to gain traffic to your site, many of which can cost a pretty penny, but if you are going to pay for traffic you ought to drive as much free traffic as possible as well.
Below are three easy steps to gaining better organic positions and more FREE traffic to your site:
1. Content, Content, Content
Content is King. Search engines love content. The more content that there is on your website the more opportunities you are giving searchers to find you. The goal behind gaining higher search results is to get more visitors to your site. Unique content will help boost your site’s rankings.
4 easy ways of creating content on your website:
2. Keyword Rich Content
Each page should focus on its own single unique keyword phrase giving your site the ability to rank for a variety of keywords. Having multiple key phrases on one page will dilute your keyword density and the ability to rank for important key phrases. Make sure to include your key phrases throughout your static content, as well as in your Meta Data (title, description and keywords). Keyword density is a measure of how many times a keyword appears within the page. As a best practice you should aim for a keyword density of approximately 4-7%. Anything higher runs the risk of looking like keyword “stuffing” which is frowned down upon by the search engines. If the keyword appears too many times, then it does not look natural and can result in poor search engine results. Here are a few free tools to check your keyword density:
3. Site Speed
Google has formally introduced speed into their ranking algorithm, so being aware of how fast your site loads should be of the utmost importance to you. Even more importantly then how the search engines take into account your load time, remember that by improving your site’s speed, you’re also improving your visitors experience. Here is a free tool to seeing how quickly your website loads:
These are just three of many easy-steps to achieving higher rankings and more FREE traffic to your site.
So you’re getting a lot of traffic to your website. That’s great! A good amount of your website’s traffic is converting. Awesome! You’re even getting some returning visitors to your site, and they are buying things, too! What could be better than this? (Of course, you could say “Winning the Lottery!”, but that’s not realistic).
The first question that comes to mind about your website’s traffic is usually “Where is the traffic coming from?”, or some variation of that. This is something that we all want to know, whether to satisfy our own curiosity or to properly optimize your cost-per-click campaigns. Using Google Analytics, let me show you a few different places where you can go to find out the origins of your traffic.
1. The “All Traffic Sources” Report
This is normally where most everyone goes to know where people are coming from. It’s found underneath the “Traffic Sources” section (obviously). Now, you need to understand that, by default, Google Analytics groups all traffic in four separate categories, or, “mediums””:
Direct – Usually represented by (direct)(none), this is all of the traffic that either types in the URL of your website by hand, or accesses your website via a bookmark. Copying / Pasting your website’s URL and clicking on “Go” or hitting the Enter key also counts as direct traffic.
Referral – A referral is any visit from any website that links to yours. Usually appears with the name of the website or IP address (Example: myspace.com / referral)
Organic – Any traffic originating from an organic search engine listing. As of this post, Google Analytics automatically recognizes 39 different websites as search engines, but this number is always changing. (Example: google / organic)
CPC – Traffic that originates from a pay-per-click marketing program, such as Google AdWords. You’ll see it listed as “google / cpc”. Note: you will need to have your URLs coded with Google Analytics URL Tracking on all of your non-Google AdWords Paid Search campaigns in order to see them listed as “cpc”. Otherwise, they will be lumped in with the “organic” listings. Visit the Google Analytics URL Tool Builder Page to learn how it’s done.
2. The “Referring Sites” Report
This report is one of my personal favorites. I really like to look at this report, so I can see who is either linking to me or referencing me in a blog or message board. This report is also found in the “Traffic Sources” section, and it will list any website which you have received at least one visit from. The best part about this is that if you click on any website listing, you can see the exact page where your link is found, and you can also click on the small “double-window” icon next to the full page path to go to that page, to see your link on their site.
3. The “Search Engines” Report
Finally, you can use the Search Engines report to view your total amount of search engine traffic. You can also click on the “paid” link next to the segmenting tool to view all paid Search Engine traffic, or you can click on the “non-paid” link to view all organic / non-paid Search Engine traffic. Clicking on the name of the search engine that’s listed there will allow you to segment that search engine by keyword, so that you can see which search terms are responsible for bringing you traffic.
These three reports are a great start for you to start to see where all of your traffic is originating from.