We talked earlier about the traffic coming into your blog – what they’re looking for, how they found you, and most important, where they’re coming from. Today, let’s talk about which of those traffic sources is the most effective.
Just in case you missed those earlier posts, there are three main sources for blog traffic: Search Engine traffic, Referral traffic and Direct traffic. As to which is most effective, they’re each special in their own way.
Search Engine Traffic
In the beginning, when your blog is still relatively new, the bulk of your traffic will be coming from the search engines. For this reason, it’s important that you focus on keywords so you can attract targeted traffic.
Most of the search engine traffic that arrives on your blog will be first-time visitors, looking for specific answers to specific questions. If you over-deliver, and give them loads of great quality content, these visitors will turn into Direct Traffic, which will help increase your overall traffic.
So, search engine traffic is most effective for helping introduce your blog to new visitors and building Direct Traffic.
Direct Traffic is just what it sounds like: Visitors who come directly to your blog, either from a bookmark or by typing your blog’s URL directly into their address bar. These visitors are generally repeat visitors – they’ve either bookmarked your blog on a previous visit or they’re following your RSS feed, which they subscribed to on a previous visit. Or, they simply remember the name of your blog and they’re typing it out themselves.
Since this Direct Traffic consists of repeat visitors, that means they like your blog, which also means they’re more likely to share it with their friends. And, this is the traffic that will most likely turn into paying traffic.
So, Direct Traffic is most effective for sharing your links with their friends and for generating sales.
Referral Traffic is the traffic that comes in from the social networks and from the links you build on other blogs, on other properties, and with article marketing. In most cases, Referral visitors will be first-time visitors, however, there’s one big difference.
Unlike the visitors who arrive via the search engines, your blog has been personally recommended to the people who arrive via a referral. They’ve seen your link, posted by their trusted friends, on Facebook or Twitter or another social network. Or another blogger whom they already trust has referred them to your blog.
Again, if someone arrives on your site via a referral link and they like what they see, they’ll most likely turn into a Direct visitor. And those Direct Visitors are the people who are going to share your links and turn into buyers.
As you can see then, all types of traffic are effective for a different reason and each has a role to play in the success of your blog. So don’t neglect one traffic source because you think another is more important. Focus on developing all three traffic sources and you’ll have a success, money-making blog.