How to drive traffic to web site? Well, that's the business of search marketing isn't it? Yes. We all need the traffic to drive our businesses. I think it's most helpful to think of this topic in the same way as traditional advertisers think of consumers coming to a store or purchasing any other service. It's more than a visitor, it's a potential customer. It's foot traffic walking by your store - with the possibility of stopping to come in and buy something from you.

It's odd how the Internet makes the business dynamic feel different somehow. I don't exactly understand it. I mean, I do, but I don't. But regardless, you want to drive traffic to web site now. And you want to know how to do it. I will assume, for the moment that you are not a big business purchaser who is looking to spend over $10,000 per month on your online advertising marketing campaign. Why can I assume this? Because if you were I'm imaging you are not searching on the term traffic to web site. Just a guess.

So you have two basic paths to bring traffic to your web site:

1) Organic search traffic through search engine optimization (SEO)

2) Traffic from paid advertising (PPC, PPA)

Here at Semify we have customers who use both methods. Some are paid traffic (PPC) only and others are others that are SEO only. We manage both types of accounts and have years of experience in both domains. So which one should you pick for bringing the traffic you need? Both.

Yep. I think the answer is really both. And to start, you should really only use PPC. Here's why. Search engine optimization (SEO) takes a while to work. Anyone who tells you it's quick or that they can promise you page 1 results in Google is not someone you should work with. When you ask an SEO expert how long this will take, you want to hear things like "that depends on how competitive that phrase is in Google's database." You also want to hear things like, "that depends on where your site is currently sitting in terms of categorization, trust, and in-bound links." That's right, you want to hear many "it depends". Often that's a bad answer. But when dealing with a complex subject, it is good. It means the person you are talking to a) knows what they are talking about and b) is being honest with you (two very different things).

So back to the How To. Since SEO takes a while to work (and sometimes doesn't), you want to pick SEO targets to drive traffic to your web site based on data. You don't want to be guessing here since you will have money on the line. You want the best SEO business case possible that says "these terms will make me money". That's the idea here, right? So collecting the data you need to select solid SEO targets means running some paid search advertising campaigns first. Per prepared to spend some money to pilot a bunch of different terms. You will need to hook up all the tracking options in Adwords so that you can tie dollars earned to dollars spent, sliced and diced by keyword, matching type, ad group, etc. This can get a bit complex, but it's critical. Study the data and the ones that produce the desired conversion are the targets for your longer term SEO campaign. Only then do you launch the big guns on SEO. Consider running PPC also on those terms concurrently.

So there you have it. If you want to drive traffic, you need to some planning. This planning requires data collection first, then an analysis phase, then execution. Hummmm, that sounds like every MBA course ever taught. Funny thing about that. A process that works usually follows a similar path. If you are not comfortable with any of these steps, hire an SEO consultant or PPC consultant who can do this for you. In particular, people have trouble getting the Adwords tracking pieces set up right. This is critical because any mistake on the analysis will take you to a bad strategy.