There are two types of traffic and three categories.
Types of Traffic
Paid v Free
Paid traffic comes in many different forms. Probably the best know today is called Pay Per Click and you may recognize this term as it relates to Googleâ€™s Adwords PPC system. Although Google Adwords is still currently the most widely known and used PPC advertising system, both Yahoo and Microsoft have very similar systems that function in pretty much the same way.
With PPC you bid on keywords and when someone clicks your add you pay the PPC system bid amount.
Another paid form of advertising that used to be mainstream and is not as heavily used any more is banner ads. With the advent of PPC many people moved away from banner advertising but itâ€™s a great way to drive traffic to your website if you pick the right venue for your banner!
There are many other paid ways to drive traffic to your site.
Free traffic can come from many different places too. Free traffic is generally what you get when someone searches on Google or Yahoo or MSN and you appear in the Search Engine Results Pages or SERPS.
Free traffic is the best kind of traffic and is the reason you should optimize your web pages for keywords and keyword phrases. You definitely want to pick up as much free traffic as possible. You can also get free traffic from forums by making posts, articles by having a signature file at the end of the article, blogs that you write and blogs that you post comments on etc etc etc.
Traffic categories relate to the types of visitor you are trying to get to your site.
Are looking for information and just browsing. They are not going to pay you money and are like window shoppers. If you could ask them on your website ‘ Hello madam, can I help you find something’ their answer would be ‘No thank you, I’m just looking. You get the picture. They are a general type of browser and they probably don’t really know what they are looking for. They are not very far into the buying cycle…
Shoppers are further along in the buying cycle. They have done some general searches looking for information (as information seekers) and are now likely to be comparing similar products or services for price and features. Shoppers are hot leads and you want to be providing them with specific information, product reviews etc and will definitely want to have the opportunity to let them buy if they want. If nothing else, you want to get your shopper to give you an email address in exchange for some valuable information pertaining to their search.
Buyers are what you want! Of course Steve, duh! Well now, how many buyers are coming to your site and buying? Do you know? How many are leaving? I bet you don’t know that either and you should. Why? Because you can get that valuable information from your website if you know what to look for. What I am talking here is conversion and you need to know how well your web page is converting, so you can tweak it and make it convert better.
Anyway, buyers are the most targeted type of visitor you can get to your site and as you know by now, you should be directing them to a sales page. You’ll need to know how much you can afford to pay to send the buyer to your web page and what the conversion rate is at the page. Knowing this information is critical if you are using any of the paid advertising methods. But don’t worry, most businesses don’t have a clue about this and are losing money on PPC. If you are a small business owner you can compete with the big companies and literally steal their customers from right under their noses…
Free is better and you target SEO and keyword analysis.
PPC is quick and you should test your offer, sales page and conversion rates before moving to more PPC and other forms of paid advertising…