We all know that Search Engines Send the Most Valuable Traffic, Targeted search is still the holy grail of accomplishing your business objectives (you know, like sales), as opposed to scoring random traffic.
Social media visitors are crucial, but mostly in the sense that it allows you to develop more valuable long-term traffic sources like opt-in email subscribers and high search rankings.
The reason why is straightforward … it comes down to intent marketers have known since way before the Internet that the frame of mind of the prospect makes all the difference (which is why pricey advertising is used to try to have an effect on that frame).
Online, people who are searching for something particular are in a very different, and more useful, frame of mind than when they are socialising on Facebook. Learn More About Social Media Marketing.
To use a nearly obsolete example, think of your state of mind when you used to reach for the Yellow Pages. Now think of your state of mind when your favorite TV show is interrupted by a commercial. Next, extrapolate that to being pitched by a stranger while chatting with a friend at a cocktail party.
A new Forrester report titled “The Purchase Path of Online Buyers In 2012 shows that fewer than 1% of transactions could be traced back to social links.
In other words, compared with social traffic, searchers are the most enthusiastic people who click a website. This is vital.
If they’re looking for a product or service, there’s a good probability they’re looking to buy it. If they’re searching for information and your website provides it, you’ve got a great opportunity of converting that drive-by traffic into long-term attention (an email subscriber) with your content. Learn Search Engine Optimisation Techniques
Content paired with social media is not primarily a conversion-to-customer path, but instead an exercise in audience-building. And if you follow that path effectively, you’re in a position to add long-term, high-value search engine rankings, which in turn continue to expand the audience in a highly-targeted way over time.
In that sense, smart content optimization is more important than ever.
And of course if you’re a professional web writer, whether freelance or with an agency, this discussion is purely academic. Go ahead and tell your client not to care about Google traffic, and let me know how that goes.
So, search traffic is definitely significant, as long as it’s targeted search traffic.
Before we look at the elements of modern practice of search engine optimization, however, let’s make sure we understand how search engines work.