For website content to be found on the internet, hard work is not enough. Even the best articles are bound to fail unless they are delivered with a well-structured, and smart post-production strategy for success. Without a coherent strategy, where should you begin?
Strategy is the effective allocation of resources to best reach a certain objective. If the objective is high traffic, then what are your resources and to which channels or activities should you direct them?
Generally grouped under paid and free traffic, the channels listed below are commonly used by brands large and small to build awareness, consideration and conversion. A smart digital marketing strategy should combine a selection of those channels that best fit your profile, your resources and your development plans.
Paid Traffic Sources for Your Website
With the risk of advertising fatigue increasing across platforms, diversifying tactics with native ads helps publishing brands remain visible in suitable environments on other websites without the associated risks.
Native ads are paid content that fully integrates into their context. They replicate the look and feel of the page they are on, from topic to design, in order to serve both the user and the advertised brand. When done right, as with MGID’s native ads solutions, they encourage meaningful engagement among the audience without jeopardizing user experience and website integrity.
|Seamless integration||High cost|
|Higher engagement||Requires high-quality content|
|Targeted reach||Limited brand visibility|
Social Media Ads
Facebook. With 2.9 billion active monthly users, Facebook consistently ranks in the top 5 most visited websites across the globe. With WhatsApp and Instagram under its belt, the social media giant offers an impressive portfolio of on-platform or cross-advertising options, such as video feeds and carousel ads to Stories and the Facebook Marketplace. The average user clicks on 12 ads per month; not especially impressive but, multiplied by 2.4 billion, it adds up quite a bit.
Instagram is most popular with millennials, who build strong brand loyalty and are extremely susceptible to high-quality, stylish advertising. Ads should be well contextualized to strike the right note with the intended audience. Throughout their ad types, from photo and video to Carousel or Collection, you need to carefully integrate the message and CTA into the imagery. Careful: despite what you might think, the gender split among users is pretty much 50/50.
LinkedIn is the home of B2B advertising. As a platform targeted at professionals, your ads must match the tone and intent of these >300 million monthly active users (not to mention over 700 million total members). Sponsored posts, dynamic or display ads, and InMail are all common forms of advertising on this platform.
Former Twitter, now X may have lost some of its luster in the last couple of years, but it still reaches 230 million users daily. Moreover, these users are generally very engaged. For this medium, short ads with animated imagery or video are the winning formula. Its ad offering is original: Follower Ads, Takeover, or Twitter Amplify join the more standard Promoted Ads to take advantage of user engagement and the mobile-first user base.
YouTube. In-stream or bumper ads are the most common form of advertising on this platform. For video advertising, YouTube boasts 2 billion monthly users, this is the highest-performing marketing money can buy. Nearly exclusively, as opposed to most other social media platforms, YouTube video ads are consumed with sound in 95% of the cases.
TikTok reaches in theory the same demographic as Facebook. In practice, it all depends wildly on the region; in some cases, TikTok’s audience is largely under 24. TikTok is still evolving its advertising model, so a number of customizations are possible. In general, however, the out-of-the-box model offers just simple 9-second video ads.
Pinterest. Promoted Pins, i.e., Pinterest Ads, should look exactly like regular pins (except for the Sponsored label, of course). The look and feel should therefore match the context. The reach and conversion rate may not be as high – or as fast – as in the case of other social media. It all depends, however, on the type of business you run.
|Wide reach||Ad saturation|
|Targeting options||Evolving algorithms|
|Diverse ad formats||Cost variability|
Google, Amazon, Bing and other platforms for display ads have high reach and conversion potential. Google alone reaches around 2.5 billion users and has over 90% of the search market. When visiting Google’s search results pages, on average 19% of the users click on display ads. The figure actually varies depending on the industry or category, yet it remains quite impressive across the board.
However, display ads can also be quite competitive and therefore costly to run. Expect to pay a minimum of $1,000 per month for a very small campaign. In the most “crowded” categories and denser audiences, think upward of $10,000 per month. And the returns depend on so many factors. That this is a shot worth taking only when time, expertise, and money are in sufficient supply.
|Visual impact||Ad blockers|
|Wide reach||Banner blindness|
|Retargeting capabilities||Lower click-through rates|
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
PPC advertising is a performance-driven model where advertisers only pay when a user clicks on their ad. This approach allows for a cost-effective means of driving traffic, as the investment directly correlates with user engagement. Popularized by platforms like Google Ads, PPC offers a range of targeting options and ad formats, ensuring that ads are presented to users who are actively searching for related products or services.
However, you must remember that in highly competitive industries, the cost-per-click for popular keywords can be prohibitively expensive. This can make it challenging for smaller businesses or startups with limited budgets to effectively compete with larger, more established companies.
|Cost control||Competitive bidding|
|Targeted reach||Learning curve|
|Measurable ROI||Click fraud|
Influencer marketing involves partnering with individuals who have a dedicated and engaged following on social media or other online platforms. These influencers, often experts or enthusiasts in a specific niche, can promote a brand's products or services to their audience. The biggest plus is that their followers are genuinely interested in their content and opinions. This means that when an influencer promotes a product or service, it reaches a highly targeted and engaged audience.
Paradoxically, the disadvantages of influencer marketing are authenticity concerns. Although followers most often trust influencers and are willing to listen to their advice or recommendations, they also continue to value authenticity, and if they perceive an influencer's endorsement as insincere, it can lead to a loss of trust and credibility both for the influencer and the brand. It's crucial to choose influencers whose values align with the brand's and allow them creative freedom in their endorsements.
|Authenticity||Finding the right fit|
|Targeted reach||Cost variability|
|Diverse content formats||Potential for misalignment|
Free Traffic Sources
59% of Google users visit a single page – and less than 1 percent go to the second page of the results.
With SEO, you don’t really get a second chance at a first impression. Organic, free traffic from search engines comes when your page is search engine optimized. This includes over 200 variables ranging from keywords and backlinks to grammatical correctness, speed of loading, as well as a number of technical optimizations.
Once established, organic traffic can provide a consistent stream of visitors over an extended period, making it a sustainable source of traffic. While the traffic in itself is free, optimizing these factors is resource-intensive and can take quite a bit of time. For any respectable website, SEO should be built in.
Here's a quick breakdown of key SEO tactics:
- Keyword research and optimization: Understanding the phrases your audience uses to search for content in your niche allows you to strategically integrate these keywords into your content, making your website more discoverable.
- Quality content creation: High-quality, informative and engaging content not only appeals to users but also satisfies search engine algorithms, leading to improved rankings.
- On-page optimization: This encompasses various factors including meta tags, header tags, image optimization and mobile-friendliness, all contributing to a website's overall search visibility.
- Backlink building: Acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable sources enhances your website's authority and trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines.
- User experience and site speed: An intuitive, fast-loading website not only pleases users but also satisfies Google's algorithm, potentially leading to higher rankings.
|Cost-effectiveness||Constant algorithm changes|
|Building credibility||Competitive landscape|
Depending on the niche, email marketing can have a relatively high return on investment. That, however, is still counted in the low single digits, so do not expect miracles. A little over 1% conversion rate sounds abysmal, and yet email marketing scales so well that companies jump at the chance – especially B2B brands and small companies.
You can hope for significant results only if you already have a large and well curated email database, a tool (or designer) to build optimized templates, content marketers to develop the right content at the right time, and software to automate your sends and monitor analytics such as open and click rates.
|Direct communication||Potential for spam|
|High ROI||List quality maintenance|
|Personalization opportunities||Open and click-through rates|
Being present on social media with a company page is a no-brainer for B2C brands. It doesn’t have to come with all the bells and whistles, but it does require constant updates and original content.
Alternatively, you can insert your brand into larger conversations by commenting on relevant topics. Needless to say, the tone needs to match your brand image and the context.
The added advantage of a company page is that you can go viral when you hit the right note. Another plus – all your communications, as well as your partners’, will link to your social media presence and amplify your voice.
|Wide reach||Algorithm dependency|
|Engaging content formats||Time-consuming|
|Community building||Platform changes|
Guest blogging is a time-honored way to build authority and relationships. In exchange for offering free content to another website, you get acknowledgement, visibility, and (most importantly) links back to your own website.
It is harder to scale up, yet it remains a solid technique to insert brand mentions in places where you wouldn’t otherwise have access.
|Quality backlinks||Content quality standards|
|Expanded audience||Limited control|
Navigating Traffic Acquisition Costs: Paid vs. Free Sources
Now let’s summarize the above and start with paid sources.
|Paid traffic sources||Overview||Costs|
|Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising||Involves paying a fee each time your ad is clicked||Budget flexibility|
|Display advertising||Display ads on websites, often in banners or videos||Additional costs for ad design|
|Social media advertising||Paid posts appear in users’ feeds on platforms||Budget flexibility|
|Native advertising||Seamlessly blends with platform content||Pricing models vary|
|Influencer marketing||Collaborating with influencers to promote your products.||Costs depend on influencer reach and engagement rates.|
In continuation, we offer you the same recap of free sources.
|Free traffic sources||Overview||Costs|
|Organic Search Optimization (SEO)||Optimizing your site for higher search engine rankings||Time-intensive. Requires technical expertise|
|Email marketing||Sending targeted messages to subscribers||Minimal direct costs. Time investment|
|Social media engagement||Engaging with your audience on social media platforms||Time investment. Content creation may be required|
|Content marketing and blogging||Providing valuable, relevant content through blogs||Time and content creation|
Crafting an Effective Traffic Acquisition Strategy
Selecting the optimal traffic acquisition strategies for your business is akin to charting a course through a bustling marketplace. To navigate this digital landscape successfully, it's essential to have a clear plan in place. Here are some key steps to help you refine your approach:
- Understand goals: Begin by defining precise objectives. Are you aiming for lead generation, building brand awareness or optimizing conversion rates? A clear sense of purpose will guide your strategy selection.
- Consider the budget: Allocate resources judiciously. Evaluate your available budget and give priority to strategies that align with your financial capacity. This ensures that you make the most of your investment.
- Analyze target audience: Delve into understanding your audience. Gain insights into their preferences, online behavior and the platforms they frequent. This knowledge is vital in tailoring your strategies to reach them effectively.
- Monitor and adjust: Continuous evaluation is key. Regularly track the performance of each strategy. Be prepared to make adjustments as needed. This flexibility allows you to fine-tune your efforts for maximum effectiveness.
- Diversify: A balanced approach often yields the best results. Combining both paid and free traffic acquisition sources can provide a comprehensive and sustainable long-term strategy.
By following these steps, you'll be better equipped to select the strategies that align with your business goals and resources, ensuring a fruitful journey towards acquiring quality traffic.
Traffic Acquisition: How to Track Efficiency
You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Once you have evaluated the options and allocated your resources, you need to assign campaign codes to your content. Only then can you track the efficiency of your efforts through web analytics services such as Google Analytics.
Not only is Google Analytics free and supported by data from the highest-traffic search engine, but it also links with Google’s free and easy-to-use UTM code generator. If your website is linked to Google Analytics (or any alternative tool), you can then trace the origin of on-site clicks and assess the ROI of all your conversions.
Campaigns can increase short-term traffic by generating awareness, but they may not move users down the sales funnel, to the conversion stage. Here comes the essential part:
Build your strategy for conversions, not for traffic. Create a loyal subscriber base of converted users. None of these can happen without traffic from these channels; however, do not lose sight of the end goal.
Balancing Act: Assessing Risks in Traffic Acquisition
Navigating the landscape of traffic acquisition involves not only seizing opportunities but also being aware of potential risks. Each method comes with its own set of challenges and considerations. Let’s explore the potential pitfalls associated with various traffic acquisition strategies.
Losing money. In most cases, the biggest risk is simply losing money. Even with the most comprehensive parameters for customizing and targeting ads, there is a possibility of striking out. A/B testing and constant adjustments are common in digital marketing.
- Implement a robust A/B testing strategy.
- Create multiple ad variations and test them against each other to identify which performs best. Continuously monitor and analyze the results, making adjustments based on data-driven insights.
- Set clear budget limits and closely monitor ad spend to ensure it aligns with your ROI goals.
Search engine penalties. When you chase traffic without enough knowledge of, or consideration for best practices in digital marketing, you may incur penalties. Questionable link building techniques, disreputable traffic sources, and on-page irregularities etc. may hurt your online visibility.
- Avoid questionable SEO practices and stay updated with search engine algorithm changes.
- Focus on creating high-quality, relevant content that provides value to your audience.
- Build backlinks from authoritative sources through ethical outreach efforts.
- Regularly audit your website for any on-page irregularities and address them promptly.
- Adhere to search engine guidelines and best practices to maintain a positive online presence.
Brand safety. Just as you wouldn’t allow your child to play with the rowdy kids across the street, you would not want your brand to be placed in unfavorable contexts. An ad displayed on an ill-reputed website or next to shady advertising or content can harm you both short- and long-term.
- Employ advanced ad placement controls and brand safety tools provided by advertising platforms.
- Utilize whitelists and blacklists to specify the types of websites and content where your ads should or shouldn't appear.
- Conduct thorough research on potential publishers and platforms to ensure they align with your brand values and standards.
- Regularly review ad placements to identify and address any instances of brand misalignment.
- Consider using third-party verification services to ensure your ads are displayed in brand-safe environments.
Emerging Trends and Technologies in Traffic Acquisition
Staying ahead of emerging trends is crucial for successful traffic acquisition. Understanding and timely research of innovations gives you an undoubted competitive advantage. So here are some of the cutting-edge developments shaping the future of traffic acquisition.
|AI-powered automation||AI and machine learning automate data analysis and decision-making||Improved ad relevance, enhanced user experience, optimized campaign performance|
|Voice search optimization||Optimizing content for voice-activated virtual assistants||Increased visibility in voice search results, improved user engagement|
|Video content dominance||Video content's dominance in online engagement||Higher user retention, increased click-through rates, effective message delivery|
|Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)||Immersive experiences for users||Unique brand experiences, increased user interaction, higher conversion rates|
|Blockchain-powered advertising||Enhancing transparency and security in digital advertising||Reduced ad fraud, increased trust, improved accountability|
|Predictive analytics and big data||Data-driven decision-making with real-time analytics||Improved audience segmentation, personalized content delivery, higher conversions|
|Progressive web apps (PWAs)||Combining web and app experiences for seamless interactions||Improved user experience, reduced bounce rates, increased time spent on the website|
Important note: Knowing these trends does not oblige you to immediately abandon your current traffic acquisition efforts and plunge headlong into the unknown jungle of blockchain or AR. Knowing them is your ability to gradually adapt your traffic acquisition strategies depending on your goals and the specifics of your business in order to ensure its gradual harmonious development.
What is traffic acquisition?
Traffic acquisition is the process of attracting visitors or users to a website or online platform through various marketing efforts. This can be achieved through both paid and organic means.
How do traffic acquisition costs impact my marketing budget?
Traffic acquisition costs are the expenses incurred in acquiring visitors to your website. Understanding these costs is crucial as it helps allocate your marketing budget effectively across different traffic channels acquisition strategies.
What are the most effective traffic channel acquisition strategies?
The most effective traffic channel acquisition strategies vary depending on your specific goals and target audience. Paid advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing and email marketing are among the popular strategies.
Is paid advertising the only way to acquire traffic?
No, paid advertising is just one of the ways to acquire traffic. While it provides immediate results, organic methods like SEO, content marketing and social media engagement can also be highly effective and cost-efficient in the long run.
How can I measure the effectiveness of my traffic acquisition strategies?
Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as conversion rates, click-through rates (CTR), cost per acquisition (CPA) and return on investment (ROI) are crucial in assessing the effectiveness of your traffic acquisition efforts.
What role does content play in traffic acquisition?
Content plays a pivotal role in traffic acquisition. High-quality, relevant content not only improves organic search rankings (SEO) but also engages and retains visitors, ultimately driving more traffic to your website.
How can I balance paid and organic traffic acquisition strategies?
Balancing paid and organic strategies involves understanding your budget constraints and long-term goals. Paid strategies offer immediate results, while organic efforts like SEO and content marketing contribute to sustained, cost-effective traffic acquisition over time.
To be successful, a website needs to generate traffic through a combination of tactics. The combination depends on your vertical, location and audience, as well as on your available resources. In most cases, your tactics will include SEO, social media and some form of paid advertising.
For those seeking an accelerated and streamlined approach, MGID's native advertising platform is a game-changer. With our industry expertise, expansive reach and advanced targeting tools, we empower you to supercharge your traffic acquisition efforts, leading to higher conversions and engagement.
Unlock a world of benefits by becoming a publisher with MGID. Gain full control over your audience, utilize cutting-edge technology to captivate and retain users, establish direct relationships with advertisers and formulate monetization strategies backed by robust analytics. Elevate your online presence with MGID today!