Using Search Engines or Social Media to Drive Traffic to your Website?

There is a lot of conflicting evidence on the web about the effectiveness of social media to drive traffic to your website as opposed to organic search engine results. Some sources claim social media has as little impact as 5% traffic flow (… Other sources 30%+ (…. The imminent death of Google may be overstated but there is no doubt Social Media is having an increasing impact on how people ‘traffic’ to your website.

Using Search Engines or Social Media to Drive Traffic to your Website?

The Growth of Social Media Originated Search Traffic 2012 to 2015
Helios Web Design 2016

By relatively conservative estimations SM will probably overtake Organic Search Engines as the main driver of traffic to websites by late 2016 so it is important that any promotional strategies utilised include a strong SM core. Over recent years our media consumption habits have changed dramatically. We rely less on homepages and search engines, discovering news & information pertinent to us through social media and direct messaging on mobile apps. Just having a pretty website is no longer enough to get your message out there.

For an effective internet presence you need a well built SEO friendly website, regular updates of content and a social media strategy to stimulate traffic to your site. Failure to do any of these 3 things will inevitably mean your site is not maximizing its potential reach. None of this need to be too onerous. A well built website utilising effective Search Engine Optimisation is a must and needs to be done right. Regular content updates on a monthly basis may consist of as little as a bit of news or an update about a new service. A social media strategy may be as simple as identifying a few relevant twitter hashtags and remembering to tweet something funny/newsworthy/interesting a couple of times a week.

Search engines & Google are by no means dead and with SM posts regularly turning up in searches they will find a way to coexist in the rapidly changing internet world.

My personal experience of using Social Media to promote sites has shown me that it can have a dramatic if short term* impact on site traffic. Some clients have noticed as much as a 500% increase in traffic after the instigation of a SM, granted these sites were fairly low volume and are ‘local’ in nature but the impact was significant and the business derived from this by far outweighed the cost and effort of using SM.

One note of caution is that the ½ life of SM campaigns can be punishing! Particularly with regard to Twitter, “Out of Site, Out of Mind” is a pretty good maxim to tweet by! Don’t think that you can blast away at twitter or Facebook for a few days and then sit back and bask in the glory of a loyal band of followers that constantly revisit your website. When you want to make a success of it you have to be in it for the long haul and make it part of your overall business strategy.

If you have any questions or comments please get in touch!

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