Difference Between Traffic Sources — Online Marketing - , SEO , Traffic Sources — Marketing in Lebanon
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Difference Between Traffic Sources

I recently had one of those "Aha!" moments, where all the data and information relating to website traffic sources in my head suddenly formed a nice pattern. Here's what I realized --

There's a substantial difference between:
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) i.e. traffic generated from search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc)  
  • Social Media  (Twitter, Facebook, etc) / bookmarking (StumbleUpon, Digg, etc) referrals

    The main criteria that differ between traffic sources are related to:


    Traffic to your site that comes from Search Engines are more likely to be spread out evenly over a long period of time; whereas that generated from Social Media, tends to be tactical and timely. Ok, so truth be told, both social media and bookmarking sites can generate a great number of visitors, instantly.


    When using Social Media or Bookmarking sites, it's somewhat a push strategy, where someone has to suggest your link, and people would end up on your site out of randomness or curiosity. Whereas, whoever ends up on your site through Search Engines, is looking for information that you are likely to have, so this is more of a pull strategy. Wouldn't that make whoever finds you through search engines slightly more likely to be of relevant audience?

    Ok, so these are quite obvious findings for the most part. It just feels good to put them into perspective.


    Mustapha said...

    Good read Y,

    You can also include the ideas of "amplification", in which social media echos and even magnifies posts you make on a blog,

    Versus "relevance", which is what people who come through search engines are looking for,

    So in a way, it's like the difference between traditional shopping (you go to a store with a clear idea of what you want) versus lateral shopping (where you go to a store hoping to find something you might like)..

    Unknown said...

    Good point M - *liking the abbreviation* :)

    It's true that Social Media have the benefit of going viral and spreading like a virus. I could have pretty much added the "amplification" title...

    Riad said...

    I like the idea highlight,

    Quite commonly you'll see the top 3 traffic sources for websites targeting the MENA region, having Direct, Facebook and Google as the top traffic sources.

    I can't agree more about the difference between SEO and Social Media...yet they seem to cross path quite often. For example, a burst in traffic, with a properly managed bounce rate and time spent on site, can make search engines more interested in the site on the longer run, and thus rank you higher on SERPs.

    Difference in the approach, but serving each others and the same purpose is what can be said for SEO and SMO

    Thank you :)

    Unknown said...

    Thanks for the feedback Riad, always good to have an expert's opinion :)

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