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.