An interesting article over at Promotion World declares why search engine traffic is not vital to blogs, outlining the strategies bloggers should already be using to drive traffic and, eventually, loyal readers to their blog.
At first I jumped to a conclusion, thinking that the author (TJ Philpott) was saying that search engine ranking and traffic is not important at all.
In fact, that’s not what’s being said — more that SEO (search engine optimisation) and ranking in itself isn’t a necessity for a successful blog.
This should be music to the ears of most bloggers — in fact, any web site publisher — because anyone who has been publishing online for even a modest amount of time knows how fickle search engines can be. One day, you’re riding high on Google, the next you’ve been mysteriously dropped (you probably didn’t do anything wrong, either).
It’s probably fair to say that most passing traffic comes to blogs from search engines — and the majority of that from Google — but the article suggests that spending a bit more time focusing on social networks and social media can pay real dividends.
It does depend to a certain extent on the purpose of your blog, of course.
If you’re merely trying to get footfall in order to increase revenue from advertising, then search engine ranking equals better traffic and more profit.
If, however, you want to build reader loyalty and sense of community (and in turn, perhaps, sell via affiliate marketing, which tends to do better once a level of reader trust has been built up) then SEO may not be enough.
Inbound links from other blogs certainly help, but they can be hard to achieve.
The article suggests that using social media to encourage visitors to your site may not only increase repeat visitors, but can give you a better insight into what readers actually want as you “socialise” on these sites.
It’s interesting food for thought, but the main take-home point for me is that, like income, diversification of visitor sources is vital for the success of most blogs.
I personally don’t think one type of marketing is better than the other, but both should be used in balance to bring visitors to your blog.
What do you think? Are you switching more towards social media marketing, or is SEO still very important?