Social Or Google Traffic? Where’s The Money?

November 18, 2008

Does social traffic, or Google traffic bring more paying customers to your blog, or website? Some “gurus” argue that plenty of targeted Google traffic, is the only way to make money online. And others say that social traffic is essential, if you want to build a successful online business. So who is right?

Some Google Traffic, Or Social Traffic Promoters Have a Hidden Agenda

When you’re considering whether Google traffic, or social traffic will bring more buyers to your blog, it’s important to remember that some folk will insist one is better than the other because they want to sell you something.

For example, a lot of folk who argue that Google traffic is the only way to go, are usually promoting expensive linking schemes, or some overpriced product.

And some of the people who try to convince everyone that social traffic is all that matters, will charge you $300 per hour to teach you how to use Twitter.

Neither Social Or Google Traffic Will Work If You Don’t Target The Right Customers

In order to get traffic which converts to sales, you need to target folk who want what you are selling. So, if you sell a video on breeding tropical fish and Google is sending you heaps of traffic for “exotic dancing classes, you’re not going to have much luck.

And the same is true of social network sites. If you sell vacations for the 50 plus generation and the average age of folk you’ve friended is 20 something, you’re probably not going to make many sales.

If You Rely On Either Social or Google Traffic You Risk Breaking All Your Eggs

If you rely on getting traffic from one particular source, you’re putting yourself at a huge risk. Your traffic source could dry up if you’re dropped from Google’s front page for many of your keywords. And a social network could ban you, close down, or become unpopular at any time.

So, it’s far smarter to choose a handful of different ways to get traffic and learn how to use them properly.

Wherever You Get Your Traffic From - Learn How To Do It Properly

If you’re getting a heap of irrelevant Google traffic to your site, you need to invest some time in learning about Search Engine Optimization. Also, you need to stop participating in memes. I get a lot of traffic to this blog, by using search engine optimization. And if you want to learn how to do it properly, I highly recommend SEO School.

And social networks can be complicated to use at first. So it really pays to learn how to use them properly from the outset. I’ve found StumbleUpon to be the best social networking site for getting heaps of traffic. And a decent percentage of StumbleUpon users do come back to your blog, if they like it.

Are you getting targeted traffic to your blog or website? Or do you attract folk who are looking for all kinds of weird and wonderful things?

Related Reading

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The Recipe: 26 Practical Resources For Starting An Online Business

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18 Responses to “Social Or Google Traffic? Where’s The Money?”

  1. Avani-Mehta on November 18th, 2008 2:24 pm

    I usually get relevant searches from Google. There are two terms which bring weird traffic - “cheat marriage” and “fart”.

    Avani-Mehta’s last blog post..Top 8 Motivation Hacks - #3

  2. Brad Shorr on November 18th, 2008 2:27 pm

    Cath, You are so right about not putting all your eggs in one basket. You never know how information is passed from person to person online. Statistics don’t tell the whole story, either. People may save a link and act on it months later. Someday I hope you will share your insights about SU. It’s still a bit of a mystery to me. I never feel as though I’m using it properly.

    Brad Shorr’s last blog post..News, Observations, and a Question or Two

  3. Marelisa on November 18th, 2008 3:41 pm

    Hi Cath: You’re so right that it’s about targeted traffic. You gain absolutely nothing if people are landing on your blog because you chose the wrong keywords and they’re actually looking for something else entirely or if stumbleupon traffic just bounces right off. I’m working on improving my SEO right now (bought Naomi’s book) and stumbleupon is next.

    Marelisa’s last blog post..Outliers - 10,000 Hours for Success

  4. Kim Woodbridge on November 18th, 2008 3:58 pm

    Really? Sex on a plane? Most of my traffic comes from google although I had no strategy to make that happen and most of the search terms that find me are relevant. There is one though, diaper girls, that keeps popping up and I can’t figure out why that is finding my site. It’s a little funny and a lot creepy.

    Kim Woodbridge’s last blog post..Tweetdeck Article at TwiTip

  5. cathlawson on November 18th, 2008 4:19 pm

    LOL Avani - those are weird terms.

    Hi Brad - that is one thing that always sucks about marketing. Some folk might have seen you in several places before they buy but you only get to know about the last one.

    The first half of the Traffic Rush course is free. It might be worth taking a look at it. Robin has just completed the whole course so it might be worth her taking a look at it.

    Hi Mare - A few folk have mentioned that they enjoyed Naomi’s book. Hopefully that should help you get some decent traffic from Google.

    Hi Kim - It was my fault for using sex on a plane in my meme title. I just didn’t figure there would be that many people looking for sex on a plane.

    Diaper girls is creepy. Sometimes when you get weird traffic, it’s because you’ve used one word in an article and the other word in the other. Also, Google seems to pick up words from your comment section too - so it could be in there.

  6. Vered - MomGrind on November 18th, 2008 4:54 pm

    It’s getting better. I still get my fair share of people looking for “naked women”. They land here:
    Powerful Men, Half Naked Women
    So I recently changed the title to “Women in the media” which helps.

    Getting better at SEO also shows in the bounce rate for my website, which is lower than ever before.

    Vered - MomGrind’s last blog post..THIS Is Why I Love California

  7. cathlawson on November 18th, 2008 4:57 pm

    Hi Vered - Thanks, they’ll probably land here now.

    It’s a good sign when your bounce rate is improving. I suppose the odd weird search term is unavoidable.

  8. Play Games Win Prizes on November 18th, 2008 7:23 pm

    Getting direct traffic is the best way to go because anyone could end up losing ALL their Google Serps, backlinks, social bookmarks, etc. Those big dogs have control over everything except for direct traffic from people that know the site itself.


  9. cathlawson on November 18th, 2008 7:30 pm

    Hi Mike - I take it you mean repeat visitors. They are certainly important but don’t forget, you do have to get them from somewhere to begin with. And they still need to be targeted.

    Folks who just drop by to comment on your site to get traffic to their own sites won’t necessarily buy.

  10. Tom Lindstrom on November 18th, 2008 7:48 pm

    I have been writing content for a couple of years and also doing social marketing.I have to agree with the “gurus” that the most targeted traffic comes from search engines.

    Tom Lindstrom’s last blog post..How To Price Your eBay Items

  11. cathlawson on November 18th, 2008 7:57 pm

    Hi Tom - I suppose it’s easier to get more targeted traffic from the search engines. I guess that on many social networks - you can find folk who are interested in broader niches, but they may still not be within your target market.

    I wonder if this will change as social networking advances and smaller, niche social networking sites appear?

  12. Melissa Donovan, Copywriter on November 18th, 2008 11:49 pm

    I like a nice mix of social and Google traffic so I keep my eye on both of those balls. heheh.

    Melissa Donovan, Copywriter’s last blog post..Hot December Special and Sticky Business

  13. Barbara Swafford - Blogging Without A Blog on November 19th, 2008 4:33 am

    Hi Catherine - Not having all of our eggs in one basket is fabulous advice. I’m slowing beginning to get more search engine traffic on my blogging blog, but on my other blog, search engines bring me the majority of my traffic. Having a good mix would be ideal, just in case….

    Barbara Swafford - Blogging Without A Blog’s last blog post..NBOTW - For The Love Of Words

  14. Davina on November 19th, 2008 5:34 am

    Hi Cath. That’s hard to answer. I can’t tell how many of the searches actually lead to an article actually being read. Since I posted Free Spirit My Ass a while ago, I’ve received a combination of searches. Some searching for Free Spirit, while others are more interested in the ass.

    Davina’s last blog post..Video ? Preparation Inspires Self-Confidence

  15. Jim Gaudet on November 19th, 2008 1:17 pm

    On the making money part. I have noticed that the Google searches to my blog on high paying ad terms, such as credit repair, have the highest pay per click. So if you a ton a traffic and get 200 clicks but they are with 5 cents each, that stinks. but if your traffic is from a high paying google search I have seen an average of $2 per click.

    So I would think that Google traffic is better for that reason, but here are some numbers..

    With SU I could get 3000 visiters and 100 clicks for $1 and
    with Google Search I could get 30 visits with 2 clicks for $5

    this is not uncommon for me to see.

    Sorry I just rambled,

    Jim Gaudet’s last blog post..Managing Application Servers with WSUS

  16. How I Lost 60% Of My Blog Traffic on November 19th, 2008 5:54 pm

    [...] at the top of Google for that particular keyphrase, I never noticed something was amiss. Then the Google traffic I received for that keyphrase took a huge [...]

  17. cathlawson on November 19th, 2008 6:22 pm

    Hi Melissa - a mixture is good.

    Hi Barbara - a mixture is good. Mind you, with your OM blog, you really want folk to click your ads, so I could see why you want more serch engine visitors on there.

    Hi Davina - Being found for Free Spirit is probably good for you being a life coach. The ass part is not so good though.

    Hi Jim - that’s not rambling - it’s useful info. On here - I usually get decent amounts per click. But if I write a post on blogging, it’s a pittance. And as you say, social traffic rarely clicks Adsense.

    They do buy other things though - especially if they visit often and you recommend really excellent products you’ve used. So that’s worth bearing in mind, if you’re getting quite a bit of social traffic.

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