Not Just Search Engines
Saturday, 20th November 2010
These days, search engines are an incredibly important source of traffic for your website. It is so important to some people that will pay to get a good placement for a phrase or key word. I have even helped people to optimise their website and given advice about how to improve search rankings. The problem is, people are getting obsessed with search engines and are forgetting that there are lots of ways to get people to visit a website.
Even online there are plenty of opportunities to get traffic outside of web searches. In fact, the most important referrals to my website come from other web pages that specifically link to my content. These are often better referrals than a search engine can provide because when someone finds a link to my website from a page that they already know and trust, it is like a personal recommendation.
As well as being better quality recommendations, you may also find that these links to your website can generate a lot of traffic. Here are some statistics from my website that illustrate my reliance on links verses my reliance on search engine traffic.
This table shows how important the links to my website are. In particular, articles in online design magazines such as Web Design Ledger and Smashing Magazine give an immediate and massive boost when they are published, followed by a steady stream of traffic for many months afterwards. The referrals from jQuery and JS Plugins are permanently steady streams of traffic that pass on incredibly relevant visitors.
Google is still in the Top 5 websites that send me traffic - so they are very important, but it is a case of keeping things in perspective. Getting good placements in search engines is not the be-all and end-all of a successful website.