What do you do if your business can no longer rely on Google search? It’s the equivalent of a zombie apocalypse or sharknado for most businesses. Your site could be unjustly penalised by Google or perhaps you just lost your enviable search rank. It’s easy to become over-reliant on Google search for your traffic, but depending 100 percent on another business is a recipe for disaster.
Why should you break your dependence on Google?
The old proverb about not putting all of your eggs in one basket applies here. Better to build up your other traffic streams before you have a problem.
There are other benefits, too. When you diversify your site traffic, you:
- Increase your traffic. Google + Others = more.
- Generate more robust traffic. When your traffic is coming from different sources you won’t be as vulnerable to dips in service
- Build your tribe. Search traffic has great conversion, but social traffic allow you to create a loyal band of brand ambassadors
- Take control of your business’s destiny! Again, you won’t be entirely dependent on just one company for the future and growth of your business.
All is not lost. Other ways to generate traffic include using:
- Alternative search engines
- Social media (Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Gooisocial, Linkedin, Google+, Line, Reddit)
- Ads (Reddit, Stumbleupon, Twitter, Facebook)
- Email newsletters (Mailchimp)
1. Is there anybody else out there
Google’s dominance in the search engine field means it’s easy to forget that there are other search engines out there.
In the US:
So Microsoft and Yahoo searches account for roughly 29 percent of searches. That is a lot of potential traffic to your site!
DID YOU KNOW? Search engine users also differ depending on search engine. Search engine market share changes based on age, political affiliation and location. So the search share in your target demographic could be higher.
Outside the US:
- Yahoo has an unofficial 55 percent market share in Japan
- Yandex has a 62 percent market share in Russia making it the fourth biggest search engine overall
- In China Baidu (56 percent), Qihoo 360 (29 percent) and New Sogou (12 percent) dominate search. Making Baidu the second largest search engine globally.
2. Social Media: Shouting from the rooftops
Obviously we don’t need to tell you social media is important, that’s what being gooi is all about. However some things are worth keeping in mind:
- Facebook might not be everything it’s cracked up to be (check our story about it here)
- Analyze your audience for example Pinterest has 80 percent female users and has great conversion in photogenic areas (food, fashion and design)
- On the other hand Reddit’s average user is a 20 something male
- Social media traffic is useful because it allows you to create your tribe: brand ambassadors to which you have a constant communication channel
3. Paying for it
It’s the thing we want to avoid if possible, but advertising can be an effective tool for traffic.
How much can you get for $10 a day on Google or Facebook? Here is a case study.
If your target market is mostly mobile then Facebook and Twitter’s mobile advertising has improved drastically.
If your product or service is represented by a subreddit or popular among young men then advertising on Reddit is an interesting alternative.
4. Email Newsletters
Are you currently sitting on a subscriber list but not really doing anything with it? You are basically ignoring your own personal source of traffic. Like social media this is a direct channel to your most dedicated fans.
How do you make your newsletter effective? Check out our guide.
Finally, don’t forget the old school approach. Maintain contact with your existing clients, follow up and make yourself available.
Ultimately, none of these solutions mean you get to neglect SEO. This isn’t an either/or, it’s a useful thought experiment to effectivize other channels. Just as neglecting SEO would harm your site, not diversifying makes your site traffic more vulnerable. Cultivate many traffic channels so that when the inevitable sharknado strikes it won’t take all of your traffic with it.