This is the second article in an eight-part series which describes the role of a digital media strategist in improving the website operations of a company or organization.
Website traffic comes from many different sources. After documenting your goals and objectives for your online operations, your digital media strategist will turn to examining where traffic to your website comes from. There is much discussion in web circles about the path to purchase or the path to conversion (in website terms, a “conversion” is basically whatever you want the website visitor to do — it may be a product purchase, it may be filling out a form, etc., etc.). What many do not realize is that the path to conversion actually begins outside your website. A digital media strategist examines where your website traffic comes from and determines which sources lead to the highest volume and most qualified traffic.
Here is a list of possible sources of website traffic (in no particular order):
- email marketing
- banner ads
- pay-per-click ads in search results
- pay-per-click ads in content networks
- natural search listings
- text ads and links
- word of mouth
- comparison shopping engines
- product reviews
- mentions of your website in blogs
- blog advertising
- video (YouTube, etc.)
- print advertising
- affiliate marketing
- press releases
- corporate collateral (letterhead, business cards, etc.)
- company brochures
- podcasts and videocasts
- syndicated content
- widget advertising
- social networking sites
- virtual worlds
(the last seven items on the above list come from Web Strategy by Jeremiah, the blog of Jeremiah Owyang, Senior Analyst for Social Computing at Forrester Research — thanks to Jeremiah for the ideas!).
In examining the sources of your website traffic, a digital media strategist will begin to ask several questions:
- Where do people come from to get to your website?
- What potential areas of website traffic are you not “playing” in?
- What partners can you work with to “play” in those areas
- Which potential sources of traffic will bring you the highest volume of qualified traffic for your niche area?
In the next installment in this eight-part series, we will discover that a digital media strategist will carefully study your landing pages and make recommendations for improvement.