Numbers are Just Numbers

A great article from TechDirt that popped up in my feed recently:

“…internet traffic is half-fake and everyone’s known it for years, but there’s no incentive to actually acknowledge it.”

Many of my clients come to me, worried about their website, SEO and page views. The Web wants you to believe that the Web is super-important – and it is – but it’s not the be-all-end-all when it comes to a comprehensive marketing strategy.

What’s more important is a cohesive plan that outlines who your audience is and best way to target and speak to that them.

You shouldn’t discount conventional methods of marketing like print collateral and advertising, radio, tv. Additionally you should consider things like sports team and events sponsorships, trade shows and conventions, community and charity events participation, and advocacy. Good old fashioned word-of-mouth still packs a punch, especially in smaller markets or for smaller businesses not looking to compete on the internet with multi-national corporations. Everyone’s current favorite hot topic, social media, can also be effective – IF used correctly, but you should still integrate it with other streams as part of a larger effort. Additionally, effective use of social media is a whole game in and of-itself and a whole separate post as well. I’m not going to go down that rabbit hole right now.

All these components of your ‘plan’ used in conjunction, can create what marketers like to call ‘top of mind awareness’ (TOMA) of your product or service that can function like ‘search’ in the real world.

What’s most important is that you try and develop a plan that works for your product or service and then strategically implement it, vs. ‘set up a website and try and get a ton of traffic’.

Arguably there will always be exceptions to the rule, but in most cases, website traffic alone isn’t going to be a boon for your business.

Forget about the size of your audience and instead concentrate on speaking to the people who matter. Focus on telling your story, and engaging with those that you know for sure are listening and interested (and real people). Your audience will grow organically and be much more worthwhile, reliable and profitable.