The Internet is a popular sales channel for businesses today. While some companies content themselves with having a display site, others, and there are many of them, have opted for e-commerce sites. There are two very different issues for companies: the problem of traffic and diversion.
The Internet is not a sales channel to be neglected because it allows you to blur the distance between you and your customers. According to a 2022 report by We Are Social and Hootsuite on 65.51 million people in France, there will be 60.92 million Internet users, or 93% of the population (+2.4% compared to January 2021). Thus, missing out on such an opportunity would be detrimental on a business level even if not all businesses necessarily adapt to online selling.
Website traffic can have many origins. We generally talk about direct traffic when a user types a site’s url directly into the browser’s address bar. The latter (with some exceptions) knows your location and goes directly to it. Another way to get to a site is to click on a link from another site (or advertisement) that redirects you to your site. This link may have been obtained for free or for a fee. The other way to access the site is through search engines like Google. In this case, the Internet user types in the search bar the information he wants and gets the results. Some are free, then we talk about natural references (SEO) and some are paid, then we talk about paid referral (SEA).
The difference between SEO, SEA, and SEM
In general, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is marketing techniques geared towards better indexing for search engines. It is a matter of increasing the visibility of a site over the latter either by optimizing the site (in particular by keywords), or by purchasing trade links on search engine results pages.
It is distinguished from SEO (search engine optimization) which defines all actions aimed at improving a website’s ranking in search results (the so-called organic or natural). As you will understand, these are “free” techniques. This work consists of understanding how search engine algorithms and compliance work so that your site rises in results “naturally”. Success in SEO is not an easy task because it is about acting on three main factors: content that must be well-organized and of quality, networking which consists of having links from other sites that direct your site (without you paying them) and technical site optimization . Thus, going up in the results is not an easy task since there are a hundred criteria that you can intervene on.
SEA (Search Engine Advertising) consists of creating and optimizing paid advertisements that appear on search engine results pages. It is actually a form of advertising that allows you to appear in the first results for a fee. The most common is that these campaigns are executed from Google Search Ads (formerly Google Adwords) which places your website on some of the keywords you have purchased. The whole problem in this context is that it works according to the auction system, it is better not to get confused in the queries (or keywords) that you choose. The goal is to attract the right Internet users, those who will be interested in your company or product, to your site. In other words, you are paying for the fact that the Internet user will click on the so-called “sponsored” link and that not all keywords have the same price. The goal, then, is to choose the right keywords to attract the right visitors.
Differences between SEO and SEA
If they are both actually generating more traffic and being more visible via search engines, then they are very different. One: Paid SEA and Free SEO. Another big difference is that SEA has immediate effects while SEO setup can take time. The advantage of SEO remains that it provides a better return on investment (called ROI) because you are not paying and these effects are long lasting. You can’t make time for your site and it will still rank well for some keywords. However, as search engines appreciate that your site is moving, it is essential to create content regularly to be in good standing. Ultimately, the two methods are complementary, with SEA instead addressing the short term while SEO is generally long term.
Other Paid Traffic Gaining Strategies
As mentioned above, there are only search engines to access a site, and thus there are other strategies for gaining traffic. First, you can advertise privately on other sites via banners. Advertising reward can be done through several means. There are generally three types: CPM (cost per thousand impressions) where you pay on screen, CPC (cost per click) where you pay when a user clicks on your ad, and finally CPA (cost per action) which is the affiliate model where you pay a commission when they perform An “ally” is a specific action such as filling out a form.
Another more modern and popular way of generating traffic is to have a link to another site implanted in the content. In case you are proficient in writing, then we are talking about sponsored or invited articles, whereas if there is only a link on certain keywords then we are generally talking about paid networking. This strategy has the advantage that it mechanically makes you advance in search engines because they find that your site is recommended by someone else. This strategy is midway between SEO and SEA since it generates medium term long term effects but you pay (even if sometimes it can generate short term effects).
Mobile browsing must be taken into account if in the past the vast majority of communications were via a fixed computer, today it is clear that e-commerce has already increased. Thus, Internet users spend 5 hours and 34 hours of time on the Internet per day, including 2 hours and 19 through their mobile phones, and more than 86.5% of users today access the Internet through their mobile phones.