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Have the stats on your “Traffic Analytics Tool” ever made you question your blog’s worth without the social media or search engines? Well, the growing craze for social media has dominated the internet world with its viral effect. The bandwagon is growing with the brands discovering the value of social media.

To make big profits and win special place in the busy blogosphere, we are spending endless hours on our laptops, making power accounts on numerous social networks like Digg, Twitter, Face Book and many more to be named. Although there are endless graphic design blogs which completely rely on social media traffic but we can’t ignore the fact that these sites wouldn’t have existed without search engines.

However, with this target of driving big traffic to our blog we are least bothered which traffic is better: social media or search engines?  

Therefore, today I have listed the Pros and Cons of Social Media and Search Engines traffic, to help you get a better idea of your targeted customers.

1) Social Media Traffic – The Positive Aspect:
  • It brings in loads of traffic in short span of time by making your posts viral;
  • Your blog is exposed to more unique visitors, readers, clients while early adopters find it more appealing;
  • You get more advertisement offers for your blog;
  • A single post with huge exposure on any of the famous social media sites gets good ranking of your blog on search engines;
  • It helps you find people of the same industry and then share direct messages;
  • Social media is a strong channel for communication & branding.
2) Social Media Traffic –The Negative Aspect:
  • You have to put in lots of time and effort to have power accounts on social networks.
  • The traffic coming from social media sites is not stable…you might receive highest visitors in one day but the next day you might have least traffic.
  • Social traffic is made up mostly of webmasters and geeks…these sorts don’t click ads, and when they do, they don’t buy things . . . social traffic doesn’t convert.
  • The sudden increase in traffic eats up lot of bandwidth with almost nothing in return.
  • Social media it’s a valuable, powerful tactic, but the time investment often makes it much less valuable
3) Search Engine Traffic – The Positive Aspect:
  • If you rank well in one of the major search engines (Google/Yahoo/MSN), you will most likely show up in the majority of the search engines worldwide.
  • You get visitors which soon turn out to be potential customers.
  • The traffic is more converting, though less in number.
  • Search Engines bring targeted visitors to your blog.
  • Unlikely, the social media traffic, the search engine traffic is unwavering and predictable.
  • Visitors coming from search engines usually spend more time on your blog and explore it thoroughly. They stay longer to deeply analyze the company’s worth so they can pack a deal ;)
  • With visitors staying more on your blog, the bounce rate of your blog stays low.
  • The smaller doses of traffic help you earn healthy subscribers on daily basis.
4) Search Engine Traffic – The Negative Aspect:
  • Frankly speaking, we rely so much on search engine traffic but if your blog is not searched on first 3 pages, it’s more likely that you won’t be found.
  • Results (rankings and traffic) start slowly. You will normally see results within 3-4 months.
  • The ranking your blog earns through search engines is very unpredictable. As the search engines have the final say so you never know for how long your blog stays on first pages for a particular term.
To cut the long story short, one single interesting post on social media can give life to a dying blog while on the other hand Search Engine traffic is a long term productive strategy.
However, I cannot conclude without highlighting another aspect of this comparison…many people think both of them are entirely different entities and cannot be interlinked, except Internet being the common medium. Do you agree that they are apple and oranges and both of them have their own powers and significance?

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  1. Ryan On October 27th, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Personally, I find both can be useful, but in both cases, the traffic can have a very high bounce rate and tends to have low conversion. While search engine traffic is a little better than social media traffic, both are not perfect. I think it focus should be more spent on grabbing solid referral traffic coming from other websites on the web. This traffic tends to engage more with your content and at the end of the day become more valuable to you.

    That said, you should never neglect either of the above. Both are powerful tools and can drive a ton of traffic to your site, and thus, even with low conversion rates, it still ends up giving you some great visitors.

  1. Matt On October 27th, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Good social media traffic will get you good search engine traffic. It’s why I always push my posts hard in the social media realm. The bottom line is, however, that both traffic methods are important. The more traffic the merrier.

  1. Search Engines - search engine positioning | Point Article News Feed On October 27th, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    [...] What matters more for Graphic Design Blogs: Search Engine Traffic …7 hours ago by Charlie B. Johnson  Have the stats on your “Traffic Analytics Tool” ever made you question your blog's worth. [...]

  1. Ayaz Malik On October 28th, 2009 at 5:10 am

    Personally as being a seo for past five years i have experienced that both are very powerful tools but search engine traffic is a slow process while social bookmarking is very fast and u can get alot of traffic. the draw back of social bookmarking is taht the traffic is for short term. while search engines traffic gets better with time pasage

  1. Rahul Astik On October 28th, 2009 at 5:58 am

    great post…its very informative plus well presented, keep it up

    - Rahul

  1. Andrew Keir On October 28th, 2009 at 6:24 am

    social media plays the biggest part for me.

    google brings me about 30% of my traffic currently, i’ve recieved a few jobs over twitter ( about 10% traffic ) since starting twitting 3-4 months ago, while stumbleupon brings in around 45% of my total traffic.

    My stumble traffic suddenly rocketed up one day, i though i must have had a post sit on the front page for a day or something but its remained really strong over a few months. Not sure why its overshot the rest by so much.

  1. A u d e e On October 28th, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Search engine traffic is the best in my opinion. You’ll get consistent traffic everyday, and that’s important for a blog to staying alive :D

  1. charles On October 30th, 2009 at 7:15 am

    Wish I could read more of this post because it is done in a fabulous way, it’s clear, concise and more than anything its done in a refreshing manner. Thank you very much.

  1. Aftab On October 31st, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Thanks for sharing such nice info… I believe, no matter you are getting from either from Search Engine for Social Media, it would definitely be helpful….

  1. RDeering On October 31st, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Can I choose option C? Build a great site with unique information that people want to read and then do a little of both? traffic doesnt matter unless you fulfill your goals - whatever those are - sign ups, advertisement offers, etc… if you have something great to offer - you wont be worrying about where to get your traffic from.

  1. Round Stickers On November 2nd, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Wao such a nice informative post thanks for sharing it.

  1. Motorbike Custom Accessories On November 3rd, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Wao fantastic work man good differentiate the aspects of social media traffic and search engine traffic. well done keep it up

  1. nintendo r4 On November 5th, 2009 at 2:54 am

    Nice article. Social networks are definitely here to stay, and any web master had better integrate social networks into their marketing strategy.

  1. Echate un click » Blog Archive » ¿Cuál tipo de tráfico vale más: el de las redes sociales, o el de motores de búsqueda? On November 5th, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    [...] del artículo original en inglés publicado por Charlie B. Johnson en Graphic Design Blog) E-mail Comentar Digg Reddit Technorati [...]

  1. xmas gifts On November 6th, 2009 at 4:40 am

    I use Woopra. Perfect software to track social media traffic. It shows you who, how many, where from, what they’re doing etc. all live. Perfect when someone tweets your link etc.

  1. webdesignaustralia On November 13th, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Thank you for sharing it. For me search engine traffic is much better than social media traffic.and most of the users used search engine as to check information

  1. nil On November 13th, 2009 at 1:30 am

    Nice article . Social networking are surely a useful tool for seo prospective and advertisement

  1. john On November 15th, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    This was a good question. I a student taking a design class, had to subscribe, follow a blog for the semester. I found this site by using google, and choose to follow this site because of how the subject matter relates to what were doing. Know little of social networking also. So i guess search engine traffic is still good.

  1. Doug C. On November 16th, 2009 at 12:14 am

    I spend time plowing both fields, but in the end I like to focus my attention on my actual site. There’s no sense worrying about search engine rankings and social status if your site doesn’t have the content to attract and engage possible clients.

  1. Charlie B. Johnson On November 16th, 2009 at 12:43 am

    I completely agree with you Doug…..your readers should be welcomed with interesting stuff, it doesn’t matters much from where the traffic is coming.

  1. Laurent JOUVIN On November 18th, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Thanks for this post!
    I do agree with RDEERING’s comment (from above). In spite of the time and energy both options require, I think they both need each other. But more importantly, you need good content. The traffic will be purely driven by the interest of your content. Both social media and search engine sites are cherry on the cake.

  1. social network design On January 21st, 2010 at 10:19 am

    I think Search Engine Traffic is more better and profitable.

  1. Linda- logo design On April 23rd, 2010 at 5:27 am

    search engine traffic is always more profitable and dynamic

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