E-commerce is more important than ever in 2021. Granted, the market has been heading in this direction for years, but the recent events surrounding COVID-19 have caused many businesses to focus on improving their online presence. In many cases, companies have had to do this more urgently than they may have anticipated at the outset of the year. Business owners who want to stay afloat must often consider the fact that they can’t rely on foot traffic for a few months––instead, they need to increase website traffic if they want to bring attention to their businesses.
Traditional Marketing vs Blogging: Which Is More Effective?
There are a few methods of advertising a business. Some are more focused on increasing in-person traffic to a physical store, while others are more focused on increasing web traffic. Traditional marketing techniques do a little bit of both. They usually involve purchasing ads and often include a call for more web traffic.
Digital marketing, meanwhile, pretty much always includes a push for web traffic, as that’s its primary focus. However, it’s important to note that not all digital marketing is the same. Some digital marketing is PPC (“pay per click”) advertising, as opposed to other digital marketing like blogging and SEO (“search engine optimization”). These methods involve changes to your own website and its content in an effort to make it more visible to search engines.
Digital Marketing Is the Better Choice to Increase Website Traffic
If what you want to do is to boost the number of people who come to your website, then digital marketing techniques (like blogging and content creation) are going to be more effective than traditional methods. Why is this the case? And if it’s true, then why do people still use traditional marketing?
A Quick Look at “Traditional Marketing”
“Traditional marketing” is a wide-ranging term used to describe several different outbound marketing techniques that have been used for many years. These traditional approaches are usually not digital in nature. Generally, they fall into one of several categories.
Taking out ads in a newspaper or a magazine is a tried-and-true way of getting noticed. If you’re a small business that sells online to a wide market, you may try to focus on a particular industry magazine that targets customers who are interested in a specific type of product. If you’re a brick-and-mortar business with a limited geographic footprint, you probably want to advertise in a newspaper or a magazine that has a strong local connection.
Mailing postcards or flyers to residents in their homes is another way of getting seen. This is especially useful for reaching customers in your local area, as you can focus your attention on potential customers in your zip code.
Television and Radio
Broadcast advertising is still very popular and effective, both for national brands and for smaller local businesses. This form of advertising can be expensive, but it also has a pretty good return on investment. Of the traditional marketing methods listed, it’s the most successful on average. Of course, that “on average” part is crucial, as your individual results may vary.
These days, many of these forms of traditional outbound advertising will have a “call to action” for a digital storefront as well as for the phone number and physical address. Magazine ads will prominently display a website address, while mailers and postcards may have instructions on how to follow a business on Facebook or Instagram.
Is Traditional Marketing Good at Driving Web Involvement?
Now the question becomes how good are these traditional marketing methods at driving web traffic? The answer here is: they’re not very good, and their success rates are also very, very hard to measure.
When you get a first-time visitor to your website, you never know whether that visitor arrived because of a radio spot, a newspaper ad, or a TV commercial. Some sites attempt to measure this by asking questions like “how did you hear about us?” But these methods yield spotty results at best. They offer an incomplete picture, but what is consistent is that digital marketing is more efficient in this department.
Is There Still a Point to Purchasing Traditional Advertising?
Dollars Spent: Traditional
According to 2018 research from Statista, return on advertising spending broke down as follows (numbers indicate average dollars returned for every dollar spent):
- Print Marketing – $4.12
- Radio Marketing – $4.95
- TV Marketing – $6.50
Looking at these numbers, it’s pretty clear to see that TV is the best investment, with print ads lagging behind.
Dollars Spent: Digital
Still, if you want to increase website traffic efficiently, with the best ROI possible, then you may as well start on the web, and that means looking at digital marketing. If you look at the same 2018 Statista report, you may be surprised to see that not only does digital marketing outpace the competition on ROI, but it does so at an amazing rate: $11.05.
What stands out about these statistics is not just that digital search engine marketing outpaces the competition, but that it laps print and radio almost three times over while boasting nearly double the effectiveness of TV advertising. Digital marketing is also much easier to measure, so we can see when a visitor comes to our websites as a result of a specific search.
The Advantages of Digital Marketing and Blogging
Unlike broadcast or print forms of advertising, digital marketing primarily takes place on the internet. One of the leading forms of digital marketing is called SEM, or “search engine marketing.”
Search engine marketing aims to increase the visibility of your business by boosting its ranking when a search engine user conducts a search. Among search engines, Google is the gold standard––everyone wants higher Google rankings––but there are other avenues to consider as well.
Ranking high on Yahoo, Bing, or even an Amazon search (if you conduct any business through their marketplace) are other examples. Whatever search engine you want to focus on, you can take one of two approaches.
Digital Ads: Pay-Per-Click
The first approach is to buy digital ads that show up when a user conducts a search. These are often known as PPC or “pay-per-click” ads, and they can be purchased through the company that runs the search engine.
Blogging and On-Page Optimization
The second approach is to pursue on-page optimization. In this method, you create content for your website that uses specific phrases or keywords. Keywords are useful because they help a search engine identify what your page is about. This is also called SEO, or “search engine optimization”.
Why Is Blogging So Effective?
Although professional blogging is just one method of SEO, it works for a number of reasons. It has a proven history of helping business owners increase web traffic, and it is more effective than traditional marketing or PPC.
Not Enough Businesses Are Blogging
43% of business owners either don’t know what blogging is or don’t do it. This gives you an immediate leg up on almost half your competition.
Blogging Keeps Your SEO Current
Let’s say that you decide to pursue an SEO strategy that focuses only on your website: the main page, and a few of the smaller pages that link to it. This is a very good thing to do, but there’s a catch. After a while, Google will notice that there isn’t anything “new” as far as your keywords are concerned, and this may cause your page to drop in the rankings.
Search engines are in the business of appealing to searchers, not businesses (unless they’re buying ads). As a result, Google and other search engines will tend to prioritize sites with fresh content so their users don’t get directed to outdated sites. Blogging is an easy way of keeping your keywords fresh in the eyes of Google without having to re-edit your main page on a weekly basis.
Blogging Costs Less Than Traditional Marketing and Generates More Leads
Here’s where blogging really shines. For the amount you spend, blogs will increase website traffic significantly more efficiently than traditional methods. Blogging typically costs about 62% less than traditional marketing and generates 3x the leads, giving it an ROI that’s roughly 8x better than TV, mailers, print, and radio.
So while you can boost your web traffic with traditional methods, you are going to fare much better (for cheaper) with content marketing like blogging.
SteadyContent: Boost Your Business With Blogging
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Are you new to professional blogging? If you haven’t worked with us before, we invite you to try our service for just $1. We’ll create a 500-word, SEO-driven post that is tailored to your business, so you can try it out risk-free. Discover the professional blogging advantage: get in touch with SteadyContent today!