An Introduction to Defensible Traffic

2007/07/03 |

What is Defensible Traffic? Simply put, defensible traffic is web traffic from sources other than search engines (or Google). These sources can come from offline marketing efforts, traditional media, an established audience base or other online websites.

The benefit of cultivating defensible traffic sources is that you will still receive visitors to your website even if changes in search engine or PayPerClick (PPC)algorithms make it increasingly difficult to get search traffic to your website.

JazzcatSEO has a nice definition of defensible traffic, one which contrasts PPC traffic with an established and well cultivated website.

Anybody with a basic knowledge of PPC and a bank account can buy traffic for their website. And if their account is big enough, they can steal your PPC traffic by paying more per click.

Therefore, the only way you can defend that traffic is to pay more per click and cut into your ROI.. On the other hand, a well-optimized site with carefully developed content, quality backlinks, good domain age, etc. that ranks well in the SERPs has a huge advantage over newer contenders in the same space.

It’s much easier to maintain traffic from such a site, because anybody who want to compete with you in that space will have to develop a site with more relevant backlinks or better content, which is a lot more difficult than simply upping the bid on their PPC dashboard.

Over relying in search engines means that your online revenue is in the hands of major search engines like Google or Yahoo. Matt McGee suggests that your online income and business shouldn’t be fueled by traffic sources you can’t control:

Google is constantly tweaking how it ranks pages, and if all your eggs are in Google’s basket, your business is operating at Google’s mercy. What if the next algorithm change isn’t friendly toward your site and the SEO tactics you use?

Whatever you do, don’t rely just on Google. A business plan that relies on free traffic from an outside source you don’t control is no business plan at all. Spread your eggs around. Changes will come — you can be sure of that.

In order to make your website into a reliable cashcow in the long run, you definitely need to consider establishing forward income stability, which requires you to plan ahead for contingencies while initiating strategies which expand your income sources beyond search traffic alone.
Sources of Defensible Traffic to Cultivate

While optimizing your website for search engines is important, it’s important to understand that the following sources of defensible traffic are important for long term growth and sustainability.

* Partnerships/advertising with websites in your niche.
* Off-line marketing in traditional ad media, word of mouth promotion etc.
* Bloggers and Webmasters within and outside of your niche
* Online communities like forums, bullentin boards (e.g. Craigslist)
* Social media, bookmarking and voting websites (e.g. Digg, Reddit, YouTube )
* RSS or newsletter subscribers
* Type-in traffic and Effective site branding

How to Build Defensible Traffic to Your Website

The next article in this series of web traffic building tips will focus on methods you can use to build defensible traffic to your website. The article will include some of the valuable articles I’ve come across on this topic and I’ll try to share some of my personal experiences as well.