The following is a guest post from Andy Crestodina. Andy is the Co-Founder of Orbit Media, a web development firm in Chicago.

In content marketing, there are three main types of promotion, and three website traffic sources. They are search engine optimization, email marketing and social media.

Each has it’s own pros and cons, it’s own types of activities and it’s own outcomes. Let’s take a look at these channels and their impact on your Analytics…

Email Marketing

If tracked properly using the Google URL Builder, email marketing traffic appears as a steady pulse in your Analytics. Each email is a spike of traffic, as consistent as your email frequency.

Here are a few tips for driving traffic from email marketing.

  • List growth. Never miss a chance to invite someone to join your list, both on your website and in person.

  • Be consistent. Regardless of your frequency, stick to your publishing calendar.

  • Watch the little things. Pay close attention to the sender name, the from address, the subject line, the teaser text in the email and finally, the call-to-action to read the full article.

Social Media Marketing

Social interactions between people are chaotic and difficult to predict. So is social media traffic. Sometimes, you’ll see huge spikes. Other times, you’ll hear crickets. But stick with it and you’ll see the benefits.

  • Be chatty. If your social stream is filled with promotional tweets and posts, you’re not going to be fun to follow. Share other people’s content. Say hello. Say thanks. Ask questions.

  • Some networks are better than others. Forget your personal preferences. Think of your audience. Where are they spending time?

  • It’s about quality, not quantity. Social media is about more than traffic. Seek online networking benefits by connecting with relevant influencers, such as industry leaders, journalists, bloggers etc.

Search Engine Optimization

Ranking in Google is a matter of credibility. Building that credibility takes time, but eventually, it can be a durable source of consistent traffic.

Here are a few tips for growing traffic from search engines.

  • Create many search optimized pages. Every page and every post is a chance to rank.

  • Pick your battles. Select keyphrases that you have a chance of ranking for. If the high ranking pages are on sites with a higher domain authority than yours, try a less competitive phrase. Use the MozBar to check.

  • Use the phrase appropriately. The goal is to make the best page on the web for the topic, and simply to indicate the relevance by using the phrase in a natural way.

Putting Them Together

Any single piece of content can pull traffic from any of these three sources. This is the traffic to a single post and the sources of that traffic over time…

Certain posts have an advantage in certain channels.

  • If you find topics using the Google Keyword Planner, those posts will be more likely to rank.

  • If your post is an interview with an influencer, they may share it giving it an advantage in social media.

  • If your post has a clever headline, with a little mystery, controversy or a numbered list, it may have an advantage when used as a subject line in email marketing.

Got a favorite channel? Already using all three? Tell us your favorite traffic driving tip!

Learn more about Orbit Media here. You can also find Andy on Google and Twitter.

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