After managing web traffic at a variety of different businesses for over a decade now, I have concluded there are three general types of businesses online – the searched, blended and branded web presence.
The following examples illustrate each of the three different types of sites and their positioning for web traffic.
Let’s start with the least common of the three types of traffic – the searched site.
The searched site has been organized, designed and optimized to attract and extract the maximum search traffic available from a particular business category.
The searched site business understands market demand for their particular niche and has set out to capture mind, search and market share at the expense of their competition.
Any business originating the majority of its traffic referrals from organic search relative to its direct and other traffic sources falls into the searched category.
Searched businesses are the exception not the rule.
The second type of business positioning online is the blended site.
The blended site is much more common and is usually the result of several design iterations over the course of time by several different parties.
Although not fully optimized for search market demand, the site receives its share of organic search engine referrals, yet receives a higher percentage of its traffic from direct navigation and other referrals via other forms of online and offline advertising.
Established and mature businesses usually enjoy a blended online presence through past years of offline and now online marketing and advertising.
Businesses with a blended presence often have the resources and budgets to experiment with site design and optimization which their site’s traffic referral results reflect.
Often blended search presence site’s experiment with and embrace paid search (CPC) advertising to further exploit their initial positive search engine results.
CPC search often then becomes a major source of predictable recurring traffic and results for the blended business site.
A small percentage of businesses with blended traffic recognize the positive economic impact paid search (PPC) has had on their site and business, then preferring paid search traffic sources to all others.
The Branded web presence is the final type of website traffic position.
The branded business site is one that typically enjoys a strong market presence offline yet has experienced little competitive pressure online.
As a result, the branded business hasn’t yet established a web presence or reached an audience beyond the direct navigation traffic it receives which most likely comes from its existing customers who use their browsers to navigate directly to the brand’s website address.
While customer retention is important for brands, branded web presence sites can draw from the positioning strategies of the searched and blended sites to both attract and acquire new customers that it otherwise wouldn’t have attracted or acquired through a branded presence alone.
Which type of web presence does your business have: Searched, Blended or Branded?