This article was originally published on the Spectrum blog.
Although Google is an incredibly powerful lead generation tool for business, it's important to know that it's not the be-all and end-all of online marketing.
There are other great avenues a business owner can (and should) take in order to drive traffic to their website.
Don't get me wrong, Google is a beautiful thing; a proven method that should always have a reserved spot at the head of your Internet marketing toolbox. However, Google is also periodically making algorithmic changes that could put websites in a vulnerable position -- forcing business owners to change their marketing strategies or face the consequences.
To circumvent this issue, consider using one (or two or three or all) of the following strategies to diversify your traffic sources and round out the corners of your Internet marketing strategy:
Although the world's #2 search engine claims only a forth of Google's market share, it's still a significant source of traffic that, if nothing else, can be used as a safety net every time a new version of Penguin is rolled out.
Paid Search, whether it's a Pay-Per-Click or Cost-Per-Impression model, is a terrific way to reach your target audience. This strategy drives relevant traffic to optimized landing pages on your website, yielding higher conversion rates than traditional non-targeted methods.
Ah, yes, content marketing. It's the creation of valuable content -- you know, blogs, videos, white papers, etc. -- that has a marketing purpose. You can exchange the aforementioned content for an email address or a "Like" on Facebook or a "+1" on Google+, allowing future communication with potential customers. While it may not lead to an immediate sale, it definitely opens up room for additional touches. After all, today's marketers are playing chess, not checkers.
Social media websites are among the most popular URLs on the Internet. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn bring in hundreds-of-millions of unique visitors every day. And if you consistently market your business with quality content that generates wide appeal, you'll find hoards of individuals sharing your content and flocking to your site.
Paid Social Advertising
If you don't have time to create awesome content that people are going to want to share, Facebook, Twitter and, most recently, LinkedIn have created paid advertising models that'll get your business in front of a lot of eyeballs.
Posting quality content to other trustworthy blogs is called guest blogging, and great marketers do it all the time because there are many benefits that come from it. Not only will your own site gain exposure and credibility, but you'll also increase your inbound links and grow your social media following with every new post you submit.