In the realm of internet marketing, there most definitely isn’t a lack of methods to get traffic. Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Google, Yahoo!, and multiple other sites can produce a brilliant amount of traffic for people that know how to use them.

Search engine optimization has been a staple of ‘make money onlinerz’ for quite some time and now social media optimization has entered the scene as a valid and effective method to generate hits. After observing the behavior of each type of visitor I have come to the conclusion that they aren’t alike at all. Webmasters and bloggers should be targeting the type they can get their desired results from.

I’m going to pit these two traffic generating methods against each other in several different categories and I would love to hear what everyone has to say on this subject.

Conversion To Money Made Online

The biggest conclusion I made from watching these two types of visitors is that social traffic doesn’t convert well into clicks or sales. If you think it through it makes perfect sense. People aren’t on Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon because they want to find products – in a lot of ways they’re there for entertainment.

I have had days on this site where social networking sites have sent me visitors in the thousands. Interestingly, I haven’t had increased revenue on any of those days. Not only do visitors from social networking sites refrain from clicking on ads, they rarely load more than one page.

On the contrary, when I have big search days I also have big revenue days. Google traffic outperforms social traffic in this key area without question. Sites that rely 100% on social traffic will likely struggle to convert their visitors into money made. Traffic from MSN and Yahoo! seems to perform just as well as traffic from Google, except there isn’t as much of it that hits this site.

Conversion To Links

Social traffic leads to many more links than search engine traffic. People that use social networking sites are much more likely to have sites and blogs than people who use Google. Google is so big it appeals to almost everyone, social networking sites appeal to people with more technological experience.

My biggest social traffic days have always led to increased links. My posts that get Dugg and Stumbled are always the ones the end up getting linked to the most.

Search traffic is much harder to gauge, but based on the search terms people find me with it seems that many of them are beginners that are trying to get started. They aren’t going to link to me but they are more likely to click on an ad.

Converting Visitors To Regular Readers

Without question search traffic is a lot more likely to stick around. Most of my visitors that come from social traffic only read one or two pages. It isn’t uncommon for visitors from Google to read 50-100 posts on this site. I know that once that has happened that person will be coming back. I don’t see that happen very often with traffic that comes from social media sites.

How Can We Improve By Using This Data?

Search engine traffic converts a lot better so that should be the end goal. Social traffic converts better into links so the conclusion here is quite obvious. Social traffic will lead to increased search traffic if leveraged properly. Use social traffic to generate links to your site and Google and other search engines will respond to the links.

What Do You Think?

Has anyone noticed similar happenings on their sites? Does anyone disagree? Does anyone have ideas on how to best leverage the different types of traffic? I would to hear everyone’s points of view on this.