Driving Traffic vs. Attracting an Audience

July 1, 2008

I spoke to a local service organization this morning about, among other things, some fundamentals of SEO. Architecture, content and link-building were the three highlights of this discussion. What I think I may have failed to communicate was the difference between driving traffic through search engine optimization and attracting an audience by offering compelling content. Granted, the two can work hand in hand; they generally complement each other. But driving traffic for traffic's sake is, in effect, putting the cart before the horse.

Understand your value proposition. Build a message around that. Then worry about applying SEO concepts to ensure as many people as possible hear about it.

Spend time first on attracting an audience. Worry later about driving traffic. If you're successful enough with the former, you may not even ever have to think about the latter.