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Generating web site traffic: a new model for SMEs

Sarah Quinton (Business School, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK)
Mohammed Ali Khan (Business School, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK)

Direct Marketing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1750-5933

Article publication date: 5 June 2009

Abstract

Purpose

Organisations now regard having a web site as mandatory but as more businesses create websites the real challenge lies in driving traffic to a specific web site. Little research attention has been paid to the issues for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of how to increase traffic to their web site. This paper addresses the issue of web site traffic generation for SMEs which have limited resources to determine how SMEs might make more effective use of search engine marketing (SEM) tools to increase web site traffic.

Design/methodology/approach

An investigation of specific SEM tools, including press release distribution and directory submission, that are available to SMEs was conducted. This research paper follows a mixed methods approach incorporating Pearson's product moment correlation conducted on web site traffic and backlinks data as well as qualitative analysis of interview transcripts of three SME organisations and their use of search engine optimisation across different industries.

Findings

The findings indicate that a combined use of both press release distribution and directory submission does increase traffic generation to a web site. A tentative model is proposed which requires further testing.

Practical implications

This paper demonstrates the synergy that can be created from two easily accessible and low cost SEM tools for SMEs in order to improve web site traffic generation.

Originality/value

The value of this research lies in the fact that the tools used in the creation of the model are within the means of small organisations and therefore highly relevant to SMEs.

Keywords

Citation

Quinton, S. and Khan, M.A. (2009), "Generating web site traffic: a new model for SMEs", Direct Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 109-123. https://doi.org/10.1108/17505930910964777

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited