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Ways to Get Website Traffic

You Can Sell Just About Anything if You Can Get Enough Traffic

If you’ve read the Online Marketing Basics and How to Build an Email List articles you’ll appreciate there is no “one thing” you can do to achieve success online.  It requires a series of proven elements and consistent actions to present your offer to prospective customers and convert them into sales (online income for you).

You can have the world’s greatest product or service and the most beautifully crafted and aesthetically pleasing masterpiece of a website or marketing system, but who is going to buy from you if they have no idea that you exist.

You WILL NOT succeed online without website traffic!

Typically, the type of website most people in the home business arena have or use is what’s called a capture page.  And by now (if you read the 2 articles mentioned above) you would know that the purpose of these pages is collect website visitor information with a view to contacting them about your offer and encouraging them to buy.

Capture pages, unlike regular websites, typically don’t attract customers organically.  And by organically, I simply mean, they don’t usually show up in search results – so people are unlikely to visit them without some effort on your part.

This effort, typically described as “advertising” or “promotion”, is essentially the process of generating website traffic (visitors to your website) - and there are a multitude of ways you can do this.  Below, I will describe several ways to get website traffic.

Free Traffic or Paid Traffic?

Website traffic can be broadly divided in to types… free and paid!

Typically, the traffic you decide to generate depends on your budget – the disposable income you can put towards building your business.

Every business requires investment, either in time, effort and or money!

Free website traffic methods are generally employed by people who have a limited budget. In other words, their financial commitment extends as far as joining a business opportunity and to become active (an upgraded or paid member), but leaves them insufficient funds to employ a significant or complete advertising strategy.

While paid advertising methods typically generate faster results, that’s not to say that free advertising methods are worthless – on the contrary, while for some it may take longer to achieve similar results with free methods, this is not always the case and many a successful entrepreneur started out with a low budget.

Free advertising can and does work… when applied with consistency!

Some examples of free advertising include (but are not limited to) the use of Traffic Exchanges, Mailer Sites, Social Media, Email Marketing, Blogging or Website Development, Offline Advertising, etc.  These are discussed in greater detail below.

Traffic Exchanges (TEs)

As it’s name suggests, this advertising method is the action of exchanging visits to your website with other users of the exchange (otherwise known as surfing for credits).  In effect, you (and other users) are the visitors to each other’s’ websites. The more surfing you do, the more visitors your website will receive from the exchange.  

Now, typically traffic exchanges get a poor reputation for delivering sub-quality website visitors.  This is because all the visitors to the websites on the exchange are users of the exchange, whose sole objectives are to get traffic to their own sites.  The argument here is that they would pay no or little interest in the sites they visit because they are just interested in attracting website visitors for their own offer(as).

However, this is not to say that traffic exchanges cannot and do not work – indeed they do work, they just require more effort.  And this effort includes the presentation of your product or service… an eye-catching website or capture page with a strong message and call-to-action will attract a small percentage of traffic exchange users – human beings are a curious breed.

Used consistently, traffic exchanges will not only deliver tens of thousands of website visitors, but will convert a small percentage of those into leads for your business.

You just need to be prepared to do your surfing to accumulate credits which can be exchanged for visits to your website.

Mailer Sites

Like traffic exchanges, mailer sites deliver credits via emails which can be redeemed for visits to your website.  The general concept is that you receive and read emails then visit the promoted website to earn credits which ultimately enable you to send your promotional emails to the number of members that correspond to the number of credits you have earned.

Some sites allow you to send promotional emails for free to a certain amount number of members at intervals which are determined by your own membership level.  For example, free members may be allowed to send a mailing to several hundred members once a week, whereas an upgraded member may be able to send mailing to more members and more frequently.

Many such sites offer promotional codes for new members which offer a certain amount of free advertising (either via mailings or onsite banners and text advertisements).  And because there are typically advertisements for other mailer sites with promotional codes offered, it’s possible to accumulate a directory of such sites and the free advertising that goes with it.  Having a directory of mailer sites could enable you to remain a free member of each site, but essentially be able to send thousands of emails daily.   

The concern with these sites is the same as that of traffic exchanges… is your website visitor genuinely interested in your offer or just interested in generating a visitor for theirs?

If you have a limited advertising budget or no advertising budget at all, you must accept that such advertising platforms are of value because they are one of the few solutions available to you…

“beggars can’t be choosers”

Social Media

Before you consider that because you might not have an advertising budget you will be limited to using less effective platforms like traffic exchanges and mailer sites, don’t be too despondent and do not rule them out all together… they do work!

However, if sitting in front of your computer doing mind-numbingly boring website surfing or opening one credit email after the other for hours on end doesn’t really excite you, then social media platforms may be more up your street.

Now at this point, I might add that there are a lot of social media platforms out there and most have their own, shall we say, modus operandi – they each have their differences.  You could become a master of one or acquire a reasonable understanding of several to generate traffic from them.

At the time of writing, Facebook is undoubtedly the largest, most popular social network, but it’s not the only one capable of generating significant amounts visitors to your website if used correctly.

Taking Facebook as an example, there are several ways to present your offer.   One of the most commonly followed methods (used by inexperienced marketers) is to join lots of Facebook Internet/Affiliate marketing groups that allow you to post your ads freely.  The issue with this method is like that of traffic exchanges and mailers in that people are typically only interested in promoting their own business and are mostly blind to the ads of others unless eye-catching images and ad copy are used.

A more effective method is to create a Facebook page to promote your business.  Using this page, you can invite Facebook friends to LIKE the page and post regular updates and offers or notify the readership of any upcoming events making sure to include your website URL.  This of course is only like to be particularly effective if you already have a good-sized group of friends who are also potentially interested in your product or service.

Perhaps the best use of Facebook (which can also be applied to other social networks) is to use it as is was designed… to connect and interact with people who have similar interests to you – in effect you need to be social.

Connecting with other marketers and or influencers in your industry will enable you to grow yourself a network of potential business partners.  And they could become your customers if you manage the relationship and your own Facebook profile correctly.

What you write in your Facebook posts and who receives notifications about those posts can help generate free visitors to your website or attract more potential customers to you.  However, it’s not just about posting one ad after another – this one of the more powerful free methods around, but does require a degree of forethought and consistency to execute correctly.

This will be covered in more detail in the forthcoming article entitled “How to Get Traffic from Facebook”.

Email Marketing

Depending on whereabouts you are on your Internet marketing journey, this method of generating traffic may or may not be available you.  

If you have already started building an email list and have a significant number of subscribers, then you would be able to deliver visitors to your website with a simple email broadcast.  This is one of the quickest ways to direct people who already know and trust you to your offer.

That’s the power of email marketing and the objective of using capture pages or websites with webforms on them – to enable you to drive targeted visitors to your website at no additional cost.

That’s why I advocate learning how to build an email list.

Blogging or Website Development

At the risk of offending the purists among us I will say that a blog and a website are one in the same.  Although there are technical and operational differences they both essentially enable the owner to deliver content, products and or services to an audience (people surfing the net) – so I’m just going to use the term “website”.

This is perhaps one of the most powerful ways to generate free traffic to your offer.  A well-developed website (particularly one that is regularly updated) that hosts good quality content and specifically targets a given niche via the use of specific search terms can attract what is called organic website traffic via search results from the likes of Google, Yahoo and other search engines.

Apart from the cost of purchasing and retaining a domain name and the respective web hosting (which can both be acquired cheaply nowadays), a website is a very low cost investment that enables it’s owner to grab his or her share of visits from the billions of Internet users worldwide.

A good website takes time to build properly if you intend to generate organic traffic.  It requires creativity, personality, good content, the use or inclusion of proven traffic generating techniques and should offer a solution to a given problem that a visitor may be searching for.  Website development (or even blogging) is not for everyone, but for those who genuinely choose to pursue it and appreciate that their investment in time and effort will be well spent in the longer term, it’s perhaps the easiest most passive way to attract potential customers to any business.

And one should also consider that it’s possible to also integrate lead capture and email marketing into a website, thus giving the ultimate all-round marketing solution that generates traffic, builds a relationship with prospective customers and converts them into sales (money in your pocket).

Offline Advertising

I’ve included this as a free advertising method, simply because it can be done with a typical home printer and a pair of scissors (or a guillotine paper cutter).  But of course, we know that reams of paper and ink cartridges to put in your printer, while not hugely expensive, are not free.  And we also know that glossy leaflets that are more likely to attract people’s attention do cost significantly more money.

But, some people find that printing of a simple A4-sized printed advert with 15-20 tear-off strips that contain the website URL to visit for more information works well when left in supermarkets or other public places.  

Using coloured paper (which stands out) and bold ad copy with a strong and appealing message can attract even the most sceptical of passers-by, who appreciates that it doesn’t cost them anything but a few minutes of their time to take a closer look.

Also, local newspapers often have free classified ads sections within which you can post ads, although many may now charge for ads in the business opportunity category so it’s worth checking first.  It should be noted, while I haven’t mentioned it above, that classified advertising also exits online and is also potentially a good traffic generator.

For those of you who appreciate that pretty much every business requires investment and have considered setting aside an advertising budget, then there are numerous paid advertising options you could consider.

Popular types of paid advertising include but are not limited to PPC (pay-per click), PPI (pay-per-impression), display ads, auto-post ads (available on some mailer sites), solo ads, etc.

PPC, PPI & Display Advertising

These are typically forms of advertising where the marketer will pay the owner of ad space for the use of those resources.  This may include the presentation of text ads, image ads (banners) or video ads to visitors of a website or websites.

The price paid is often a result of a bidding process between the website owner and advertisers.  However, a website owner may simply choose to set an arbitrary figure that he/she believes his ad space is worth.  Depending on the size and position of ads throughout the website (above or below the fold, large or small area, or the prominence of pages hosting the ads), prices will vary.

A marketer or advertiser would typically be given access to information detailing the volume of traffic a given website or ad resources typically receives, which would enable them to assess the potential benefit versus the cost of renting the ad space.

It goes without saying that ad space on relevant higher traffic websites will no doubt be more expensive to rent.

Auto-post Ads – Upgrades on Mailer Sites

Some websites which are specifically designed for advertising home businesses and income opportunities offer upgraded members the possibility of ads which automatically posted at certain intervals.

These can save you a lot of time, though the upgrade costs can vary and you should consider if the convenience of auto post ads fits within your advertising budget.  Another point to consider is that unless there is significant and consistent growth in the membership of that site, your ads will be repeatedly shown to the same members who potentially could develop a sort of “ad blindness”, so you should consider changing your ads periodically so they see something fresh – this all comes down to testing.

I’ve by no means covered all the advertising and traffic generation possibilities, but you should by now understand that website traffic can be acquired via a great many sources and that you should aim to utilise as many sources as your time and budget allow to maintain a consistent flow of visitors to your website or capture page.

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Article Series

Online Marketing Basics

How to Build an Email List

Ways to Get Website Traffic

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