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How to get bundles of traffic to your website …

By Rob Rawson
Posted Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Learn how to get traffic to your website - After all, it’s going to be pretty hard to make money if you don’t have any
visitors! Generating traffic is one of the most important elements of building a successful internet business - once you’ve worked out how you can drive quality visitors to your website you should be on the road to success (wherever that is!). By creating quality traffic cheaply, you can almost afford to be a little lackluster when it comes to other elements of the site (although this depends what sort of site you have and who your audience is).

In this issue of the Ecourse we aren’t going to cover each method in great detail as each method will take a whole issue to explain properly. For the moment, I’m providing an overview of the different techniques and options available for generating traffic:

Free Search Engine Traffic
Getting listed in search engines like Google is a great way to get free traffic (There are over 200 million people using the Google search engine each day!). If you can get to the top of Google for important and valuable keyword phrases thenit’s possible to get loads of free traffic - a fantastic strategy, but one that is hard to master.

You have to be extremely dedicated and focused to succeed in this way- but it is possible (especially if you can find an area where there’s no too many people trying the same thing). Another consideration is that many search engines crowd their listings with paid ‘advertisements’ which makes it increasingly harder to stand out in the crowd.

Cost per click (CPC) advertising
CPC Advertising is the fastest (and easiest) method for getting traffic to your site. Another advantage is that you only pay for each click that you get to your site.

You can set up an account with Google Adwords and start getting traffic to your site within 10-20 minutes. The other major system that implements CPC advertising is Overture (who has relationships with Yahoo and MSN and other major search engines).

The difficulty is that there are also lots of other people who are going to be competing with you and driving up the cost per click. For example, if you want to bid on the keyword “mortgage” in Overture you are probably going to be paying several dollars for every person that clicks on your ad. The trick with CPC advertising is to find clicks that are much cheaper (in the range of 5-25 cents per click). For more information on cost per click advertising go to
( For information on how to get clicks at 5 cents when others are paying several dollars go to (

Viral traffic or referrals
This is probably the most powerful method of getting traffic to your site if you now how to make it work. If you can get other people to tell their friends about your website, there’s a good chance they will tell their friends as well. Such ‘viral advertising’ is terrific because it is totally free and comes packaged with a recommendation from a friend.

This is how Hotmail got started; at the end of each Hotmail email was a tag line which said “If you want to join Hotmail and get free email click here”, so any person who sent the email to another person was actually promoting Hotmail for free.

Writing articles for an ezine
You can get free publicity by writing articles for ezines who accept content from outside writers - another popular (and free) method to attract new visitors to your site.

Online forums or news groups
Generally most forums and news groups do not allow blatant advertising of your product or service. In fact, in doing so you would probably get yourself banned from a site. However, you can make ‘intelligent’ posts in a forum, some will even allow you to have a tag or signature line at the end of your post (if someone reads the post they might decide to click onto your tag line and visit your site, especially if you have provided some useful advice).

Advertising in Ezines – There are some ezines which accept advertisements – a great way to gain exposure with a targeted audience. However, you should be cautious; make sure the ezine really does have the readership that they are claiming.

Solo email advertisements – Instead of advertising in an ezine, you may be ableto pay to send out a solo mailing to the readers of an ezine.

Online classifieds – There are a number of places where you can advertise in online classifieds, sometimes for free or sometimes you need to pay. I haven’t had any personal experience with this area, and I’m not sure that it is really that effective, but everything is worth a try!

Offline advertising – Some companies have had success in advertising in offline media such as newspapers and magazines. I wouldn’t focus on this area until you have exhausted all other online possibilities.

Banner advertising – If you have a product which is aimed at a general consumer market (and you have good conversion rates) then you can be quite successful with this method. However, you will generally need to spend a minimum of $5000 just to test and see if it is working (that’s if you advertise on any of the major banner networks). I wouldn’t recommend banner advertising unless you have experience with Internet marketing and / or you have a really great product or offer.

Pop-ups – As you probably already know, untargeted pop-ups are generally quite ineffective (unless your aim is to have your visitors pull their own hair out!). Once again it can work but it is only for those who are experienced at the game. Targeted pop-ups can be a lot more effective but you need to make sure that they are really targeted – a lot of research is needed to make successful use of ‘pops’.

Guaranteed traffic 10,000 hits!!! – If you ever see any promotions for guaranteed hits, for example: “10,000 hits for $360” - stay away. Generally, companies making these offers will get you hits by using overpriced pop-up traffic.

Other online advertising methods – There are many other ways niche methods to advertise online and we can’t cover the all in this issue of the Ecourse, but they are all worth trying as long as it doesn’t cost you too much money.

Free links from other sites – A highly recommended way to boost traffic is to get links from other sites for free. To get quality traffic the site should have a similar subject to yours and the other site needs to give your site a great recommendation from a page that people visit on their site -not just a simple link from their links page- A link from their links page may increase your popularity with Google but it is unlikely to get you any visitors.

Affiliate links from other sites – An affiliate program is a great way to get visitors to your site to buy your product. This is obviously only appropriate if you have a product to sell which you can offer an affiliate commission on. If you are only selling other people’s products through their affiliate programs then you can’t really have an affiliate program of your own.

Other paid links from other sites – You can pay other sites to link to your site in an arrangement where you pay per month or other negotiated period.

Affiliate networks – If you have an affiliate program you can get your program onto an affiliate network which gives you instant access to a whole lot of new affiliates who can promote your program.

Joint Ventures – I have left this to last because it is one of the most effective methods. You can get a relationship with someone who has a site in your general topic area or an ezine in your topic area. The key to this method is to develop a relationship with that person. Then they can promote your product and get a commission from the sales that ensue.

Which method should I use?
There is no best method for getting traffic. Generating quality traffic requires some hard work and dedication – everyone will hit and miss using the methods described above. The most important thing is to test each method, look at the results and the overall trends in your sales and then decide which method is best for you.

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