Posted Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Many webmasters use a common service, called free traffic exchange programs, to increase hits to their sites. Also known as start page exchanges, these websites promise free traffic to you, in exchange for your visiting other sites. Generally, webmasters sign up at these sites and are given a code to install on their web browsers. They earn credits based on a ratio for every other member’s site that they visit, and as these credits are earned, their websites are shown on other member’s browsers.
Some webmasters use this service thinking that all these free hits will magically lead to product purchases. Unfortunately, traffic exchange programs rarely lead to sales, due mainly to the fact that most visitors are fellow webmasters who are primarily concerned with generating hits for their own websites. Although these visitors tend not to buy anything when they initially view your site, there are ways that you can use their visit to lead to future purchases. By following these below steps, you can ensure a healthy return from your free traffic.
Step 1: Design a page that will attract their attention – A common mistake made by many webmasters is to direct visitors to their main page. Instead of doing this, focus on creating a well-designed ‘teaser’ page that will create interest in your product without pushing visitors to purchase anything. Since each traffic exchange service requires you to look at a website for a certain length of time before you can get 'credit' for the visit, you have only a limited time frame before visitors move on to another site. To get their attention, create a page with only a few pieces of information that doesn’t require them to scroll down. In addition, be sure to include a form where they can add their email address to your mailing list.
Step 2: Develop a freebie and make visitors sign up to get it - Once you have your visitor’s attention, offer something for free that has intrinsic value. Some common items used by many webmasters are free ebooks, or contests for your products. By providing a free and useful item to your prospect, you attract their attention without forcing them to purchase anything at that moment. You have also obtained that visitor’s email address--after they sign up. Once this is done, send them an automatic response email that lets them know how to obtain their freebie. (One quick warning: On the entry form, let the person know that they are joining a mailing list. Don’t hide this fact, because you could be accused of spamming.)
Step 3: Find good traffic exchange services and start surfing – After designing your page and including the freebie, browse for a few quality traffic exchange services. When searching, take into account the following factors:
Find sites that have good ratios Sign up for services that give you a fair ratio of sites which you visit, to times that your URL is displayed. Any traffic exchange service should have at least a 2:1 ratio.
Check the regularity of the websites that are being shown when you visit other sites If you see the same website over and over again, that means that the "hits" that you are earning are being wasted on the same visitors.
Study their anti-cheating methods Any good traffic exchange service will have built in mechanisms that prevent people from earning credits without actually viewing your site. Most of the time, these anti-cheating items require you to click on a certain icon. If a service automatically loads a new page every few seconds, rest assured that no one is actually looking at your site.
To help you get started, I have listed a few websites that I have successfully used to generate hits and subscribers: (http://www.nomorehits.com/cgi-bin/redir.cgi?user=mizambar) (http://www.AllFreshClicks.com/cgi-bin/run.cgi?userid=mizambar) (http://trafficroundup.com/start.php?username=mizambar) (http://www.webmasterquest.com/members/surf.php?Start=1&time=1074251255) (http://www.domain-tip.com/cgi-bin/exchange/start.cgi?member=mizambar)
Step 4: Contact your visitors - Once you have collected a good database of visitors who are interested in your product, contact them. In the email, remind them of the freebie or contest that they joined. After that, create a sales message that discusses how your product or service can help fulfill their specific needs. Since this e-mail reaches them when they are not concerned with generating hits for their own site, you have a better chance of making a sale.
If you follow these 4 steps and use the resources that are provided, you will see an increase in quality visitors and email subscriptions. Ultimately, you should generate more sales! Start clicking now…
About the Author
Scott Patterson is the owner and webmaster of (http://www.mizambar.com), a retail site of Evil Eye Jewelry, and (http://www.onlinestoreexchange.com), a directory of tips and advice to help you with website design and website promotion for your online store. To receive free ebooks & free promotion/design tips, join his email list - firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, email him at email@example.com