Posted Wednesday, November 10, 2004
One of the most common needs of online business owners is traffic. Without traffic, your web site barely exists, and is unlikely to make any profit whatsoever. With traffic, you stand a much greater chance of success - but not just any traffic.
As the owner of a network of web sites receiving well over a million hits a month, in this article I give you my five top tips for increasing targeted traffic to your web site.
Newbies on the web frequently make the mistake of just wanting traffic, and join any and every program offering just that - "thousands of hits to your web site", with the vast majority of them completely worthless. When their web sites fail to make any money, many of them give up on the web as a money-making myth.
For those that do persist, and try to learn from their experience, they realize it's not just any traffic they need - it's targeted traffic. That means web site visitors who actually want to visit (rather than those who are 'forced' to visit via some traffic exchange program), and so are actually interested in what you have to offer.
This type of traffic is far more profitable to you - your visitors are far more likely to purchase from you, simply because you have what they want.
But how can you attract targeted traffic?
Here are my five top tips:
1. An Affiliate Program
This works by giving those who promote your products a commission if they make a sale. Over time you can build up an army of people who are busy promoting your web sites for you.
My own affiliates account for well over half of all my sales, and to do that, by definition they have to be pushing a lot of traffic my way.
You can begin to see what my traffic and sales levels might look like without an affiliate program.
For beginners who are selling digital products such as ebooks or software, the easiest and cheapest way to start your own affiliate program is through ClickBank. That's how I started and I still use them today.
2. Add Content
Providing quality content on your web site is an excellent way to permanently increase traffic to your web site.
Search engines like Google appear to favor web sites with a clear navigation structure that provide quality content within a certain genre - that means not adding anything you can think of to your web site, but focus on a particular niche, and provide content broadly in line with that.
You don't even have to create it all yourself. For example, look in article directories on the web for free reprint articles you can use, such as (http://IdeaMarketers.com).
3. Create Content
Just as you are looking for content you can quickly add to your web site, so are thousands of other publishers. By creating content yourself, you can not only put it up on your own web site, but also provide it to others for their use with a small resource box at the end of the article with a link to your web site.
In so doing, you can have literally hundreds of web sites all linking to yours. This provides a consistent stream of targeted traffic from readers of the article who want to follow through to your web site, and also from search engines like Google, where your ranking will broadly increase in line with the number of web sites linking to you.
Hundreds of ezine publishers are also on the look out for quality content that they can publish, on a wide range of topics - if a publisher with a large mailing list chooses to publish your article, this can lead to a surge in both traffic and sales on your web site when their ezine is published. Many ezines are published online too, providing another permanent link and source of high quality traffic to your web site.
There are various courses and ebooks available online that can teach you how to effectively distribute your articles and get them published - there's also a free e-course available at (http://takanomi.com/publish-articles.php) that tells you nearly everything you need to know.
4. Publish An Ezine
One of the most effective ways to build a loyal base of repeat visitors for your web site is your own mailing list, whether it's an ezine that publishes regularly, or a mailing list who you occasionally mail to.
By publishing quality information in your emails, you increase your credibility, build trust with your subscribers, and encourage repeated visits to your web site.
5. Pay Per Click Engines
When you use pay-per-click engines, you are effectively paying to have a high ranking position for certain keywords, on certain search engines. If you choose your keywords carefully, the traffic is highly targeted - the trick is to ensure you are not paying more per click than each visitor is worth.
To do this effectively requires some careful tracking of the visitors that arrive at your site from your keyword placements, but done correctly, the end result is net profit for you.
The main pay-per-click engines are Google Adwords and Overture - with Google, your ads are displayed within minutes; with Overture, it can take a few hours to a few days to have your ads approved and displayed.
I personally use all of the above methods to attract targeted traffic to my web site - of course, that's not the end of the road in terms of web site profitability. You then need to ensure that a proportion of this targeted traffic converts into paying customers. Once you've mastered this too, you are well on your way to online success.
Steve Shaw creates software and systems for effective e-marketing. His software at (http://popupmaster.com) allows you to add unblockable popups to your web site quickly and easily, specifically designed to sign up subscribers to your mailing list, and fast.
About the Author
Steve Shaw has been marketing full-time online since March 2002, developing software products and systems for effective e-marketing - for more information see (http://takanomi.com).