Over the last few weeks I’ve been doing a series of posts highlighting various techniques that can help you to generate traffic. Realizing that people are short on time and often want information packed in an short and concise way, I thought it might be helpful to rank the top five methods that I’ve gone over. I do recommend that you read the longer articles that speak to each of the methods, but this list should give you an idea of the methods that you can use to boost traffic to your website.
1: PAY PER CLICK (PPC)
You won’t finder a bigger advocate for PPC marketing than me. The beauty of PPC is that you can start running it on a modest budget, and still get targeted traffic. You pick the key words that you want your ads to show up with, and you pick the price you are willing to pay, and you only pay if the ad converts to a visit. You can get same-day traffic that is targeted and affordable. If you are going to go this route, be sure that you have an autoresponder set up on your page, so if people do visit your website, and are interested in your content or products, you can get them on a mailing list and contact those visitors again in the future.
2: EMAIL MARKETING
Not all email marketing works effectively. I always recommend avoiding mailers and buying lists, because the emails you send out with those methods will be going to people who did not ask for emails from you. They are cold sells, and a cold sell was hard enough when they were done in person; online it is even harder to gain a stranger’s trust because people are always worried about scams. Instead of mailers and buying lists, use your autoresponder to build your own list. This is the most targeted traffic you could ask for, because it is people who have visited your site, and have left their email because they are interested in your content or products. You are going to get a much higher conversion rate with those kinds of emails than you would with a list you bought.
3: CONTEXTUAL AND BEHAVIOURAL ADVERTISING
Like PPC marketing, contextual and behavioural advertising are great ways to generate same-day traffic in an affordable way. It does work a little differently. Rather than posting text ads in search results, you are placing banners ads, or rather, buying media space on websites that have signed up for programs like Google Adsense. Just as Google or Bing might load your ads up on their search engine, they also load up ads on the media space of websites related to your niche who have signed up for their services. They are a little more expensive, and you have the option of paying per click, or per impression. If you ads get high conversion rates, paying per impression is your best bet; if you get low conversion rates, pay per click is likely the way to go. You will have to invest in banner ads, but this investment is worthwhile because these ads placed based the context of the websites combine that with the behaviour of the users (based on their browser history), making the traffic highly targeted.
4: MEDIA BUYING
If you’ve develop a strong campaign through contextual and behavioural advertising, media buying might also work for you. Where contextual and behavioural advertising post your ads on collective websites that each get low traffic, media buying entails you contacting webmasters from websites with significant traffic, ideally sites within your niche. Rather than paying per click, you can negotiate a space on a popular website and get your ads to pop up all day for a predetermined period of time, or have your ad put in a small rotation of ads. If your campaign has a high conversion rate, this approach would likely be your best option because you pay a set fee and you can access a larger, specific audience. This can better than contextual advertising because you know exactly what website your ad is going on, and you know who the audience is, which is not always the case with contextual advertising. However, it can be more expensive and doesn’t guarantee traffic. If you don’t have confidence in your campaign, you might want to work out the bugs by testing it through contextual advertising.
5: ONLINE ENGAGEMENT
The great thing about online engagement is that it costs no money at all. The bad thing is that it doesn’t get the same level of immediate results on a consistent basis that an approach like PPC does. This method takes time, and requires that you invest personal time, rather than money. Still, it is a method I recommend not only because it can help to raise awareness and increase your brand recognition, but also because it has become standard practice with all business who do work online. There isn’t a single company in the fortune 500 that doesn’t have a Twitter account or who doesn’t use social media to enhance their online presence. Though it might seem like it requires more time than it is worth in some cases, it does help to build a solid and loyal base that can be the foundation of your business.
It can be hard to rank these methods, because a lot of them might vary in success depending on your niche and approach. These are the ones that I’ve found to be most effective, but you always want to test and find out which approach works best for you. I don’t rely too much on online engagement, but I do employ it and think it is important. I get a lot out of PPC and media buying, but I tend to stay away from contextual and behavioural advertising, not because they don’t work, but because PPC and media buying work better for my niche. Test the waters, and see what works best. The one thing that I cannot stress enough is that you should absolutely get an autoresponder before driving traffic to your site so that you can build an e-mail list. The last thing you want to do is drive traffic to your site only to see it pass through like water through a stream. As you may have read on my site before, the only thing better than 1000 unique visitors a day, is making sure all those visitors return. To do that, you need an autoresponder.