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Internet World Stats > Coaching Library > e-Marketing for Beginners

If You Own a Web Site -
You Need Traffic

By Enrique De Argaez, MBA, P.E., webmaster

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.

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 ten tips:

1. Start 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.

For many emarketers, affiliates account for a large portion of all their sales, and to do that, by definition they don't have to pay to get a lot of traffic going their way.

You can begin to see why big marketers all have an affiliate program in the marketing mix to grow traffic and sales levels.

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 many started and still use them today.

2. Add Content to Your Web Site

Providing quality content on your web site is an excellent way to permanently increase traffic to your web site.

Search engines like Google, MSN, Yahoo 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 to 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. Chose the article subjects related to your web site topic. Here is a list of several such sites:

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. Anyway, the process is fairly simple, here is all you need to know:

Proofread and check your article, then it's time to start sending your article to those publishers who are dying for your fresh, new content! So how do you find them, and get your article to them? There are several ways.

First, publish your work to free content mailing lists where publishers subscribe for the sole reason of receiving content. Go to Google Groups and Yahoo Groups where there are a lot of groups to which you can post to (check the subscribe addresses and please read their posting rules prior to posting).

There are many other free content lists and websites out there. Search around and you should find more to post your articles too, including ones dedicated to specific topics which may be more relevant for your article.

Once you've posted your article to the free content mailing lists, you need to start contacting individual publishers. Start making a list of newsletters and other publications which will accept your articles by contacting each one. It will require a little work, but many even provide an address for article submissions.

Ask each if they will accept article submissions from you, what address to send them to, and be sure to allow them to remove themselves from your list if they ever want to. Build up a list of publishers over time and send your articles to them each time you write a new one.

Write articles on a consistent basis, monthly works best for most people, keep the quality of your writing up, and you should have no problem obtaining substantial free traffic from your work.

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. Better Organic Search Engine Listings

Since natural traffic accounts for roughly 70% percent of all the search engine clicks, this is a mayor source of traffic and you should look for ways to increase your web site position in natural search engine listings. These are the famous SERP or "search engine results page". The page that users see after typing their search query into a search engine.

If done correctly, all the above techniques can increase your natural page ranking in the search engines. If this is the case, congratulations, you will get better results. However, when you are not in the first SERPs, content might not be sufficient to improve your web site traffic.

Online marketers have become very dependent on search engines, almost obsessed. If your position is far from the top, use pay-per-click engines, try SEO, or concentrate in other traffic generating strategies. Search has become big business, an entirely new industry. See the next tip.

6. 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.

7. Create Blogs

Blogs are highly effective in building links of relevant web pages. Blogs can increase the link popularity and relevancy, therefore increasing natural rankings. Blogs can be useful for marketing and research purposes, and to drive traffic to specific landing pages on your web site. To get go benefits, the experts recommend developing 10 blogs, this is called a Blogset, with unique content updated three times a week with at least 250 words per entry that are keyword specific to the target keyword.

Doing this will represent after one month, 120 optimized web pages of individual posts with links directed to your target pages (10 blogs times three posts times four weeks). The cost is only your time.

8. Issue Press Releases

The use of Press Relaseases (PR) is another traffic generating strategy with very good benefits, if done correctly. Use a resource like PRweb to create press releases that are optimized for the search engines. With appropiate SEO copywriting, a PR can drive more quality traffic to your web site than a whole month of paid searches on the search engines. An average press release on PRweb can attain over 70,000 reads in a very short period of time.

Press Releases are closely related to Creative Public Relations. Creative Public Relations example: did a great job last year when it bought the Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich for $28,000. Did they really buy it? Yes. Did they buy it for $28,000. Yes. Did it cost them $28,000? No. How’d they do it? Here’s how their PR genius works: My guess is that they made the sandwich themselves. Yummy. They made a big announcement about it. Created a fictitious name as the owner of the sandwich, then put it on eBay. GoldenPalace wins the auction, pays themselves the $28,000, and only pays eBay the fees for selling it. Pretty amazing PR.

9. Buy Targeted Traffic

When you use pay-per-click engines, you are effectively paying to have a high ranking position for certain keywords, on certain search engines. You can buy traffic directly from several portals, 1,000 visitors, 5,000 visitors, 10,000 visitors. This is anothe alternative. However, you have to check for the quality of the traffic you are getting for your money.

10. Other Ways to Generate Traffic

Participate in trade shows, conferences, and specialized seminaries. You can find offline traffic generating strategies useful. Advertise offline your web site. This is a good alternative to pay-per-click engines.

Of course there are other sources of targeted, ads in magazines and newspapers, for example.

I recommend that you use a combination of all of the above methods to attract targeted traffic to your 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.

About the Author:
Enrique De Argaez is the webmaster of the
"Internet World Stats" website. Since 2000 he has been tabulating Internet Usage Statistics, and publishing the statistics for over 233 countries and regions of the world for free use by the academia, the global business community and the general public. Visit his main web sites at: Internet World Stats and All About Market Research.

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