Traffic is king – Five Top Traffic Sources For Your Site

Traffic-is-king-targeted-web-site-traffic

5 Top Traffic Sources For Your Site

I believe if you asked any webmaster or online marketer what their most important aspect of running a site would be, you would get an answer that’s some way related to traffic. Mainly because traffic is your site’s lifeblood, actually without traffic you really don’t have a site at all.

Traffic is king.

Traffic brings in the leads and the sales. Quality traffic is what produces your online revenue, whether from advertising or from sales on your site. Now, I have sites which get less than 50 visitors a day, I have a few sites which get around 200 visitors and I have one site which gets around 2,000 visitors a day.

Don’t jump to any conclusions, some days the site getting 50 visitors can make just as much as the site getting 2,000 visitors. It all has to do with the quality of the traffic and how well it converts into a sale. And of course, it all depends on what you’re selling… a lcd cleaning kit for $20 bucks or a gaming laptop which sells for $2000+.

Regardless, you have to get that traffic in the first place if you want to earn an online income. The more traffic you have, usually, the more you will make; at least this has been my experience. Since traffic is very important to me, I keep a lot of records and stats on where my traffic is coming from on the web. I have to know what produces the quality traffic and how to get it.

So below I have listed down my 5 most important traffic sources and/or the marketing techniques I use to get that traffic. This list might also help you with your own traffic and how you can increase it. Here are my 5 main traffic sources…

SEO-Free-Traffic-Tips1. SEO and the Search Engines

The majority of the traffic to my sites comes from the search engines, mainly Google. It is my high rankings for my targeted keyword phrases which bring in the most and the best quality traffic to my sites. Get the SEO right and build a lot of quality one-way links from related sites and you will get the traffic.

Another tactic, don’t just create a website with only 10 or 20 pages – create one with 1000 to 5000 pages. I know this takes time but consider your site like a long-term business which you will keep building for years. Produce plenty of quality content and you will get plenty of quality visitors in return. Works for me.

2. Article Marketing

Another very effective way to bring in quality traffic to your site or sites is article marketing. Just write short articles related to your site’s keywords and place your keyworded links in the resource box. Distribute these articles all over the web.

Right now, what is working for me, is writing unique articles which I only place on one important site. I am using this technique with sites like SiteProNews, Buzzle and many more. Article marketing is still one of the most effective ways to get quality traffic, just try it.

3. PPC – Pay Per Click Advertising

I know, I know, this can be very expensive but PPC can be the quickest way to get quality traffic to your sites. Just be careful and approach it with kid’s gloves until you find campaigns which work for you – then scale them up.

Microsoft Adcenter and Yahoo Marketing have now joined forces and I find this is producing good traffic for me. Google Adwords is probably better but they are a real pain to work with and have become too expensive, at least for my keywords. But if you have the resources, don’t rule out Adwords or any of the PPC programs.

4. Social Media Sites

From Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn, social media sites can provide a lot of traffic and word of mouth advertising for your site. For me, even though I haven’t worked these sites to their fullest potential, I still get traffic from them. Getting your pages bookmarked in some of these sites can bring in a flood of traffic overnight, while most of this traffic will be temporary, you can get a lot of sign-ups to your newsletter and different follow-up lists. While not exactly in the same group, I have had some success with YouTube videos which also bring in targeted traffic. Don’t ignore these social media and video sites in your traffic strategies.

5. Email Marketing and Follow-up Lists

This is another one of my major sources of “repeat visitors” to my sites. You must be constantly building up your different contact lists for further follow-up. This will bring in more visitors than you would expect, especially if you put some simple viral messages in your emails. If you supply valuable information, people will recommend your content to friends and co-workers; again word of mouth can bring in a lot of traffic especially in this age of Facebook and Twitter.

Of course, there are many more traffic sources such as Press Releases, Banner Ads, RSS Feeds, Off-line Advertising… and if you have your own products to promote, affiliates and joint ventures will be your most valuable source of traffic. Over the years I have picked up a lot of information on traffic and traffic tips… some of the best places/people for this has been:

freetraffictip.com – run by Tinu Abayomi-Paul, one of my best sources for free traffic tips. Excellent.

trafficology.com – this site and newsletter gives you off-beat ways to build traffic to your site. Highly Recommended.

trafficsecrets.com – if this one is still open, John Reese has a few very good products on traffic. Recommended if you can afford it.

Full Article: http://www.marketingtoolguide.com/

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The REAL Death of Email Marketing

email_marketingFor many online marketers, conversions rates are a mere fraction of what they use to be. At the same time, there are a few marketers that I’ve chatted with who have experienced no significant drop in conversions. These are all marketers who have built incredible subscriber loyalty over the years.

For many online marketers, the biggest problem is email deliverability. Their email is simply not getting through. Email is being filtered so heavily today that often less than 20% of a large ezine mailing gets delivered.

There are things you can do to improve your email deliverability, such as run it through a spam checker prior to sending it out. Top mailing list management systems, such as ProfitAutomation.com, have built in systems that allow you to grade an email against the Spam Assassin database prior to sending it. If your email scores higher than a 2, I personally would revise it to lower the score.

I’ve talked to friends over a year ago, who often confided in me that they sometimes sent out emails and got absolutely NO response. They wondered if anyone even got the emails or read them.

Many savvy marketers also realized that a business totally dependent upon email was not a very solid business. They realized that what they really needed was a database that contained not only names and email addresses, but physical mailing addresses. That way, if something dramatic ever did happen in the world of email, they could just shift their marketing to direct maíl, and still be in business. This is one of the reasons that you started seeing some online marketers offering loss leaders on CD or DVD. It gave them the perfect tool (excuse) to build out their databases. They knew that email could someday go the way of fax broadcasts.

Some of my in-the-know friends have also shared with me that many ISP’s now monitor things such as email delivery rates, bounce rates, and open rates. They use readily available data, and if a given ISP or third party list host had a dismal record, they may block ALL email from that source.

That’s pretty scary. I was also told that a few well-known list management providers were having emails coming off their servers BLOCKED, or “black holed.”

If ISPs are tapping into databases that reveal which mail servers send out a lot of mail that has very low open rates, for example, and blocking email from those servers, that does very well spell the slow death of some email marketers… unless they move their list to other platforms.


email-marketingO
k, so I just painted a pretty dismal picture for some marketers.

When I was in the military, my bosses always told me that they wanted the truth from me. They insisted that I not “sugar-coat” the facts. However, they also told me not to bring them problems, without also bringing them viable solutions.

Solutions to the email deliverability issue are out there. For example, paid “sender verification” is one that is often suggested.

One that I’ve looked at many times over the years is some type of direct-to-desktop solution. That’s one where your subscribers install tools that allow your communications to tap into technologies not even dependent upon email.

The objection always brought up when discussing direct-to- desktop applications, is that there’s only so much desktop real-estate, so a person can only subscribe to so many of these independent channels.

Another solution that I like very much is building your list on a hosted platform, so that communications take place within the system.

A good example of this can be seen on the social networking site Sokule, pronounced “so cool.” The Sokule community is built on a platform that looks and feels a lot like Twitter, except that it’s built for marketers, so you are encouraged to market on the platform. In fact, there are several built-in features that allow members to monetize their community membership.

Your customers may not know what your product is – and they may not care

This video by Google illustrates several issues that have been plaguing product and brand managers, UxDs (user-experience designers) and IAs (information architects) and most obviously, the general public. Google asks “What is a browser,” only to find that less than 8% of those polled have an understanding of the term. (It is, by the way, “a software application for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web” – Wikipedia; e.g. Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (The big blue ‘E’))

For Branders
For those of us concerned with brand definition, the example is clear: Google checks to see if people understand how Chrome is better even have a basic understanding of the term “browser,” and find that the confusion has hardly cleared up over the past 15 years, since graphical browser use became widespread in the mid-’90s. Back then, users thought they “used Yahoo!” to surf the information superhighway, and as we see here, they still believe the same.

For Google Chrome achieve any penetration in this market, the big G needs to focus on not only defining and demonstrating Chrome’s unique value, but also educating the public on the very basic concepts of “browsing,” and “applications.” This is no small task, as Firefox has long been fighting this battle and making slow gains against the IE giant, mostly through word-of-mouth from passionate advocates, again illustrated in the Google video. (I, personally, have done this on many occasions, wiping IE from friends’ and families’ hard drives in a Firefox coup.)

For IAers
For those of us concerned with interface design, the interviews illustrate the need for simplicity. This video may make you consider an edit or two if your web site copy includes the call-to-action “Download to your browser,” or similar industry-insider phrases. On a more macro level, the interviews highlight the importance of maintaining a holistic view of the web experience.

If your users don’t really understand what a browser is, do they know when they are on your web site, or is your vanity URL confusing this; perhaps they’re on an “unofficial” site created by a passionate fan?

If your users don’t really understand what a browser is, do they think they have to come through Google or Yahoo! to reach your site? Do you show up (positively) there?

If your users don’t really understand what a browser is, are they savvy enough to find their way through your site; are they stymied by nomenclature that is cloaked in your brand’s jargon or Internet industry jargon?

I don’t care what a browser is.

Ultimately, this video illustrates the fact that people don’t really care how they get what they want online, just that they get it. The best thing your brand, product or digital experience can do is make it easy and understandable for your customers.

So for product and brand managers; UxDs and IAs, the questions become, does your market know what your brand promises? Do they know what your product does? Do they know what that button does or where that link goes?

Or, does your market make assumptions about your product, lumping it in with a lesser offering, mistaking it for your competition, or for a completely different idea?

If so, you have a lot of work to do. Maybe it’s time to hit the pavement and get some real insight from real customers.

How to Make Money on Email Marketing this December

 

A Message to Retailers: 

Dear Retailers:

We can’t see your images in your emails.

We can’t see your 30%-off merchandise or special offers. We can’t see your holiday sweaters, or dresses, or suits, or toys.

Why? 
It is because your emails are made entirely out of images, and due to image suppression at the bulk of receiving email clients and ISPs your emails look blank, imageless, and don’t reflect the brand you hope to portray.

Want to increase your holiday sales for 2008-2009? 

Start by optimizing your emails using the principals of what we call “performance-based design.” How? Head on over to the Silex Technologies design blog and learn about their recommendations for email marketing design best practices. Also, check out their latest whitepaper: Email Marketing Design: The New Essentials.

The key to the success of your email program this fall will be about making an impact in the inbox that is relevant to each subscriber’s wants and needs…not about sending more email.

Sincerely,

Your Once Loyal Customer 
[Please give me a reason to buy from you]

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