Tag Archives: online marketing

10 Traffic Strategies To Kick Start Your Online Business

traffic to your website pic

Whether you have your own products, or you’re an affiliate marketer, or both, we all can use traffic.

You can have the greatest website and products ever created, but if nobody is there to see it, then it serves no value to your internet business.

On the same token, targeting the right kind of traffic is essential. 50,000 visitors to your website aren’t worth much if you only make one sale from it. 500 visitors on the other hand, can be pure gold if you generate a high conversion rate from them and turn them into repeat customers.

I’m going to cover some free strategies as well as some paid strategies that may work for you.

Free Strategies

Article marketing – The obvious one of course. Submitting to article directories and Ezines will get traffic to you every time. Well, if it’s a decent article anyway. Be sure to write your article as an informative piece. Avoid writing things that have a ‘sales pitchy’ ring to it. Nothing puts up the defenses quicker that the ol’ pitchman routine.

Forums & Blogs – Offering useful comments on forums & blogs related to your market can be a great way to generate traffic. For forums, you should be a member and contribute some posts as well. Many forums will let you put your link in your signature as well. One way to find good blogs & forums is to Google for “Your Keyword” + “blog” or “Your Keyword” + “fourm”.

You can step it up a notch by adding the keywords “do follow” or “Comment Love” when searching for blogs. This will give you some link juice back to your website, by posting on “do follow” blogs.

Long tail & Web 2.0 – Google for keywords in your market. Find out what results come up and form long tail keywords out of them. If you’re an affiliate for Sanyo LCD TVs for example, then a long tail keyword could be something like “Sanyo DP46848 LCD TV”.

Somebody searching for this term already knows what they want. They’ve done their research and they are ready to buy.

Make some Squidoo lenses which tells the visitor briefly how great this television is. Include a link to your blog. If you don’t have a blog, create one. Even blogger or wordpress.com is ok.

Take advantage of all the different types of web 2.0 sites. Propeller, StumbleUpon, twitter. Link everything in a circular fashion back to your blog post (or affiliate landing page if appropriate).

Remember, for these types of visitors, they are already in “buy” mode. Don’t try to sell them again with a review or worse yet, a sales page. Instead, direct them straight out to Amazon, or wherever, via your affiliate link and snatch the sale.

Paid Strategies

PPC (Pay Per Click) – Google Adwords is the first that most people are familiar with. If you are using Adwords with marginal results, try some targeted placements ads via the content network. Find some high traffic websites in the Google content network related to your market and target your ad directly at the visitors who are on that site. For example, a Google ad for Widget.com could look something like this – “Hey Widget.com readers, check out why everyone wants the mighty widget wizard”. Be careful to specify web pages that are very targeted to your product, otherwise you’ll burn through your daily spending limit in minutes with nothing to show for it.

A lot of people don’t consider the Google alternatives either. Don’t be so quick to write them off.Yahoo for example, in my own experience will often convert at a higher rate than Google. Less traffic, and clicks, but with much higher conversions in many cases. It’s always worked very well for me.

ClickRiver.com is the PPC network for Amazon. This can really pay off too if you do it right. Know the authors & titles of the books in your target market so that you can also use them for your keywords to get your ads to show up in the best converting areas.

Press Releases – Surprisingly, Many people underestimate the power of press releases. Between a web 2.0 strategy and press releases, you can really nail some pretty lucrative markets with very little investment.

PRWeb is the best in my opinion for doing press releases. Start out with the $80 option to get the standard visibility. If you’re already profiting, try the $140 option which includes the social media visibility.

There are sources for submitting free press releases too, but they’re not all that effective compared to PRWeb.

Banner Ads – Banner advertising can work pretty well, especially if you have your own product. Don’t have any banners & you’re not artistic? You can go out to http://www.20dollarbanners.com and have a great looking banner custom created for… you guessed it, $20.

eBay Classified Ads – For $19.95 / mo. You can stick a classified ad on eBay. This could work well for some markets. Remember too that ebay-ers are the buying type of visitor.

Facebook – Facebook offers paid advertising as well. One cool thing about Facebook is that your ads are targeted by demographics. Facebook can be especially good for CPA type offers.

Offline advertising – Believe it or not, offline advertising can be very effective. This is another largely ignored area. You could rent a mailing list & send post cards with your online info with link to your store or products. Also, you can run classified ads, magazine ads in an article format, radio ads, or even have someone distribute flyers & business cards. There are many possibilities in offline marketing.

Buy an existing site with some ranking & traffic. Sometimes you can simply find a website that someone hasn’t done much with, but it has some age and some traffic. Email the owner and offer them $50 or $100 bucks. You might be surprised.

You can also check out the domain auctions at GoDaddy.com.

In any paid strategy, be sure to keep track of how much your cost is to acquire a sale or lead. Google analytics is decent for tracking and it’s free. The bottom line, if you’re making a profit – its good, otherwise its bad. In which case you need to either change your strategy or find a better market.

There’s one other essential element to making these strategies work. Taking action! You have to get out there and do it.

Try mixing different paid with the free strategies for maximum impact. If you’re strapped for cash, use the free strategies and then expand into some paid options.

Once you find something that generates a profit, even a small one, then it’s time to scale up and run with it! This is when marketing gets to be really fun. So my advice? Go out there, and have some fun!

Beef Up Your Conversions For Free

Here’s a talking head video featuring me and my scary lighting showing you how to really crank up your conversions by creating web pages that optimize themselves.

In case you don’t like watching videos, here’s a transcript of the video:

Hello, Jack Keifer here with a tip on beefing your conversion rates on your web sites with self-optimizing webpages.

So how does a web page optimize itself?  
With a testing techique called Multi-Variate testing.

Multi-variate testing is done with software designed to allow you to automatically test different versions of various sections of your webpage.

Let me clarify this a little using one of my websites as an example.

Here at AmazingCloaker.com you’re looking at the headline portion of my web page.

Your headline is that critical element to get your visitors to stay beyond that 3 second event horizon.

Usually a visitor will hit their back button within 3 seconds if you don’t peak their interest somehow.

See why the headline is so important?  
Anyway,
The sales page is made of of different components like the Headline, sub heading, bullet list, main body, guarantee, call to action and buy button, to name a few.

Scrolling down, we move through the different sections of the sales letter.

With multi-variate software, we can create different versions of each of these sections and test which combinations of these versions give the best conversion rates.

Everytime one version of a section scores higher conversions, it is tested against other sections of the web page more often.

Every time you make a sale, your web page is constantly refining and improving itself.

I’m going to clear my cookies here and refresh my web page.  This will cause a slightly different version to load.

Ok, here we have a new version of the page.
The headline stayed the same.
Scrolling down the page there are various paragraphs that are slightly changed.

Not too big a difference here.

Let’s refresh this page again and see if we get more dramatic results.

First, I’ll clear my cookies, and then we’ll just hit the refresh button again.

Ok, looks like we still have the same headline.
That could mean that this particular headline is creating better conversions.

Interesting… here we are now seeing extra graphics relating to the AmazingCloaker.

Testing these graphics against nothingness is also a variable.  
Sometimes less is more in a sales page,
so always consider testing something against having nothing in its place as well.

Ok, let’s do this one more time.
Clear the cookies again…

Ok, this time the headline has changed.  
This headline was scoring pretty high in the beginning of my testing.
Scrolling down, there are additional changes that you would note in various sections of the page.
Looks like the extra graphics are gone again in this version, so its possible that the extra graphics are actually scoring lower and that “nothingness” is winning out.

Ok, so the next question you’re going to ask is
“What software did you use and how much did it cost you?”

Well, that’s a great question.
So how does FREE sound?

That’s right, I simply used a free tool compliments of Google called “Google Web Optimizer”.

Just go out to www.google.com/analytics
and log in using your Adwords credentials.

If you don’t already have a google account, you can sign up here as well.

Ok, let’s get logged in.

In Google web optimizer, you create what are called “experiments”, which are the multivariate tests that you setup for your website.

As you can see here I have a few experiments showing, but only one is active.  
The other two are abandoned first attempts while I figured out how to use it.

Here are the current stats for each section of my web page that I have set up for testing.

Each section here shows what percentage of the time they were used when a sale was made.

Pretty useful when you want a quick overview of what is working and what isn’t.

This way you can continue giving the non producing areas additional tweaking to get every thing up to peak performance.

There’s literally thousands of combinations that your website will display automatically when visitors come to your site.

Ok, Now let’s take a look at my conversion stats for the month of July.

I started this around July 5th so my conversion rates are showing for just over a month.  
To track your sales, you set up what are called “goals” and then paste some javascript into your thank you page.

I forgot to add in my Goal Values, so they are showing zero… d’oh!

Normally you would put in your net profit here and then it will calculate your visitor value if I understand it correctly.

Let’s take a closer look at the stats so far.

As you can see, I didn’t put much effort into traffic generation this month, but my converation rates are pretty decent.

My average conversion rate for the month is calculating at 4.37%

Let’s click on the more detailed chart.

Here you can see that I started july at 4.50% and the multivariate testing has cranked my current standing to 9%.

Not too shabby if I don’t say so myself.

With an impressive 9% conversion rate, I could confidently employ paid traffic strategies, if I chose to do so.

Just as an FYI, there are premium multivariate software packages packed with other great features as well for getting even greater accuracy.

For example, I’ve used for quite some time, a product called KaizenTrack.

It’s a little pricey… around $500 that last time I checked, but well worth it.

Another excellent multivariate software is “MuVar“, created by James Brausch.  
Right now, MuVar is only selling for $100!  This is because MuVar 2008 is about to be discontinued.

From what I’ve read, MuVar is a kick-butt multivariate software, and it will even calculate your visitor value for you as well.

Well, now there’s no excuse for not tracking your results.

Testing and refining are vital components to getting the most out of your internet business.

If you ignore this step, you’re leaving thousands on the table in lost income.

Besides that, how would any potential JV partner take you seriously if you didn’t even know your own conversion rates for your products?

Also remember, that you don’t have to have your own product line to use this.

If you’re an affiliate marketer, you should be testing your affiliate landing pages as well.

So if you’re not testing your pages, what are you waiting for?
Jump out to google.com/analytics and get started now.

Copywriting The Right Way Vs The Scary Way

I was perusing Terry Dean’s online business blog today and happened across a hilarious post called “Do You Have HyperCopyitis? ”  It’s not only funny, but it really drives home a point that is so prevalent in copywriting all over the net.

In a very witty way, Terry points out how such an overwhelming number of sales letters are so hyped up that it’s pathetic.  For example, the typical Paypal or Clickbank statements showing thousands of dollars a minute being cranked out because of their super secret system.  Yeah right… I always suspect, whether right or wrong, that those kinds of images are Photoshopped.

Other typical things like the yellow highlighter in every other paragraph, the eighty kazillion exclamation points scattered throughout the copy, and the endless run-on sentences which exhaust your breath, much like the one you’re reading now. 😛

The main point, I believe, that Terry is making in his post is that many copywriters, or those of us who write our own copy, fail to connect with our target audience.

These hyped up sales letters have all the “cool” emotional trigger words, the neat little graphics, the fancy buy button with the cool check box (Yes Jack! Count me in!!!) next to it.  You can hype your product to sound like the biggest thing since sliced bread, but are you really relating to your prospect, or just shouting at him… Buy! Buy! Buy it nowwww!!!

Suppose instead of talking at your visitors, we connected with them instead?  Hmmm.  Imagine  empathizing with your visitors instead.  Gently and indirectly persuading them that your product is just the perfect fit to solve the problem they have.  Not because you jammed your offer down their throat, but because they drew their own conclusions based on how you connected with them.   Because you kept them hanging on to your every word, as one paragraph leads to the next, guiding them down a pathway straight to the buy button.

Terry Dean has interviewed Shaune Clarke, a copywriter who emotionally connects with his audience without gimmicks, exaggeration, or swipe files, as Terry puts it.

What’s even more amazing to me is that Terry Dean has done a 70 minute interview with Shaune Clarke revealing some of his most valued secrets.  This is an amazing interview which is in mp3 format AND transcribed into a .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) file as well, so that you can refer to either format!

How much you ask?  Only $10… You know I jumped on this one!  Terry Dean is known as one of the good guys & when you buy from Terry, you’ll always get amazing value.  This is easily the best $10 I’ve ever spent and you can bet I’ll be modifying my own web copy to test the results.

Edit Update Terry Dean informed me (in this post’s comments) that the Interview with Shaune Clarke is now at $15.  As I elaborated in my follow-up comment,  this is $15 well spent many times over.  Even if you have to skip that pizza & coke with your buddies, or pawn that guitar, get this valuable information now.  The price may go up again soon.

Don’t let the affiliate link at the end of the post fool you.  I was really inspired by & believe in this product.  In fact, if you don’t wish to use my affiliate link, then simply go out to http://www.terrydean.org and buy it direct.

If you want to find out more about this, just click on my semi-blatant affiliate link now.