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.
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.
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!