My budget is tight, what’s the best bang for my buck getting more traffic to my website?
Author: Chris Thomas on 9th November 2009
Traffic. It’s the blood that courses through your website’s veins.
But there’s good traffic and there’s bad traffic, and anyone can get a bucket load of crappy traffic. All you have to do is wander over to Google and type in “buy traffic” then pick a site and spend a few hundred dollars buying tens of thousands of visitors a month!
I can tell you now; you might as well pass the time at home setting fire to $100 bills (unless you need to get banner ad impressions up!). While the stats in your analytics package will look impressive, the needle on your website goals (sales, conversions, newsletter sign ups) won’t have moved an inch. That’s because the traffic you buy (through expired domain redirection – and a host of other ‘shady’ pop under tricks) isn’t targeted.
You’ll probably melt your server too, so be warned.
But be my guest, knock yourself out. Try it for yourself!
So what’s good traffic?
Good traffic is targeted traffic (it’s a mantra, so keep saying it over and over again). It makes up the second pillar of online marketing, no matter how big or small you are.
1. A good product or service.
2. Targeted traffic.
3. A website that converts.
Targeted traffic comes from a search engine, a Google Ad, Facebook Fan page, Twitter, other referring sites and bookmarks.
So frankly speaking, I’m not interested in pure numbers, I like to see the best quality traffic hit your site because it has the highest chance of converting.
Works every time.
Top tips for cheap traffic building:
1. SEO – can take time, but if you get it right and are patient enough, high rankings in search engines will provide lots of traffic for many years to come.
2. Affiliate Marketing – not for everyone, but affiliate marketing can deliver free and targeted traffic into your site and you only need to pay someone for it once a conversion has occurred. It can also be a useful link building tool for SEO as (if you’ve set it up properly) each link on affiliate site can create link popularity.
3. Google AdWords – yes you need to pay, but if you’re keeping an eye on your ROI (conversions versus AdWords spend) then it’s worth every penny.
4. Social Media – Facebook fan pages can drive a lot of traffic to your site, and the more fans you get, the more traffic you’ll probably receive too. It takes a lot of work, but can be well worth it in the long run. Really great info on how to build a Facebook community here.
5. Twitter – some of our clients are receiving a lot of traffic from Twitter. Build your list of followers, make awesome, compelling tweets and link those tweets to your website. Slow going in the beginning, but can be worth it in the long run. You could also explore advertising on Twitter – try www.ad.ly – and have your ‘tweet’ message forwarded (and to some extent, endorsed) to 675,000 of Nicole Richie’s Twitter followers! One guy recently made $15,000 in a month using Ad.ly. Scary.
6. Secondary Networks – Getprice, myshopping, get your product list up on these sites and get quite cheap, targeted traffic.
7. Don’t forget offline – Display your web address on your car, business card, letter head, email sig and press releases you might send out.
8. Web 2.0 (remember that?) – Any content you create from a blog post to a new article – Digg it, Stumble it, Delicious it, Reddit, etc.
Obviously outsourcing much of the above to an agency will make things more expensive, and if you have the time then that’s sometimes the only cost involved. What’s the price of time spent with the kids?
I’ll leave that for you to decide.
Chris Thomas heads Reseo, a search engine optimisation company which specialises in creating and maintaining Google AdWords campaigns and Search Engine Optimisation campaigns for a range of corporate clients.
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