We all need traffic. It's the life-blood of an online business. But what are the best ways to drive targeted traffic directly to your website? Here are 7 great tips to help you decide.
1. Offline advertising = Online profits
Whatever you're trying to sell online will most likely link to a relevant or appropriate media section offline. For example, if you're selling bicycles from your website, there will undoubtedly be a suitable offline magazine, in which you can place an ad. The purpose of the ad is not to sell your products, but to get prospects to visit your website. So your ad need only consist of a few lines, which should work out to be quite inexpensive.
Your bicycle ad could read like this: Looking for a new bicycle? We stock a huge range at discount prices and can deliver within 48 hours. To learn more visit our website. www. bicycles4u.com - Your ad could be placed in cycle mags, sports magazines or even national and local newspapers. Wherever you think your most likely prospects will look for your products or services offline is a means to getting them to go online.
2. Press releases for the inquiring minds
Some people just have to know what's new, what's in and what's out. To stay ahead in this information age, online and offline press releases can offer newsworthy titbits that could even be picked up by the national press. If you're just starting out in your online business, launching a new product or creating a new service, people will want to know about it.
If this is something you haven't done before, take a look at some existing press releases by going to Google and typing 'press releases' into the search field. Once you get the idea, write out your press release, including your contact details and website URL, then go back to Google and type in 'press agencies'. Most will charge you for this service but your press release could get maximum coverage on and off the internet.
3. Opt-in mailing lists
Opt-in mailing lists can provide one of the most effective means of generating repeat business from your existing customer base. If your customers have bought from you once and that buying experience was satisfactory, there's a very good chance they will buy from you again because they trust you. Capture emails by encouraging your customers to sign up for your newsletter or other promotional information.
Alternatively, you could rent an opt-in email list. A carefully worded e-mail message to people who have expressed an interest in receiving further information about your products or services could lead to extra sales, but be prepared to pay a princely sum.
4. Getting your message delivered direct to your customers
For as long as anyone can remember, direct mail has been one of the most effective and profitable forms of marketing ever. Many people have made millions from direct mail and it's still as successful today as it was 50 years ago. It's also relatively easy and inexpensive. First, create a single page introductory sales letter or brochure, detailing you products or services and all the benefits. For maximum effect, offer your new customers a discount or something for free, when they first purchase from your website.
Don't forget, you want them to visit your website, so give them more than a good reason to do so. Next, rent a targeted mailing list from a reputable list broker. There are lists available, which cover every conceivable geographic and demographic statistic, so whatever business you're in, there will be one that's suitable for you. Send out your 'invitations' and wait for your hit counter to melt.
5. Referral marketing
This is a simple strategy of referring your own customers to a related but non-competitive website in return for them doing the same for you. Let's say you are selling printers. Find some quality sites that sell printer inks and contact the webmaster. Ask them if they would be willing to send their traffic to you in return for you doing the same for them. Most will agree. Between you, you will have to decide whether to display an ad on each other's site or go for a written recommendation.
Either way, it will increase the chances of you getting more traffic to your site because you have been recommended. You could seek out many related websites and have numerous streams of traffic coming directly to you.
6. Traffic merchants
Paying a company to send traffic to your website is an easy option, so long as the traffic is targeted. There are many companies who specialize in selling traffic. You could say they are traffic traffickers. They use all forms of online advertising to get people to visit your website and usually guarantee the numbers. At around $20 for 10,000 visitors, it certainly looks tempting.
Although there are many merchants to choose from, beware the scamsters operating in this market. Some will take your money and put your ad on a Free For All (FFA) website, leaving you to deal with hundreds or thousands of spam emails from everyone and their dog trying to sell you their products. A good place to start would be SafePartner.com. They offer a variety of packages and are very affordable. TrafficCircuit.com is another company offering this service but charge a little more. However, they offer tracking services, so you can see where the traffic comes from. If you're into stats, you may find this service very useful.
7. Affiliate programs
You just can't afford to ignore affiliate programs. Getting other people to sell your products for a commission is a tried and tested, successful and very rewarding exercise. It doesn't work very well if you're selling a service, but it's overwhelmingly awesome for shifting your product range. The best part is, once set up it works on automatic pilot. All you have to do then is monitor its success, because affiliates do all the work for you. They advertise your products and send the traffic to your website to buy them.
Another thing is you don't have to pay your affiliates until you've been paid. Plus you save on advertising costs, and the increased activity to your website helps your search engine ranking. There's an array of affiliate program tracking software available to track your sales and commission payouts or if you prefer, you can hire a company to look after all that side of the business for you.
pepperjamManagement.com is one of the most well-known companies around, offering a complete affiliate management solution. If affiliates can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars in commissions, it's got to be a very worthwhile consideration for your business.
There are many ways in which you can get others to sell your products, and there are many ways of finding willing affiliate partners. Affiliate marketing is fast becoming a science.
As you can see, targeted traffic isn't that hard to do but the rewards for your online business will show up in the bank.
About the author:
Jan Peterson founder of www.goldstarreview.comresearches and reviews business opportunities including internet marketing, real estate investing, affiliate marketing, financial investing and more. Over 400 FREE reports available
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