|Copyright 2005 Ron Hutton
If you're feeling a bit of confusion and frustration about how to get visitors to your website and generate more sales, I know exactly how you feel. I felt the same way until I stopped listening to every "big time" marketer that came along with the latest traffic generating trick.
You've got dozens of gurus vying for your attention and every one of them has the solution to all of your problems. Right? The proliferation of messages that promise a traffic explosion using new techniques can become overwhelming.
Take a deep breath.
Sit back in your chair.
Now, if you will focus your energy on a very short list of traffic generation strategies that actually DO work, and commit to continually improving your skills in these few areas, you will be amazed at what you can achieve... WILL achieve.
In part 1 of this article series, we discussed the fact that...
There are only 3 ways to get traffic to your website:
1) Buy it.
2) Borrow it.
3) Steal it.
Since 3 is not an option we're going to consider, that leaves us with "buy it" and "borrow it".
We also talked about the "Holy Grail" of web traffic. What is it? FREE TRAFFIC! I want it. You want it. Every disillusioned internet marketer wants it.
Here's the truth...
It's a myth.
It doesn't exist.
There is no such thing as free website traffic.
We'll resume our discussion where we left off...
In parts 1 and 2 of this series we discussed what your first two priorities should be for buying website traffic (PPC search engines and ezine advertising). Next, let's talk about borrowing traffic.
There are 2 traffic borrowing strategies that we'll talk about here.
1) Search engines.
2) Writing and submitting articles.
There's no disguising the fact that the print books, ebooks and reports written on these two strategies number in the hundreds and even thousands. Therefore, I'll make no attempt to provide comprehensive treatment on either of them.
However, they're both important and worthy of at least a primer. So, let's start with search engines.
If you want to make money with your website today, this week or this year, what is the absolute worst investment of your time?
Search engine optimization.
I know that some marketers don't want to hear this, but it's a fact for some of the reasons stated above and plenty of others. The mathematical (im)probabilities of achieving a top ranking for a search phrase that will result in meaningful traffic that includes buyers is… let's just say the odds aren't in your favor.
There are strategies that work with search engines to drive traffic to websites, but one thing they absolutely do not include is any attempt to optimize a sales page or for that matter an entire website that's designed to convert visitors into customers. The strategies that work with search engines offer them what they crave most, which is content. Perhaps in the future we can discuss this in some detail.
The next big time waster that's closely related to search engine optimization is submitting your website to the search engines. If your site won't be listed in the top 2, 3 or 4 pages of a search engine, nobody's going to see it anyways. This debate rages back and forth even with SEO experts who make their full time living doing nothing but consulting on SEO. Submit? Don't submit?
Following is an excerpt from Jill Whalen's High Ranking ezine. Jill does this stuff full time and she's well respected. I'm including this because it's enlightening. Here we go...
*** BEGIN EXCERPT ***
READER QUESTION: Is manually submitting each site better?
JW: You don't actually need to submit your site at all to search engines -- neither manually nor in an automated fashion. They all have spiders that "crawl" the Web and find all pages that exist, as long as there is a link to them from a page they already know about.
READER QUESTION: Once submitted ...do you keep submitting ...if so how often? (So you don't get kicked out.)
READER QUESTION: The Microsoft submit supposedly submits to hundreds of search engines and directories
JW: It's a waste of time and bandwidth.
READER QUESTION: Is this good or bad (the number of SE's submitted to)
JW: It's neither, just useless.
READER QUESTION: I heard the more the better ...but there are some pretty cheesy search engines out there
JW: "The more the better" is incorrect. There are only 4 major search databases that matter: Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask Jeeves. Their databases power all of the other engines that make a difference.
*** END EXCERPT ***
Interesting, huh? So, let's move on.
Writing and Submitting Articles:
I KNOW that there are talented writers online who have not capitalized on their writing skills yet.
If you're in this group, you need to write and submit articles.
IF YOU'RE NOT IN THIS GROUP, you need to write and submit articles.
You see, nobody is out there grading you. Google does not moralize over your ability (or lack thereof) to write a coherent article. Google will, however, spider the links back to your IBSoftShop if you include it in your article's resource box. The more you do this, the better you'll get.
Writing and submitting articles is a long term approach to generating traffic that you should start right now. Set time aside weekly to consistently get your name and your site's URL out there in various article directories. Can you spare one hour a week? If yes, do this.
I just published an article on this topic titled "How to Vote for Your 0wn Website in the Search Engines." You can read it here: http://www.gothrive.com/articles/vote-for-your-own-website.html
Next, can I save you some time?
Here's a short list of activities and "programs" that will consume your time with very little if any result:
- Start Page Networks
- Exit Traffic Exchanges
- FFA Pages
- Lurking in Forums
There are others too, but who really benefits from a start page network, exit traffic exchange, safelist or FFA page? The person who owns and runs it. They benefit because they get to market to you and you get to market to other people who want nothing other than free traffic. Remember free traffic? Forget it.
You could spend the next year whiling away the hours on free traffic schemes or you could find PPC traffic that will turn your $10 investment into $49.85 in profit and then duplicate this success 10 times, 50 times or 100 times. Which will you choose?
About the author:
Ron Hutton is a 20 year sales and marketing veteran with a passion for coaching and training. Subscribe to "GoThrive Online", for big juicy marketing tips in small, easy-to-chew, bite size servings. 17 Free Cool Tools... http://www.gothrive.com
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