Posted On 23 Sep 2018
Would you like more traffic online? Could your business use more?
Whether you are trying to influence people by attracting them to your views or trying to sell a product or service, it’s important to understand how to get online traffic.
Understanding the big picture is easy, too.
The way to proceed is to consider the different online traffic sources and decide which might work best for you. This post offers an overview of the 13 sources of online traffic.
Once you have selected one, test it for yourself and determine if your investment in time or money is worth the results you receive.
Each can work. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Each can also fail.
First, none is really free. Each requires an investment in time, money, or both.
Second, education is expensive. You might think that trial-and-error is free, but it’s not. It requires an investment of time and energy. If you use it, proceed in small steps (so that mistakes are not too costly) and constantly monitor feedback and make appropriate adjustments.
Usually, it’s much less costly to learn from the successes and failures of others than from your own. I recommend reading articles and books about your topic or market niche as the best initial way to procced.
Since it’s much slower, the second-best way to learn is to watch free training videos about your niche. (We often read 5 or 10 times faster than we speak.)
I also suggest either paying the price to master a traffic source yourself or hiring an expert who has already mastered it.
Situation: Let’s suppose that you have a website that you’d like to receive more traffic. How can you promote its URL (web address)?
There are ordinary activities that can help. For example, when you send an email, have a signature block that includes that URL. If you post a comment to a blog or in a forum, include that URL.
Social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are very popular; they have billions of regular users. If you are one of them, instead of not engaging, leave comments or post photos, images, or videos and ensure that they all link back to your URL.
‘SEO’ abbreviates ‘search engine optimization.’ SEO requires doing things that attract extraordinary attention from search engines like Google or Bing. Search engines try to deliver to users the results they want. They work using algorithms. At least for a while, it’s sometimes possible to trick those algorithms into ranking your content higher than they’d ordinarily be ranked.
CONTENT MARKETING OR SYNDICATION
Seth Godin: “Content marketing is the only marketing left.”
The idea here is to attract people indirectly. Give them content such as words, images, or videos that people value and in return they will give you their attention. (In effect, it’s what I’m doing on this website.)
To be effective, this requires posting at a minimum at least three times daily to your website and to syndicated social media sites. There is software available that can help with this, often by “curating” or replicating the content of others.
Especially if you are promoting a product or service, this can be an effective way to get the word out about it. Begin locally at, say, meetings of local business owners, meet people, and give them your 30-second elevator pitch.
I suggest handing out your business card to ordinary prospects and handing out a copy of your paperback book to hot prospects, which positions you as a generous authority in your field. [The latter tactic is not as expensive or difficult as you might imagine. Cf. HOW TO BECOME HAPPILY PUBLISHED.]
ONLINE-ADS SUCH AS GOOGLE PAY PER CLICK, FACEBOOK, OR YOUTUBE and PRESS RELEASES
Paid advertising and press releases obviously require an advertising budget. If you try this yourself, and it can be very effective, it’s important to get good training on how to do it or hire an expert. Otherwise, it’s very easy to lose money doing it.
Even though many people have developed “banner blindness,” these can still be effective when they are done creatively. They require creativity as well as some technical understanding. Either get good, up-to-date training on how to do it yourself or hire an expert.
Solo ads can work very well. What are they?
They require you to find someone who already has a following or tribe in your area and then paying that person to promote your URL by, for example, sending an email to the members of that following.
They can work quickly and be very effective in terms of their ROI [return on investment] if you understand what you are doing, or they can be costly and not work at all. Again, get good training or hire an expert.
If you publicize it properly, offering a free webinar can attract people to your URL. What’s important is leading with the giving hand. Give some training at no cost that will be free for your audience. Allow them to begin to know, like, and trust you.
Then, perhaps, offer them something for free that will help them in exchange for some of their contact information such as their email addresses. Follow up with additional emails (and an autoresponder can be very helpful) and then promote your URL.
Whether or not you do webinars yourself, you may be able to create bonuses for others who do webinars to give away. You’d be helping those others attract visitors to their webinars and in return they’d be helping you publicize your URL.
For example, if you are a golf pro and your passion is training people how to swing golf clubs correctly, you could offer a free introductory sequence of training videos on how to putt, chip, and drive a golf ball.
If you are not an expert about a subject matter and don’t want to offer webinars yourself, why not contact experts and interview them on a webinar? Experts are generally very enthusiastic about their topics.
You ask them during the webinar questions that beginners ask or should ask. That will benefit the expert because he or she becomes better known. It will benefit anyone engaging in the webinar to understand more about the topic. Furthermore, it will benefit you because some of the expert’s authority will naturally rub off on you – and you’ll be able to pitch your URL.
People crave entertainment. People have short attention spans.
So, it’s not surprising that they typically don’t really want to read books or articles on some subject even if they are somewhat interested in it. They want easy-to-absorb images and short videos that entertain as well as instruct (“edutainment”).
There’s lots of low-cost video production software available. If you don’t want to be on camera doing “talking head” videos yourself, you can do explainer videos or slide-show videos.
You can post videos on your website or to video-sharing sites like YouTube or Vimeo at no cost. If you produce them consistently, you may be able to attract a following of interested viewers.
These are similar to solo ads. Start by seeking out the stars or celebrities in your field. They already have a following. How can you piggy-back on that?
Offer the star something of value in exchange for access to his or her following. Simple. There are multiple ways to give value. If one isn’t successful, try another.
So, there are 13 ways to generate traffic online for your offering.
They all can work. They can all fail. Everything depends upon execution.
[I myself sell content marketing and video marketing services. The price is irrelevant if your ROI is positive. Suppose, for example, that you are very busy running a local business. You pay me $1 to do some marketing for you and your bottom line increases by $1.50 each time you do that. How many dollars would you give me? Simply contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like more information.]