Traffic is the life blood of the web, without it there would be no web. So it goes without saying that all online businesses need traffic.
It is a common misconception especially among those new to digital marketing or online business that if you provide good content and or a good product/service that traffic will be easy and people will just arrive on your doorstep.
The sad truth is that traffic generation is something that all online business must come to terms with and assign time and or budget to.
An entire industry has developed around providing traffic to online businesses, unfortunately many of the traffic sources can be down right disappointing. That’s why I created this report, I want to help those looking to build their business find the hottest traffic sources.
Just before we kick off the top five hottest traffic sources a word of warning that traffic that seems too good to be true usually is 🙂 That’s why this top 5 stays with the most popular and trustworthy sources only!
#5 BANNER AND DISPLAY ADVERTS
Some say that banner and display adverts are dead or never really worked! Well they are right but ONLY if you’re looking in the WRONG places!
When most people decide to try banner advertising they look for a broker where they can choose from many websites to place their banners on. It seems like good logic but it’s why banner adverts don’t work for most. Websites that are part of these banner networks have made their customers immune to adverts due to the large number and type of advertisers they display for.
Another reason these brokers don’t work out is because they take their cut (they have to make money). This reduces the impressions (exposure to visitors) of your advert compared to a deal with an individual website.
Doing things the manual way really is the way to go with banner advertising. Head to Google and search for big blogs in your niche, some will have links in the footer or near existing banners on how to place a banner on their website. Just because the website doesn’t have a banner on it, it doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be open to doing a deal. Find a contact form or email address and ask… You’ve nothing to lose.
If you don’t have a banner for your product you can always go to fiverr.com and get a nice banner created. If you’re marketing an affiliate product most good affiliates provide banners of all shapes and sizes.
By cutting out the brokers and doing a deal directly with a high traffic website in your niche banners can become a great source of high quality traffic!
#4 EMAIL AND SOLO ADVERTS
Solo adverts are when the owner of an email list sends an email to that list on behalf of an advertiser. This can have many advantages, if for example the people on the list know, like and trust the sender they are likely to be more trusting of your product or service due to the reputation of the sender. With solo adverts there’s no need for design or development just good copyrighting skills.
Like banners, solo ads are viewed much the same due to the over use of brokers and has left them with a reputation as a low quality traffic source. By going directly to influencers in your niche or market you can get great results from solo adverts. By cutting out the middle man and selecting who you advertise with the cost goes down and the quality goes up.
#3 SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Search Engine Optimization has been around as long as search engines. A few years ago it was the best way to get traffic and for the most part it was 100% free. The good times ended after Google started making changes to their search algorithm to prevent people from gaming the system.
At the start it only impacted those using very spammy techniques to promote their content but with each update Google has become more strict. SEO at the moment isn’t a sure thing with many different opinions on what works and what doesn’t.
I use a number of automated tools to build links but these must be used carefully and never on your main website. Using techniques like tiered linking can help build authority to links to help search rankings.
A sure thing that doesn’t work is just creating great content and expecting it to promote itself. Link building is still vital for any website to grow in the search rankings.
There is so much that I would love to cover on SEO but don’t have the time here.
#2 YOUTUBE VIDEOS
YouTube.com is the second biggest search engine in the world, second only to Google (who owns YouTube). Getting to the top of search ranking in Google can be very hard but imagine if you could just upload content and get to the top of the search rankings? Well in a way with YouTube you can.
None of the expense related to SEO (domains, hosting etc.) is required to have a video on YouTube yet the same amount of traffic is achievable. The fact that video takes more effort to produce than just text has put off a lot of marketers which has left more opportunity for those willing to diversify.
Using an average smart phone it is possible to make a good quality ‘talking head’ video, people relate very well to people on video so this can product good quality traffic to your offer. For those of us who shy away from the limelight other options include animation software which is cheap and easy to use or even screen capture software with a PowerPoint presentation which can be done at no cost!
Some would say that YouTube is in fact the best traffic source and I do agree when it comes to free and paid traffic generation but YouTube is owned by Google so to advertise on YouTube you need to go through Adwords. Google Adwords have very strict rules for landing pages, video content and entire websites that your YouTube ads point to. If you’ve ever tried to become and remain compliant then you know how hard it is. For this reason alone YouTube miss out on the title of the Best Traffic Source.
Facebook has been one of the best traffic sources for most digital marketers over the last few years, other sources of traffic have gotten closer to the domination Facebook ads have had in the last while but for the moment Facebook still remains the easiest and most cost effective way for digital marketers to reach their audience.
Before I get into Facebook ads there are a number of ways to generate free traffic from Facebook, I wouldn’t classify them as ‘hot’ but it is a no cost option and worthy of mention. The most popular being posting into Facebook groups, when done wrong this can produce negative results but when done the right way it can produce quality leads. There are a number of less known techniques like authority or opportunity commenting but I won’t get into that now.
In 2014 Facebook ads were simply the best way to get highly targeted traffic for an online business but Facebook have made some major changes to the way you can target customers. The really good times are over but it is still the best platform for highly targeted leads.
With Facebook ads you can target people who:
- Have an interest in your niche
- Live in a certain area
- Speak a certain language
- Are between specific ages
- Specific gender
I have left out a vast number of criteria but as you can see the targeting can be very advanced. With all this power comes the cost of Facebook ads. Facebook is not the cheapest platform to advertise on with quality leads often costing a lot. There are lots of techniques for getting much cheaper traffic (1c clicks) but this traffic is exactly that… Cheap.
If you have a very specific target market for your product or service then Facebook takes the randomness or guess work out of marketing that can be involved in other marketing strategies (cough…SEO). If your product or service is for everybody then a strategy like SEO has far more reach for a fraction of the cost.