Essential traffic methods for Internet Marketers
We all need traffic to our sales and squeeze pages or we don’t survive, its as simple and straightforward as that.
Now there is no such thing as FREE TRAFFIC even though it comes from the search engines free listings because there is always an element of time taken to apply the methods and set up strategies to get this moving.
This section will cover the most common forms of paid advertising, you should also be very aware of the costs and more importantly how costs can quickly escalate if you have not set up a campaign correctly with a cap on daily spend.
You don’t have to pay to advertise your website and bring traffic to it. In fact, there are a number of methods, namely social media related, that enable you to drive traffic to your website for free which I introduce in the free traffic section.
However, free of monetary investment doesn’t truly mean free. Something many Internet marketers forget is that time also equals money. If you’re starting out on a small budget, you’re going to have to invest more time to get your business off the ground, but at some point, the time you spend becomes just as valuable, if not more so than the actual money you’re “saving” by using free traffic methods.
You’ll have to decide what the trade off is for you, and whether or not you can really afford to invest money into advertising.
Another point worth mentioning as i eluded to in my introduction about free traffic is, you’ll likely have to spend a great deal more time before you will see results that make a difference. Though paid traffic won’t necessarily have instantaneous results, it generally produces quicker results than by using paid traffic alone.
Ideally, paid traffic is the best option to really get the business up and running. For people who have a limited budget, it is best to use a combination of free and paid methods to get the best results in the shortest amount of time.
Paid Traffic Methods
This section of the report is the most valuable to you. Even if you don’t have the intention of running paid traffic campaigns right away, understanding the various methods, their advantages, and how to use them will be key to your business planning and preparations as you grow.
Solo ads are stand-alone advertisements that are sent out to subscribers on an email list in a specific niche. This is a good way to reach a lot of people at once, without spending a lot of money.
A great tool for finding solo ads that will work for your business is: Safe Swaps. This is a service designed to connect people looking for ad space to those who have the ad space to offer. The service is verified and helps protect you against scams, which is why I recommend you use it compared to going out on your own and finding individuals.
You can start with a free “Guest” account, and reach out to people who accept guest ad swaps. There’s a “Prime” membership status that runs for $29.99/month, with discounts for purchasing more than one month at a time. The paid account status opens up more possibilities for solo ad exchanges, and is what I typically recommend.
You’ll be able to look for people in your niche offering advertising to their customers. For this to be effective, zero in on your niche as closely as possible, so you’ll have a higher chance of conversion once the ad goes out. The specifics of your campaign, such as price and number of views, etc. will vary from buyer to buyer.
Banner advertising is also a common method of driving traffic to a website. In this type of advertising, you use a graphic banner placed on another person’s website to help drive traffic to your own.
For banner advertising to be effective, your banner ads must be placed on highly trafficked, niche specific websites, where you know people will see them. What you’ll be paying for is the placement of your ads on websites.
The best way to handle this is to sign up with a banner advertising service, like AdClickMedia, to control where your ads go, and the number of clicks you’ll be paying for.
It also prevents the chance of being scammed, when compared to going out and looking for websites to exchange banner ads with on your own. Since this is also pay-per-click, you won’t be paying for ad impressions that don’t result in people going to your website.
When evaluating, make sure your ads are placed “above the fold” or where someone can see them without having to scroll on a website. This will enable greater visibility, which increases the chances of your campaign’s success.
To ensure your banner advertisement is effective, make sure they are aesthetically pleasing, and are sent to a landing page you can track for conversion rates. If you’re not a graphic designer, consider finding a freelancer who can design a set of banner ads for you.
Google AdWords is a popular pay-per-click (PPC) advertising option. Using this brings traffic to your website, by displaying a small ad next to the search engine results, along the sidebars, of the keywords you bid for. Your ad may also be displayed on relevant websites participating in the Google AdSense service, where they receive money every time their ads are clicked.
You will not pay unless your ad is clicked, so you’re not spending money on ads that aren’t going to bring people to your website.
In order for this type of campaign to be useful, you’ll need to choose keywords that are very closely related to your niche/product/service, and choose a specific landing page to send your clickers to.
If your keyword selection is not ideal, then you’ll be paying for clicks that will not convert to sales for you. Typically, you’ll spend money for a few days before really seeing any progress, so you’ll need to be prepared to run this campaign for at least a couple of weeks, if not a month.
The good thing about using Google AdWords is, you can pick your keywords, and see how much each click will cost you, before you start running your campaign. You can also set a maximum daily budget, so you’ll never spend more than you can afford.
Google will run your ads on those keywords until your daily budget is reached, and then stop until the following day. Keep a good eye on your campaign, so you can determine whether you need to adjust your keywords before you spend too much money. If you notice it doing really well, then you may want to consider increasing your budget, to boost it that much further.
Google AdWords will also provide their own internal tracking system from within your account, so you can see how well your ads are performing, and how many clicks the ads are bringing you. Then, you can compare it with your own analytics data to see how well the campaign is working for you.
Your campaign will not start running until you’ve put a payment method in your account, so Google can automate billing. You can start and stop campaigns whenever you want, and you can save them for later.
Your hosting company may offer a certain amount of free credit after you’ve spent money on your campaign. Check you hosting control panel to see if you’re eligible for any of these offers.
Bing Ads is another type of PPC campaign, but instead of using the Google search engine use the Bing search engine. Though Bing doesn’t quite have the traffic Google does, it is a close competitor, and it is a good idea to make use of both of them if you can.
If you can’t decide which one to use, take a look at your website analytics and see which search engine is bringing more traffic to your website through organic search. If you see more traffic coming from Bing, opt for Bing ads over Google AdWords.
It works the same way as Google AdWords in the sense that you can pick your keywords, write your ads, set a budget, and only pay for ads when they are clicked. To make things easier, you can either import your Google AdWords campaign into Bing Ads, or you can start from scratch
Using both Google AdWords and Bing Ads is a good way to approach your split testing, to see which ads perform better. We’ll talk more about split testing in the next section.
Warrior Special Offers: WSOs
Warrior Special Offers, also known as WSOs are useful if you’re already actively using the Warrior Forum, a popular forum for Internet marketers. There’s a specific forum thread on Warrior Forum for this purpose.
All you have to do is pay $40 to run your ad, and you will start to see traffic to your website, sometimes within minutes of the ad going live on the Warrior Forum website.
In order for this form of advertising to be effective, your product or service must be useful to other Internet marketers. For example, Internet marketers are always looking for ways to reduce their content costs without comprising quality.
Anything that helps other marketers bring in traffic, make their website design/maintenance easier, etc. is usually a safe bet.
If you’re offering an affiliate program, or something you think other marketers may be interested in promoting with you, it may be a good idea to post it here.
The key here is a well-written ad. You’ll need a catchy title to entice people to click on your thread. There are plenty of ads posted on Warrior Forum every day, and yours will not stay at the top for long, though after it reaches a certain point, you can pay and have your ad bumped to the top again.
Once people click on your forum thread, you’ll need to write good sales copy to really sell your product or service, making sure to offer them an exclusive, Warrior-only deal, to sweeten the pot.
Facebook advertising is a great way to make use of social media to help drive traffic, especially if your fan page is just getting started and you want to increase activity there, too.
Facebook advertising programs work similarly to Google AdWords and Bing Ads, in the sense that you can control your budget on a daily basis, as well as see reports to determine how well the ads are doing. However, there are some significant differences in the way these campaigns work, because you have a few different options.
- Increase Page “Likes”
- Promote Page “Posts”
See Advanced Options
With the “increase page ‘likes’” option, you can choose the page you want to promote, create your ad, and choose where you want the click to send the person to (timeline, photos, or any other page “tab” you may have).
You can also include “Sponsored Stories” in people’s newsfeeds, for example: “Jane Doe likes “Your Page Name Here” for no additional cost.
With the “promote page ‘posts’” option, you can choose a certain post to promote on your page. You also have the option to leave it at a certain post, or to continuously keep your ad up-to-date with the most recent post.
With the “see advanced options”, you can set your Facebook ads to run on a cost per click (CPC), or cost per thousand impressions (CPM). This means you can either pay every time the ad is clicked, or for every time the ad is displayed on a page, rather than clicked.
Typically, you’ll pay less for each time the ad is served when you’re opting to pay for CPM, but you’re not as likely to see those convert than you are to see them convert when you pay for the click.
However, you are required to pay for the click, regardless of whether or not it converts to a page “like.” This is no different than paying for a click on a Google or Bing ad, regardless of whether that click converts to a paying customer.
The main difference between Google and Bing Ads and Facebook ads is that instead of selecting keywords to display the ads on, you’ll be choosing the audience you want to expose your ad to.
You choose the:
- Location: Country, State, City, Zip code
- Precise interests
- Broad interests
Connection to your page: You can show this only to people who are already connected to your page in some way, such as only people who already connected your page, only people who are not already connected to your page, or people who are targeted to certain topics, events, and friends of current connections.
You can also choose people to advertise to based on who they are interested in, their relationship status, their language, their education interested in, their relationship status, their language, their education status, and their workplace, if you opt to use advanced targeting techniques.
You can choose to constantly run your campaign starting on the day you create it (once it’s approved by Facebook, which generally takes about 24 hours) or you can set a finite date range to run the campaign.
I advise you to get as specific as possible for your niche. Though with each segment you specify, the total number of people decreases, you’re getting more targeted, which means you have a greater chance of converting the people who do see your advertisement.
How to Make Your Campaigns Profitable
When you run paid traffic campaigns, it is important to run them with a plan. Obviously running your campaigns at a higher daily budget will make it possible to pay for more clicks, but if you’re paying for clicks that aren’t amounting to anything, you’re not going to get anywhere.
If you’re not getting a decent ROI, then the money you’re investing becomes a waste. To ensure your campaigns are profitable, you should be engaging in split testing to see which copy/design converts better, and you should be tracking your results. Only when you start seeing good results, should you consider increasing your budget to increase exposure.
Split testing, also known as A/B testing, is a method of testing what works better for your business.
For websites, it splits the traffic in half, sending part of the traffic to one or more variants of the pages in the site, and sending the other half to a different variation.
This helps you to see how people are behaving, and determine whether the copy/design elements/placement of certain things works better on one option vs. another.
You can do this with your ads, by slightly varying your ad copy for one set of keywords and using a different variation for another set of keywords. Then, you can set the landing pages for each ad to be slightly different version of each other, so you can see which set of keywords is doing better for which landing page.
Then, you can switch them around to determine whether it is the ad copy, the keywords, or the landing page that is affecting conversion rates.
You can do split testing with one variation at a time to make it easier to see what is making the impact, or you can do multivariate testing to determine the best possible combination within a shorter amount of time. However, with multivariate testing, you need a considerable amount of website traffic to get accurate results.
For those starting out, run two landing pages across the same ads. Then, run the same two landing pages against a different set of ads. Look at website analytics to determine what did better.
Run the landing page that did the best with the opposite ads. Did it still perform well? If not, it’s the ad. If so, then it’s the landing page.
Split Testing.com offers free split testing. You can use it to split test anything, from the fonts you’re using, to pricing, copy, forms, colours, and images and layout. If you’re having trouble analyzing the results and figuring out what to change, the team at Split Testing can help, but you will be charged a fee for this service.
In order to determine which split is performing best in your split testing efforts and how well your ad campaigns are working, it is important to make use of website analytics.
While your ads campaigns will have their own tracking to show which keywords are producing the most clicks, you have to go to your own website to see what those clicks are doing for your business directly.
A good way to do this is with Google Analytics. It’s a free service, and is easy to use. All you need to do is sign up for an account, and copy the tracking code it gives you, into your website’s header code. If you use WordPress, there are plugins that assist with this. Many premium themes include a place for the code to go, without requiring you to use a plugin.
Google Analytics also integrates with Google AdWords, so you can track your campaign there, as well. You can see how much you’ve spent, what keywords you’re doing well on, and more.
Bing does not have their own Bing Analytics tool like this, but Google has added Bing to their analytics, so you should be able to tell what’s working from within your analytics dashboard. However, Bing appears to currently be working on an analytics product, as well.
When looking at your analytics data, look for the traffic coming to your landing pages. Set a different landing page for each campaign to determine which campaigns are working.
Look at the bounce rate, and length of time on site. If you have a high bounce rate, this means people are not spending a lot of time on your website, for any number of reasons:
- They’re not finding what they’re looking for.
- Your site is taking too long to load.
- Your copy isn’t converting well.
Also take time to look at their exit pages. Are they taking time to look around at other pages on your site, or are they leaving straight from the landing page? If you see that people aren’t sticking around, try making adjustments to design and page copy using split testing, to see what that does.
Keep making adjustments until you start to see a low bounce rate, with a higher amount of time spent on site.
When you set links on your own site to open in a new window, this causes Google to “reset” their timer. Keep links to pages within your own site set to open in the same window, so Google Analytics can get a more accurate measure of time spent on site.
Other paid traffic to consider but not until you have had some solid results from the more main stream methods described above are,
Online Media Buying
In the Internet marketing world, “media buying” most often implies display advertising (banners, aka image ads). However, online media buying can include pop-ups, email, text links, video ads, widgets, and other new media.
Warning: Even the paid traffic experts lose a lot of money on most campaigns before making money. You have to have some liquidity to be able to play at this level, AND I do not recommend attempting it until you have studied it in more depth.
CPV (Cost Per View)
Also known as PPC (Pay per view), CPV is another pricing model used in media buying. Most commonly used for pop-ups. Also for some video ads, toolbar ads, and ads that appear in software and computer games.
Pre-rolls, mid-rolls, post-rolls, overlays, etc.
Prerolls are the most common right now. Viewers hate them, but they’ve proven to be effective (perhaps 10-20X higher CTR than banners). Mostly sold using a CPM price model, but you will find some PPC, PPV, and CPA.
Or you can deal directly with video publishers who post videos on their own websites and/or 3rd party hosts such as Youtube.
Do NOT even consider spamming or buying a bunch of email addresses.
-Place ads in existing email newsletters
-Solo ads (much more effective than smaller ads) and described in more detail above
Important tip: For ALL endorsements and sponsorships (via video, blog, social media, email, etc) make sure you follow the FTC guidelines. Paid endorsements/sponsorships must be disclosed.
So whilst this is not a list of every paid mrthod around it broadly covers the main stream offers.
Paid ads can lose you a lot of money. Always proceed with caution and never embark on any size of campaign without first having evidence that the campaign will work based on a previous test or trial.