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So you’re looking for more traffic or visitors to your site. How do you determine the right strategy for you?
Below are some questions to ask yourself so you can put together what’s right for your specific business.
1. Do you need traffic now (or sooner yet, like yesterday)? If you need immediate traffic then the choice is easy. Start running pay-per-click ads. That’s the fastest way to get traffic to your site. (Those are the ads that show up on the right-hand side when you do searche.)
If, however, you can wait for traffic, then you might want to consider doing some warm traffic strategies, such as Web 2.0 tactics (blogs, articles, press releases, social networking sites, podcasts, etc.) The good things about those tactics is they’re either free or low-cost. They also bring warm leads and visitors to your site (unlike the pay-per-click, which brings you colder leads, more about that later). But they do take time, both time to see results and time for you to set them up. So that’s why if you need traffic now, then you need to go the paid route.
However, you can do a combination of paid and unpaid — paid traffic until the other, warmer, low-cost and free traffic strategies kick in.
2. Are you selling something relatively complicated, such as services or information products, or is it something easy to understand, like a toaster? If you’re selling services or products that need a certain amount of explaining, then you may want to do more of the free and low-cost methods. Why? Because many of the free and low-cost methods are based on either information or building relationships (or both). You want your visitors to be interested in what you have to sell and interested in working with YOU. That will make the buying process go much smoother. A little 3-line pay-per-click ad can’t do all of that.
However, if you’re selling something like toasters, pay-per-click works well. Why? Because people already know what a toaster is, know they want to buy one, and all they’re looking for is the right model at the right price. That’s easy to get across in a pay-per-click ad.
3. Are you a master at writing copy that gets people to buy and converting visitors to customers? Okay, clearly this is key no matter how you’re getting visitors to your site. But consider this — pay-per-click traffic is pretty cold. What I mean by cold is these are people who don’t know you at all. They’re responding to an ad they see in a search engine (not even on a Web site or a publication they read), and it’s a very short ad at that. They have no idea who you are, what you’re selling, if you’re any good at what you do, if you’re credible and if your product or service will do what you say it does.
Therefore, when these cold visitors end up on your site, you have a lot of work to do on that page. You have to not only get them to know, like and trust you (at least enough so at the very least you get an email address out of the encounter) plus you have to prove to them that the product or service you’re selling is going to solve their problems.
This isn’t easy. Even for people who are professionals at it. So if this isn’t something you’re an absolute master at, I would say either think twice about doing it or hire someone who is a master to help you out.
Now, consider this scenario. If you have people coming to your site who already have some idea who you are, like what they hear and are interested in finding out more, then your job to turn them into paying customers just got a whole lot easier. Warm visitors, or a warm list of prospects, will respond much more favorably to your sales messages. They’re also more forgiving. The sales letters may not have to be absolutely perfect for you to get a decent conversion rate. That’s because they already know, like and trust you (and people buy from those they know, like and trust) so all you have to do is match what you’re selling to their needs.
Now, here’s one more thing to consider. Even people who are masters at the pay-per-click and master converters still incorporate other traffic strategies into their marketing. Why? Because it’s a smart thing to do. First of all, they’ll end up making more money overall because all these tactics work well together. (And if they have a sales letter that has a high conversion with cold prospects, conversion rates should be that much higher when the prospects are warm.) Plus, it’s also never a wise idea to put all your eggs in one basket. You should diversify your traffic methods whenever possible. After all, you never know when one avenue is going to disappear, and if all your traffic is based on that one tactic, then you’re entire business is at stake.
That said, I don’t want any of you to panic because you don’t have a variety of traffic strategies in place yet. Instead, pick one traffic tactic to focus on (use the above questions to get some idea on what that should be). Once you get that one down, pick a second one. And so on. Before you know it, you’ll have lots of traffic swarming to your site.