Those who have it thrive and those who don’t, fall to the wayside.
But it’s important that you don’t treat all traffic the same. After more than a billion ad impressions and several million clicks to my sites, I’ve learned that there are good website traffic tactics and bad ones.
I’ve also learned that each traffic strategy has it’s own do’s and don’ts.
You wouldn’t drive PPC traffic to a blog (usually), but for SEO, blogging is precisely what you want to do. There are tons of these little nuances and each of them are crucial to learn.
In this blog post, I’m going to list and describe the top 21 traffic methods I use in my own business.
When I’m finished, you’ll have the ultimate starter guide to getting more website traffic.
I’ve put this one in first place because at the time of writing this article it is my biggest focus, and I strongly feel it is the #1 traffic method anyone can be using right now. You do not need to have your own blog to be a guest blogger either, but it does help.
Basically, you agree to write quality blog posts for other bloggers in exchange for a little “about the author” blurb somewhere in the post.
Ideally, you will want a link to your website, fan page, blog, or whatever you are promoting in your “about” blurb. This is where the traffic comes from. It also helps you with SEO, credibility, and exposure. Which is why I give it the #1 spot.
Something as simple as a short 3-minute video every day on a niche topic overtime will attract hundreds, even thousands of subscribers. Plus, Google is ranking videos really well right now, especially if they’re on YouTube.
All you have to do is research what questions, concerns, and desires your target audience has and post a short video every day or at least every week. Consistency is key because people subscribe to people who they believe can be counted on to keep showing up.
Just like video marketing except most podcasts are in audio format. While they can be video, for the most part people consider podcasts to be weekly updated MP3 channels that you can subscribe too. All you need to start a podcast is recorded MP3 files and an RSS feed, but adding it to iTunes will give you access to a pre-established network.
However, unlike it’s video marketing cousin from above, Podcasts are usually a bit longer. Instead of 3 – 10 minutes long on average, Podcasts are usually 20 – 60 minutes long.
Short reports are a consultant (or coaches) best friend. They give the reader a sample of the knowledge and experience you have and let them “taste” what your advice will be like. Syndicating your ebooks means adding your short reports to ebook directories where people actively search for free ebooks about topics.
This is another free marketing method and can be used by affiliates, info marketers, coaches, and even ecommerce store owners.
This one is mainly for software marketers, but can be adapted for anyone. Basically, a torrent is a little file that tells a network about a free download you have made available.
When people browse for these torrents, they’ll get to download the file you’ve associated with it. This is AWESOME for anyone who wants to get a lot of people downloading their free demo.
It’s free and all it takes is downloading the software to submit your torrent to the directories, creating your torrent file, and submitting it to the networks.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve likely heard about Twitter, Facebook, Digg, and maybe even StumbleUpon. Well that’s just the tip of the iceberg because there are literally hundreds of knock offs and clones just like them.
All of them share the same purpose, to share stuff with communities. If you have a blog post, video, image, or MP3 that you think would be liked by the community at large, then share it and if they like it they’ll share it too.
With a little luck, practice, and elbow grease you could go viral and get massive amounts of traffic for free.
There are actually two different ways to use press releases to get more traffic. The first method is to optimize your press release for the keywords you wish to rank high in Google for, and the second is to generate publicity.
It’s easier to optimize a press release with the right titles, tags, and keywords than it is to write a press release that will get picked up by big time journalists. However, with a little bit of practice (and some tips from me) you will be writing press releases like a pro.
The key is all in how you write the press release. If you want it to rank high in Google, then just optimize the right parts with the right keywords. For publicity press releases it’s all about using the correct format, appearing news worthy, and leading with your best information while delving deeper as you finish out the article.
Creating a blog carnival in your niche can help you strengthen relationships with marketing partners and tap into an awesome new traffic source. You don’t have to be the creator either. You can find blog carnivals that are already running and join them.
These blog carnivals are made up of a group of bloggers blogging about a specific topic in their industry for a pre-determined length of time. Sometimes they are recurring events that happen monthly, quarterly, or yearly. They are fun for the audience because they get to hear from many different people about the topic and fun for the blog owners because they build a new audience.
Joining a blog carnival is easy, just Google niche “blog carnival” but replace the word niche with your blogs topic. Then contact the organizer to ask if there’s room for one more.
These can be really lucrative and really disappointing at the same time. For an adswap to happen, two list owners agreeing to mail out an endorsement to their list for the other persons offer. Usually each person sends the traffic to the other persons squeeze page so they both build their lists even bigger.
The risk is that the other guy’s list might be really unresponsive. Meaning you both might have 2,000 email subscribers and you send him 500 new subscribers but he only sends you 100… Or worse, you could get none at all (which I’ve had happen). It’s important to find people you trust and who will be able to deliver results similar to your own.
Doesn’t just have to be email lists either, could be blog subscribers, or even just a banner placement on each other’s websites.
This is a traffic method that if done right you won’t need any other method. You’ll need to install shopping cart software that allows you to give partners a referral link. When they refer a sale, you give them a percentage of the sale.
If you get good enough at recruiting affiliate partners, they will drive all your website traffic for you. Just provide them with resources and training to help them drive more traffic and they’ll work for you. The best part is that you only pay them after a sale has been made.
If you’re really smart, you’ll recruit affiliates that already have the website traffic you need and work out a deal where they will send some of it over to you in exchange for a commission.
I absolutely love this method! You can get just about anything you want with the power of contest marketing; more RSS subscribers, more sales, more traffic, more backlinks. This is limited only by your creativity and bravery.
All you need to do is offer a prize to the winner and then name the terms of the contest. For example, win an iPad by commenting on this YouTube video, but the winner will be determined by the commenter who gets the most “likes” on his comment. The social proof and buzz that can be built up through a good contest is awesome.
Normally, instead of something usual like an iPad, I use a highly desirable gift to my specific market. Then I give them 3 steps to take; register, promote the contest, and be the best promoter. I’ve done a lot with contests and even helped a friend make over $9,000 launching his 4 week coaching course with a contest.
Search Engine Optimization aka SEO
You’ve most likely heard of this one already but if not, it means to optimize your content so that it shows up first when people search for it. Most people are talking about ranking #1 in Google when they talk about SEO but it can be for any “search engine.” (ex: Yahoo, Bing, Youtube, Facebook, etc. etc.)
Pay-Per-Click Advertising aka PPC
Pay-per-click is another very popular method thanks to the success of the Google Adwords program. This method revolutionized the advertising world with it’s “pay for results only” format. The way it works is you join a PPC network, like Adwords, and bid x amount of cents or dollars per click.
Finally, you choose some keywords that will trigger the display of your ad and when people click on your ad, you are charged for the click while the clicker goes straight to your website. The benefit is you are only paying for traffic that has seen your website.
The secret to PPC is making sure your keywords, ads, and landing pages are very tightly relevant. If not, then the clickers won’t care about your offer. If it is very relevant to them, then they will love your offer.
CPV Advertising aka PPV
Just like it’s cousin, PPC, you only pay when a certain action is taken. With CPV, the action is a view of your ad.
Most CPV advertising works by showing your advertisement as a pop-up or pop-under when someone triggers the targeting options you set in your campaign. Targets are usually web addresses or keywords.
For example, if I wanted to advertise this blog with CPV I could target every other marketing, business, and entrepreneur related blog plus the keywords someone might use to find those blogs. Then my ad would be shown as a pop-up or pop-under to anyone who went to one of those other blogs or typed in the keywords to find one of them.
However, these are not the malicious pop-ups of old, and every user that see’s your ads has given permission to the network to have your ads shown to them (only when relevant to something they are searching for).
Pay-Per-Download aka Pay-Per-Install (PPD or PPI)
Usually, only software sellers use this method, but it can be adapted for use by others. Basically, your ad is shown after someone has downloaded something similar to your product. Then, you are charged if that person also downloads your software/application.
There is a TREMENDOUS amount of traffic available for you with this website traffic strategy, especially if you have an application, widget, or software that people might want to install. For example, the “Turn Off The Lights” extension for Google’s Chrome browser get’s over 37,000 weekly installs. That’s just one app out of thousands!
The app lets users turn down the brightness of their screen for everything surrounding the video they are watching. Imagine if you had an application or software that appealed to people who watched online videos… Think you might be able to get some of them to install your free demo?
What extensions, widgets, apps, or software can you create for your market?
Earlier, we talked about Adswaps where you email for someone and they email for you. Well, Solo Ads are similar except instead of having to reciprocate the favor, you just pay to be mentioned to their subscribers.
There are several different companies and directories you can find that will let you buy ads in other peoples emails. Some of these emails go out to millions of people too. If you’re smart, you drive the traffic you receive from this method to your own email opt-in offer, and build your list from their list.
Prices vary from cheap to thousands of dollars depending on the size and quality of the list. However, you can usually get started with a couple hundred bucks.
Getting more website traffic with this method is probably one of the oldest, most tried & true methods around. You pay someone to buy space on their website, that’s banner advertising.
You can either find your own deals by searching out websites in your market and approaching them individually, or you can use a banner network. With a banner network, you just tell them what type of traffic you want and you get to pick through their catalog of websites, locations, and banner sizes available.
One big secret to banner ads is to make your banners NOT look like an advertisement.
YouTube Sponsored Ads
This is a newer traffic method for me and I’m just now starting to experiment with this website traffic tactic. All you do is pay for advertisements either on videos that your target market might be watching, or by promoting your own videos to them.
To promote your own video, you’ll have to create a video about your topic, choose some keywords that relate to your topic, and then pay on a PPC or PPV-like basis. If done right, then your “Tomato Growing” video will be shown at the top of the search page when people search for things like “Tomato Growing” or “Growing Tomatoes.”
Instead of making a separate category for Facebook Ads, POF Ads, MyAds, and every other method of paying for ads on social networks, I’ve gone ahead and lumped them all into one.
The methods are very similar. Basically, you are placing a hybrid (banner + text) ad on these social networks. Then you pay on a PPC or CPM model to display those ads. Finally, you use keywords and selection boxes to target the type of person in those networks that you want your ad displayed to.
Have you ever seen a commercial on television? That’s sponsored content in action!
On the Internet it can be anything from a paid tweet, to a paid blog review, to paying to be mentioned in someone’s YouTube videos. The reason you would pay for someone to mention you in their content, is because they have the eyeballs you need.
For example, in the Magic The Gathering niche, there are some Youtubers that are making great videos about MTG. Well, I have a membership site in this niche and paying to be mentioned in these videos helps me get their eyeballs over to my websites.
Instead of trying to create your own content… Who is already creating great content in your market that you can pay your way into?
This is another semi-new traffic method, but a great one to add on. Here’s how it works: You place a code on your website and every visitor is then “tagged” (cookied). If these visitors do not buy from you and leave your site then they will be shown your advertisements on other popular sites they visit.
This makes your visitors feel like you are much more popular because they start seeing ads for your product all over the web. That’s because retargeting networks buy ad space all across the Internet and wait for visitors you tagged to show up to serve them your ads.
Click here to let me know what questions you have and which methods you are most interested in hearing more about.
Justin Brooke, CEO of IM Scalable, speaks on stages all across the world and writes for websites all across the web about online marketing strategy. In the last 6 years, Justin and his team have generated billions of ad impressions, millions of page views, and driven millions of dollars in sales. This has attracted an impressive client list that includes best-selling authors, millionaires, musicians, and even pro athletes. Justin’s clients receive 3,000+ clicks per day, which is over a million clicks per year. One client shared that he was profiting $20,000 per week from that traffic. There is not a form of online advertising that Justin and his team can’t handle. Click here if you would like to contact Justin for help with your advertising needs.
* Originally published as Issue #203 on May 28, 2013