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Monday, August 06, 2007

New Trends In Traffic Generation

Whatever you do on the net, you will always deal with
Traffic Generation...the holly grail.

To make it short, you have 2 main types of traffic :

1) Search Engine traffic

What is it? : organic traffic
coming from search engines such as Google, Yahoo, MSN

Pros :
- This traffic is f.re.e
- Traffic is highly targeted
- Volume of traffic can be very high

Cons :
- you don't control it
- you rely on robots to analyze your site and deliver
some traffic
- you need to get indexed...without being de-indexed
(once again, you rely on search engines policy and
- short term

2) Referred Traffic
(I know Search engine traffic is also a sort of
referred traffic, but let's put SE traffic apart
from this category)

What is it?
Traffic coming from third party sites (other than search
engines) and is a result of a "manual / human" action.

Examples : article directories, social bookmarking services,
forums, partners, text link ads, banners, directories, rss...

Pro :
- you control it
- you have a lot of means to develop it
(almost unlimited ; a lot are fr.ee)
- it's highly targeted
- You can pay to get better targeting and control
over your referred traffic
- Long term

Cons :
- Time & resources consuming
- Repetitive tasks

Now, through my membership (Niches-In-A-Box), my forum,
my readings of other forums, I know that most webmasters
mainly rely on search engines traffic, our first category.

The aim of the present article is to throw the light on
a different angle of the Traffic Generation big box!

Summary : the right way to get into traffic generation is
to forget about search engines.

Focusing on search engine traffic gives a too narrow
vision of traffic generation. It does not reveal all
the opportunities existing outside of the search engines
(understand all the way to generate Referred Traffic).

In addition, as you've seen from the cons above, you accept
to rely on something you never control, and this is a HUGE
risk in your marketing strategy.

Warning : I do not say, you should not care about search engine
traffic. I say that it should not be your priority, and the first
door you try to open when dealing with traffic generation.
It's a question of point of view.

Now, on the other hand, focusing on developing what we called
Referred Traffic is a more positive, constructive and profitable
attitude and marketing strategy.

Not only will you build traffic for the long term, but
you will also "manually" control your traffic, either by
submitting your content, your sites, your feeds, or by
exchanging links, content, traffic with partners,
being active on forums, blogs...

Doing it this way will give you a lot of power and effectiveness.
Those sources of Referred Traffic only vanish...if you decide
to let them vanish. Once again, you control everything.

Now, you have some positive side effects :
- By building Referred Traffic, you give a lot of food
to search engines to index your site, understand them,
and rank them well...
- ...thus developing naturally your Search Engine Traffic!

Try to develop Referred Traffic by submitting your sitemap to
Google, and you will understand the difference between the
2 approaches :-)

Google and other search engines tend to change their algorithms
quite often to produce more relevant content for users of their
engines. Sometimes, your site is getting de-indexed in a day
just because of this.

Are you lost, is your site dead? It could if you only relied on
Search Engine traffic. It has no impact if you focused on building
Referred Traffic.

In one case, you feel bad and like if you had wasted your time.
In the other case, you don't even notice it (on the long run ;
of course, you can see a fall in traffic coming from
a given search engine)

But even then, your site has a lot of chances of being re-indexed
when you've build Referred Traffic, simply because the search engines
food is still there! And this is a HUGE difference and one of the most
valuable asset you can develop.

If you're still with me, you should now understand my point : when
with bots, you need to act as a human...which means you should
not try to talk to them :-) Give them some "bot food" that you build
naturally by developing a Referred Traffic Generation Strategy.

Here are 10 easy "pieces" to do what we described above :

Once you have a site...
1) Find some related blogs, read them, identify trends, and post
comments (no stupid comments, no spam of course) with a link
back to your site where you're also discussing the topic

2) Do the same with related forums. Use search engines (!)
to find relevant forums. Register and start being active
on these forums. Use your signature to put a link back to
your site

3) Create a blog (if you don't have one) and post on a regular
basis on it. Use a service like feedburner to syndicate your content
with other webmasters.

4) Submit your feeds, blogs, and site to niche directories

5) Find "authority" sites in your niche, analyze them and
contact the webmasters to :
a) propose a link exchange (you should
first put a link to their site),
b) if you're selling a report or an ebook, propose them
to become an affiliate (give them a fre.e copy of your ebook
first), and make it easy for them to manage their promotion
c) if they have a newsletter, read it, understand it, and then
ask the webmaster if you can have a sponsored ad into it,
or even better a solo ad where you could advertise your site,
newsletter, ebook...
d) propose content exchange with link back to each other's website
e) build a relation with them

6) The most effective : write articles and submit them to
article directories (some with big traffic, and some niche
related ones)

7) Social bookmarking and social networking :
a) build a Squidoo
lens (see http://squidooprofits.com for more details).
You can find many sites like Squidoo and build pages
about your niche on these ones too. You can link them to your
main niche sites, you can link back to your blogs, or even
to your other "squidoo" like pages, thus creating a "niche social
net" all relevant to your niche.
b) build a myspace account and create a profile around your niche,
then build your "list" of friends around this profile
c) submit your site to social bookmarking services (digg, technorati,
del.icio.us ...)
d) You can also comment on the most popular entries with a link
back to your site, blog, or squidoo lens.

8) Use videos and sites like youtube.com (and similar) to drive
traffic to your niche site. Produce a short video (2-3 minutes)
around your site, your niche and you.
Link to your Videos from your "niche social net" (see 7) )
Also, ask webmasters to put a link to this video (once you
have build a relation with them) - Or they can upload it to
their server and brand it with their affiliate ID, if you have
an affiliate program

9) Make it viral : your best source of
(new) traffic...is your (current) traffic!

Use some "Tell a friend" features on your site to have them
promote your site. You can provide incentives (such as a fre.e
report, a coupon for your ebook...)

10) Paid Traffic : yes...all the above technics do not cost
a penny...(unless you pay for advertising on a partner's site)

You can pay to get tar.geted traffic : you can advertise through
text link ads, banners, that will appear on high traffic sites.

You should serioulsy consider paid traffic. Do not see it as
a cost, but rather as an initial in.ves.tment to boost your site.
Also, if your site is correctly monetized, then paid traffic
is the easiest way to get some quick metrics about this, and
to make it profitable quickly.

As you see we could easily expand this list. But, those are,
in my opinion, the most important sources of Referred Traffic.

Now, compare the above list with Search Engine traffic, and you
will see why your approach should focus on generating Referred Traffic
and not Search Engine Traffic. This type of traffic will come
naturally anyway...

Clifton Waldrep, I hope I made Traffic Generation a bit clearer...

To your success

JP Schoeffel