This article is a quick overview of some methods of traffic generation and their advantages and disadvantages. It is the goal of any website of the internet to get traffic to the site, to be seen.
One of the problems is the internet is now so huge that there are more pages on the internet than people on the planet. How can you get hits and a flow of traffic to your solitary page? If your generating a page for general interest or fun without traffic your goals are not met. In the case of creating traffic for a business website it is literally a case of have traffic or have your business die. It doesn't mattter if you have the best website, with great content, fantastic pictures, audio, video and a multimedia experience better than disneyland, if no one comes it is for naught.
The internet is not like field of dreams "if you build it they will come", no they won't. Google has about 8 billion pages indexed on the net and its growing everyday. If you create a new site your chance of having a visitor just stumble on your site is about the same as winning the lottery. How then do we change the game so people can at least appreciate the work put into a website, or in the case of a business or affliliate website visit to make a decision to buy? The following are some of the most common methods.
Search Engine Optimisation.
Basically this means you optimise your pages with the right keywords in the right places so that the search engines index your page as having great CONTENT in relation to key search words. The simple fact of the matter is that your chance of being on page one of the most popular search terms is next to nil. You will find thanks to the American domination of the internet that the most popular searched keywords tend to be American personalities, like Oprah Winfrey, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, etc. (Wonder why there are so many gossip magazines?
The internet is no different, gossip is one of the most popular topics). If you were to create a new website about one of these people thinking hey I will get some of that traffic for myself - I'll do an Oprah Winfrey site, content rich, etc your chance of getting to the top is practically nil, why, firstly because you have 1000's to millions of competitors and your chance of being optimised not only with great content but with relevant links and relevant links with the important keywords will be nil as well. All is not lost, it is possible still to create a niche website and get rated in the first page e.g. type "vegetable gardening on hard clay" into the google search engine and you will see I am rated number two and three (at least at the time of writing this article, remember nothing stays still on the net).
One a blog and the other an article, probably a boring topic for most people but for gardeners a nice niche topic. Its not a university degree on the subject but the basics on the subject and it rates high because the site's content strongly matches the search phase vegetable gardening on hard clay, type in gardening or vegetables though and the site is lost from the radar. In summary one of the first methods of traffic generation is to have a site geared to keywords and content that will draw in search engine traffic. Remember though the more competative the keywords the harder this will be to achieve. Some companies specialise in generating rich content and links from other like rich content sites targeted to high rating keywords and charge big money for the privelage 50,000, etc, why? because free traffic to websites from search engines means lots of free traffic and a big chance for profits.
Adwords and the like.
Another method of traffic generation is to buy it. Yahoo, Google, etc sell advertising space. In the case of Google adwords you can pay to have you site on the first page but this can be an expensive proposition, 1 or more a click, to mere pennies. Why do people choose this method. Firstly it brings targetted traffic to your site. The advantage of targetted traffic is these people are looking for your exact topic and thus more likely to stay on your site and it results in higher conversion rates. The problem is although Google says its rewards content rich sites with lower click costs the truth is the better ad wins, not necessarily the better or most relevant site.
To explain this further, google will lower your cost of your clicks and even raise you in the list if more people are clicking through - its says it is rewarding you for having a relevant site - the truth though is its rewarding you for having a great ad that people want to click on. Advantage of this method is you are guaranteed traffic - disadvantage - its costs and takes time to tweek your ads so they work at maximum efficiency. However I know of businesses that survive on google adwords alone for advertising and make a very good turnover on their business products so it works well for them. But one again the greater demand for the keyword, the greater the number of competitors there are. There is one way to can cut this disadvantage down though, choose to limit your target audience to a particular country, region or even city.
Obviously the target audience is further limited by language. Not much point in advertising your english content site in Mongolia, firstly because not many mongols speak english, but secondly because not many have internet access either. If your paying money for advertising on the internet make sure you are reaching the right audience for your ad.
Another way to generate hits to your site is to join numerous surfing programs, like traffic swarm, instantbuzz, fast freeway, traffic pods and many more. These will generate HITS to your site. In fact you can buy thousands of hits and get them in a very short space of time but although normally cheap e.g. 9 for 1000 hits, it has a myriad of disadvantages. Firstly you are only advertising to other surf members, many of them are competitors, already in the same programs as you, not really interested in your ad. I've found that you can build a downline and contact list from surfing programs, however keep the ad or website display very basic.
With a 15-30 second counter on most programs people just aren't going to read a saga even if its mind blowingly good, they are going to scan and then click the letter or number required. It that 15 seconds you've got to grab their interest. You can do this by free offers, appealing to their needs or wants. Often in the surfing world a single page with an e-mail enrollment form attached to be it is the best bet for getting results. One distinct advantage of most of these programs though is if you build a downline with them the amount of free traffic you get increases. You can surf for traffic at your leisure if you can't afford to pay for it, you might even find a program that perks your interest. Also in this category can be included banners, banner exchanges, etc which work on the same principle of you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.
If you are interested in surfing programs the link below to free traffic hits has many of the most popular.
Longer term methods.
I call these longer term methods because they require a greater work on your part, however they can result in great traffic results. One of these is article writing. Articles submitted to articles sites like goarticles, article fever, etc act as a magnet for search engines. Content rich and quality controlled if you get an article listed in one of these forums/ libraries you have the ability to have a constant stream of traffic through attached links. Why do you think I've written this article. To generate traffic. Yes I like helping and educating others and I do create not for profit websites and articles but most are to generate traffic.
Another long term method is to contact and link to other similar sites. You can do this by requesting other webmasters to do this or create you own sites and link them to one another. Another long term method is to create an op-in e-mail list and encourage people from you list to visit your 'great' site with your 'unbelievable' offer. Creating a blog like this doesn't hurt either. In summary I don't reccommend any method over any other. Each has advantages and disadvantages. It can depend on what you are advertising.
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