Traffic Generation: The Number One Skill That Will Generate Cash Flow (Part 1 of 3)

If you're feeling a bit of confusion and frustration about how to get visitors to your website and generate more sales, I know exactly how you feel. I felt the same way until I stopped listening to every "big time" marketer that came along with the latest traffic generating trick.

You've got dozens of gurus vying for your attention and every one of them has the solution to all of your problems. Right? The proliferation of messages that promise a traffic explosion using new techniques can become overwhelming.

Time out.

Take a deep breath.

Sit back in your chair.

Relax.

Now, if you will focus your energy on a very short list of traffic generation strategies that actually DO work, and commit to continually improving your skills in these few areas, you will be amazed at what you can achieve... WILL achieve.

Websites come in a wide variety of flavors, including...

- Minisites designed to sell individual products
- Portal sites designed to sell a broad selection of products
- Content sites designed to provide information

Of the above site species (minisites, portal sites and content sites), which do you think has the best chance of selling a product and putting income in your bank account?

ANSWER: Minisites.

Let's talk about web traffic.

Imagine 5 different internet users going to Google, MSN, Yahoo or whatever their favorite search engine happened to be, and each individual enters one of the following search queries:

Search #1: hazards

Search #2: household hazards

Search #3: chemical household hazards

Search #4: chemical household hazards for infants

Search #5: protecting infants from chemical household hazards

If you had a website that sold a device that guaranteed the safety of infants by locking cabinets containing hazardous household chemicals, which of the above visitors do you think would be most likely to buy what you're selling? I know. I hear you. "That's pretty obvious, Ron."

We want internet user #5 most. We may also want #3 and #4. Do we want #1 and #2? Maybe... Maybe not. The answer to that is going to depend on what it takes to get them to our site. But before we attempt to answer that question, HERE'S SOMETHING CRITICAL...

My Question to You: "If you were assured that you could get visitor #5 to your website, where would you send them?"

Let's say that your website had a variety of home safety products available. You sell everything from fire extinguishers to first aid kits to carbon monoxide detectors to child safe locks.

Your site's home page has just a little bit of information on each of your home safety product lines. Would you send visitor #5 to your home page?

Or...

Since visitor #5 just did a search for "protecting infants from chemical household hazards", would you have better results by sending them directly and immediately to the web page where they can order your device that guarantees the safety of their child from chemical household hazards?

Please don't think that I'm trying to insult your intelligence. I'm not. It's just that I have received correspondence from other direct marketers online concerned about the low sales of their websites only to find out that whenever that person sent traffic to their site, the traffic was going to their home page rather than to a page that spoke directly to the needs and desires of the visitor.

Alrighty then? Traffic time.

There are only 3 ways to get traffic to your website:

1) Buy it.
2) Borrow it.
3) Steal it.

Since #3 is not an option we're going to consider, that leaves us with "buy it" and "borrow it".

Before we go any further, let's talk about the "Holy Grail" of web traffic. What is it? FREE TRAFFIC! I want it. You want it. Every disillusioned internet marketer wants it.

Here's the truth...

It's a myth.

It doesn't exist.

There is no such thing as free website traffic.

"Ya but Ron, what if I could be #1 in Google for 'Internet Marketing' or 'Website Tools'?"

If you were able to get there or anywhere close, what would be required? What investment in time and resources would be required to land a prized spot such as this? Would you be able to get there for free? Furthermore, how long would you stay there?

Let's face it, neither Google, Yahoo, Altavista nor MSN wants any individual to be able to control the results of their search engines. That's why they spend millions upon millions of dollars every year taking steps to ensure that nobody has the knowledge to control all of the top positions.

Is search engine positioning something to aspire to? Perhaps. Given time. But it will not put any money in your pocket in the short term. That's pretty well guaranteed.

There are only 2 ways to get traffic to your website:

1) Buy it.
2) Borrow it.

Buy it? Yes, buy it. We're not talking about fortunes changing hands. There's no need to take out a second or third mortgage on you home to use this strategy. Traffic can be generated to your site for literally pennies per visitor.

Where will you buy traffic to your website? PPC Search Engines. PPC ("Pay Per Click") search engines give you the best opportunity to find the most motivated buyers and get them to visit your website. This is what you should be considering for your primary method of generating traffic to your website.

Remember above where we considered searcher #1 - searcher #5? We want searcher number five on our website, right? Right. We can and will find searcher #5 on the PPC search engines if we take the right approach. In a little bit I'll give you a list of PPC search engines to consider using, but first let's formulate a game plan.

Here's the basics of PPC advertising:

1) We have a product to sell.

2) We determine what the product has to offer and why someone might want to buy our product. (hint: focus on benefits, not features)

3) We do some keyword research to see if people are out there actually looking for the solution that our product offers.

4) Assuming that there's sufficient demand for our product /solution, we make a list of the keywords and keyword phrases that people are actually using to conduct their searches.

5) We write an ad for our product in such a way that it gets the attention of the searcher. This may mean changing ad copy slightly from one keyword phrase to the next. Try to put yourself in the position of the person doing the search.

6) We bid on the keywords that we're targeting with the ad that we've written and...

Wa-la! Traffic.

Is this a viable option? Absolutely. Google Adwords ads can be had for as little as $0.05 per click. Overture traffic can be had for as little as $0.10 per click.

If you're selling a product for $19.95, how many clicks can you buy and still be profitable? One sale out of 199 clicks and you're profitable. At this rate you only made a nickel, but that was at a conversion rate of only 0.5%! What if you had a conversion rate of 3%? 3% (3 visitors out of 100 become customers) doesn't sound like too much does it?

If you did indeed have a 3% conversion rate on a $19.95 product and were able to buy traffic for $0.10 per visitor, here's how the math works:

100 visitors cost you $10.00

3 visitors became customers and spent a total of $59.85.

Subtract your $10.00 advertising cost from your $59.85 revenue, and you have profited $49.85 (or somewhere close after PayPal or other selling fees).

So now, how much can you afford to spend on traffic?

If you've been running the above advertising campaign long enough to feel confident that a 3% conversion ratio is something that you can count on, then do the math backwards.

Your net profit is $49.85 for 100 visitors. Therefore, your "per visitor" value is $0.50 (I'm rounding up very slightly). Knowing this is a huge advantage.

Can you find more visitors to your site for $0.20, $0.30 or even $0.40? Of course you can, and it will still be profitable! Obviously, the less you spend on advertising, the more you keep. But if you could find a source of automatic traffic that you knew was profitable, wouldn't you buy as much as you could find?

This is exciting stuff! PPC traffic can work for you. Yes, there's a little bit of a learning curve, but that's true with anything new that you do.

Here's a list of PPC Search Engines that you should consider starting with:

Google AdWords (http://www.adwords.google.com)
Overture (http://www.overture.com)
FindWhat (http://www.findwhat.com)
Enhance Interactive (http://www.enhance.com)
GoClick (http://www.goclick.com)
7Search (http://www.7search.com)
Kanoodle (http://www.kanoodle.com)
ePilot (http://www.ePilot.com)
Search123 (http://www.search123.com)
SearchFeed Interactive (http://www.searchfeed.com)
eSpotting (http://www.espotting.com)
Xuppa (http://www.xuppa.com)

There are only 2 ways to get traffic to your website:

1) Buy it.
2) Borrow it.

In part 2 of this series, we'll continue our thoughts on "(1) Buy it" - traffic that is.

Copyright 2005 Ron Hutton

Ron Hutton is a 20 year sales and marketing veteran with a passion for coaching and training. Subscribe to "GoThrive Online", for big juicy marketing tips in small, easy-to-chew, bite size servings. 17 Free Cool Tools... http://www.gothrive.com

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