Traffic Generation Strategies: Pay, Pimp or Please

Here’s a very simple way to understand traffic generation, from the highest level.
There are three ways to get traffic
1) Pay for it : e.g. Facebook Ads
2) Pimp it : social engagement, content marketing, answering questions etc. to get the clicks
3) Please the search engine for it : search engine optimization
In the main, it makes sense to become good at ONE method, otherwise, you’ll become a master of none. BUT, it doesn’t make sense to use only one method exclusively – as I’ll explain.

Paying For Traffic

Pay For TrafficOptions here include Facebook AdvertisingGoogle Adwords, and media buying – which in the online world primarily means buying banner ads.
By paying for website traffic, you can generate almost as many visitors as you want to your site – its very easy. What isn’t easy, however, is generating that traffic profitably. As well as being the fastest way to get traffic, it can also be the fastest way to lose money!
My recommendation here would be to find a first-rate course, or hire an expert if you can afford to – and the best place to start is with Facebook advertising.

Pimping For Traffic

Pimping for trafficWhen you’re pimping for traffic, you’re getting yourself in front of potential clients and sweet-talking them into “just taking a look” – in the hope that “looking” will tempt them to go further.
A more generous description of the process is that you engage and form relationships and demonstrate your knowledge and grow your connections and make yourself likable and trustworthy.
The way you do this is a mixture social media marketing (engaging and forming relationships) and content marketing (publishing and distributing high-quality content that demonstrates your knowledge and hints at your services).
This is a very labour-intensive process which needs to be planned out carefully and undertaken strategically to avoid doing a lot of work for minimal gain.
The advantage of this approach is that, if you persist, over time you build up a large following to whom you can communicate and soft-sell to more-or-less for free, more-or-less forever. In addition, and importantly, you are unaffected by changes in the rules of engagement set by the likes of Facebook (for advertising traffic) and Google (for advertising traffic and for search engine traffic).
One of the sources that I subscribe to on this topic is – reasonably enough – the Content Marketing Institute. For another definition and to see how it relates to other terms, see here.)

Pleasing For Traffic

Pleasing for trafficThis, of course, is all about Search Engine Optimization – which, in essence, is about doing whatever is necessary to please (comply with) Google’s algorithms for getting ranked in the search results for relevant keywords. You can learn something about SEO from one of the most respected authorities (Moz), and also get the story direct from the horse’s mouth (i.e. Google’s pdf.)
As with Pimping, SEO is a long-term game, and as with Paying, you need to get expert advice and/or go on a detailed course if you want to “play the game” fully.
On the other hand, a simple summary of Google’s rules would be “create and publish content on a regular basis that is engaging and relevant to human beings” – in other words, focus on pleasing humans, not algorithms. And that is a perfectly sensible strategy which requires only a relatively small amount of expertise to follow.
But – you need to be aware that not everyone follows the rules, of course, and such people may be your competitors. Despite massive disruptions in the past when Google unceremoniously ejected great swathes of websites from the search results because they found they were “gaming” the system – there is STILL a huge industry around gaming Google’s algorithm – and this time it is being done in ways which makes it much harder for Google to spot.
Of course, there are degrees of “gaming”, and it’s certainly worth doing at least the minimum “safe” activities (see below).
Putting that all together, where’s the best place to start?
Actually, the proper starting point is not “traffic” but a “sales funnel” because the funnel determines what you DO with that traffic – how you turn it into customers and sales. You need an effective funnel in order to
  • Create a positive ROI from your PAID traffic
  • Consumate the relationships you create from your PIMPED traffic
  • Actually form relationships with your PLEASED traffic

The ins and outs of a funnel (so to speak) is another topic, but one key component of a funnel is creating an email list. And an email list is of no use unless you send messages to the subscribers on it. And messages are “content”. And content is at the core of the PIMPing and PLEASEing traffic strategies.

So here is where I bring it all together. This is true whatever your main traffic strategy is:

  • Whatever traffic strategy you use, you will need a funnel, which includes creating an email list, which means creating content to broadcast to it.
  • So: create a blog where you will post the content that you create for your mailing list – as a minimum: ideally create and post additional content if you have time. (Your blog must include a way for visitors to subscribe to your email list – but’s part of the funnel creation.)
  • Whenever you make post, give some thought to how you do your “on-page optimization” as part of PLEASEing Google (see the links above for guidance).
  • Create accounts with your business brand on all the main social media and bookmarking sites/pages – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest (and others, such as Blogger, Tumblr, FriendFeed, StumbleUpon and potentially more).
  • Whenever you make a blog post, syndicate – i.e. re-publish –  your post (or an extract) to all those sites, with a link BACK to the post on your blog.
  • By doing this, you will be doing the minimum in terms of PIMPing to get traffic.
  • Also, by doing this, you will be acquiring useful additional backlinks to your site, which will certainly PLEASE Google and could hardly be classed as “gaming” it’s algorithm.

That’s it!

Social Link MachineOf course, you don’t want to manually post to all those social media sites. The tool that I personally use to do this function is Social Link Machine. I like it because you can start small with just a few socal media sites, and then add more as you want to. It also allows you to moving into the more advanced realms of “second tier” sites networks – but only if you want to!

 

Alex Goodall


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