Can you afford to leave out the Internet from your marketing plan? If you’re thinking “yes, I can” then you haven’t considered these staggering facts: 1) there are over a billion Internet users, 2) according to numerous media statistics, the Internet has the best return on investment out of all the advertising forms, 3) big advertisers are increasingly spending more online and less on traditional advertising media, 4) results can be more accurately measured online than anywhere else. All of this says one thing: online advertising works! No doubt about it. Now ask yourself again: Do I need the Internet in my marketing plan? Absolutely! That is if you want short and continued long-term success.
But before you get too excited keep in mind this simple and well-known fact: if you want to make profit online you must get targeted traffic to your website. Without it everything else you do will fail. No matter how good your product or service is, no matter how killer your copy is, no matter how pretty your site is, with no targeted traffic it all will be pointless. Of course, if you are getting targeted traffic but no sales then there are other fundamental problems with your site. This subject will be discussed in another ebook from this publisher, but we will focus strictly on acquiring a steady flow of targeted traffic.
Mission: “Targeted Traffic”
Why do we say “targeted traffic” as opposed to simply “traffic”? This is a key question because your goal shouldn’t be just getting traffic but, rather, targeted traffic. What’s the difference? Lets illustrate it this way: imagine a store that sells pet products located in a neighbourhood where no one owns any pets. It won’t be very long in business, will it? People will walk by and even a few will walk inside out of curiousity or by accident, but no sales could be expected. That’s more or less the situation where a site gets traffic from the wrong sources. The likelyhood of sales or leads is slim to none. It may get the odd sale but not enough to stay in business. Now, conversely, suppose the same store is located in an area where everyone owns pets. There are hundreds of thousands of such individuals, many of whom own more than one pet. Every single day hundreds of these pet owners go into the store looking for pet food, grooming supplies, pet toys, and other pet products. How much business do you think this pet store would do per day? If the store averages 100 visitors per day, and just 10 % of them spend an average of $50, that will generate $500 per day and $15,000 per month! You must be thinking right now: how can I achieve this online?
True targeted traffic is not achieved unless you invest at least two of the following assets: a) time b) effort c) money. Only targeted traffic can garner the type of results in the example described in the above paragraph.
Difference between uniques, visits, pageviews, and hits
In traffic measurement you will often hear of these names: uniques, visits, pageviews and hits. Here we will briefly explain the difference:
Unique visits (a.k.a. uniques) is the most important statistic in traffic measurement. It represents the number of people that visited your site per day, week, or month.
Pageviews is important as well since this represents how long each visitor stayed on your site. If a visitor only visits the first page they land on and then leave your site, they’re not likely to turn into a qualified lead or sale. If the visitors visit a good number of pages on your site then this indicates strong interest and sale potential, if not yet then in the future.
Hits is the least important and most over-hyped statistic. Since this stat represents number of hits (i.e. requests) to the hosting server, which can be as much as 100 or more per page, it does not give anywhere near an accurate idea as to the actual site traffic. In reality, number of visits is much much lower than the measured number of hits. If someone throws the number of hits in your face ask them: How many unique visits does this represent? And if this someone says the same number back at you then they are playing you for a fool, or they simply don’t know what they are talking about.
In the following section you will learn about the 3 major sources of the highest breed of targeted traffic.
Top 3 sources of targeted traffic
- Type-in traffic
- Search engine traffic
- Link traffic
1. Type-in traffic
As the label “type-in” indicates, this occurs when a visitor types in the domain name directly into the browser to go to the website because she/he feels secure that the site contains the information or products they are seeking. This type of traffic is the most pure and sought-after targeted traffic there is. So much so that online marketers grab generic domain names that generate type-in’s. How is this possible?
With the huge popularity of the Web and domain names, “dot com” is practically a household term, followed by “dot net” and other extensions by a mile. Hence, many people are comfortable with typing in domain names to get to a website they think will contain the information they’re looking for. As a result, often they will by-pass search engines to save time by directly typing in the domain containing the terms they are interested in, plus “dot com”, right into the browser. For example, if someone is looking for a restaurant in Toronto they might type “RestaurantInToronto.com” instead of going to the search engine and typing “restaurant in toronto”. This is targeted “type-in” traffic.
This type of traffic has great benefits over other types in that the visitor typing the domain name into the browser’s address bar has strong interest in the subject matter and thus is already qualified to have a strong potential of turning into a sale and a repeat customer. This makes for, arguably, highest quality of traffic. As such, number companies have become very profitable specializing in selling advertising via “type-in traffic” domains, also known as “direct search marketing”.
So how do you get this sort of traffic? First, you must wisely choose the best domain name possible for your business, next you should register other names related to your business that visitors may likely type into the browser. You can have these domains redirected to your actual site. Ask your registrar about “redirection”. Let us now give you an overview of the second source of targeted traffic.
2. Search engine traffic
Your site must show up on search engines to be successful. And it must show up right on or relatively close to the first page of the search results. The reason for this is that over 64% of Web users employ search engines as their primary way of finding things online1. Of these, 80% do not go beyond the third page of search results2, or beyond the first 30 results. Therefore, the further you are in the search results the lower the probability of searchers being able to find you.
Naturally, if someone searches for your products or services on search engines then they qualify as leads and potential customers. So you want your site to be visible to them.
If you are not actively promoting on search engines then you are losing out on a lot of traffic and a lot of revenue. In chapter 4 we will discuss how to effectively promote your site on search engines.
Two distinct classifications of search results positioning
Now when we say “search results”, we are refering to the pages that come after you type in your search term and hit submit. Positioning refers to where the your site appears on the search results.
The two types of search results positions are:
Natural (a.k.a. organic) results are what appear on the main part of the page listed in order 1-10 on page 1, 11-20 on page 2, 21-30 on page 3, and so on.
Sponsored (a.k.a. Pay-per-click) results are those that appear on top, side, and bottom, surrounding the natural results and clearly are indicated as sponsored. The advertising site pays for each click
3. Link Traffic
The third type of traffic is that which comes via external links, that is, links on other websites. Building external links should be part of your traffic strategy. The best way to grow incoming linkage is to create compelling content that people would want to link to. Another way is to post your content to social networks. A further way is to write guest articles and posts for other websites and forums. There are many established and popular websites always looking for fresh content. If you can get your article published by one of the mainstream media sources, then the link(s) from that site will significantly increase traffic to your site.
1 Source: Piper, Jaffray & Co. (March 2003)
2 Source: iProspect (April 2004) http://www.iprospect.com/media/press2004_04_20.htm