One question I get asked from entrepreneurs (almost every single day) is...
“How do I get more website traffic?”
Obviously, this is a problem that needs to be solved. Because if you don’t have the ability to get your product or service in front of its target audience, then it’s pretty much useless.
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The Warm Up: Realigning Traffic Priorities
The primary goal of your traffic strategy must be to establish a lead generation system first...not a blog, social media presence, or content marketing strategy.
When I talk to new business owners regarding their traffic strategy they almost always ask the same questions:
- How can I get joint venture partners?
- How do I recruit affiliates?
- How do I establish a blog so I can cash in on some seo traffic?
- How do I get social media traffic?
"I want free traffic!" is all they are actually saying (or at least all I’m hearing).
What’s wrong with that?
Focusing on free traffic (which is a myth... btw) is one of the most unstable ways to grow your business.
Joint Ventures - can cost you over a year recruiting, and you’ll most likely pay them more in commissions than if you just bought the traffic directly.
Affiliates - over 90% of your affiliates will not produce any sales.
Blogging for SEO - is a long-term traffic strategy that can be immensely profitable, but it is far from a free source of traffic. Also, until you have tested the profitability of your sales funnel, the offer and the keywords you're targeting, then you are simply guessing at what’s going to work.
Social Media - can kill your reputation as quickly as it can build it, so you never want to jump into a social media campaign prematurely.
All of the traffic strategies above should be viewed as "supplements" to your daily traffic diet, and never as “meal replacements” for your site’s traffic strategy.
Stage 1 - Traffic On-Demand
You may be thinking, “How do I get traffic to feed my lead generation system then?”
That’s a terrific question, and it comes down to one magic phrase - Paid Traffic.
Whether it’s advertising through:
- Mass Media Buys - (OpenX.com, PulsePoint.com, SiteScout.com)
- (PPC) Pay Per Click - (Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Bing Ads)
- (PPV) Pay Per View - (TrafficVance.com, MediaTraffic.com)
- Display Advertising - (BuySellAds.com, BuyAds.com, Pulse360.com)
- Solo Ads - (DedicatedEmails.com)
...it is imperative that you have the ability to “turn on the faucet of traffic” anytime you need to in your business.
At this point the only thing you need to focus on is choosing one paid traffic strategy that will allow you to calculate:
If I spend x amount of money, then I will get x amount of traffic in x amount of time.
This will give you instant access to the data you need to plug any holes in your sales funnel, before you branch out to the other traffic stages.
As I stated in the List Building Resource Guide:
“My advice is to decide on one traffic source (and only one traffic source) that you will start with first, and then focus your efforts on establishing a positive ROI with that specific traffic source before expanding your traffic strategy.” - Jason Benfield (MarketingShow.com)
What are my immediate goals?
If you can break even on your front-end, lead generation system, then that’s an excellent starting point.
Because you can build a high-quality email list for free!
A 1:1 ratio means that you are making $1 for ever $1 spent, and this is considered a successful campaign by many marketers who understands the lifetime value of a lead.
You can literally grow your business by thousands of leads per day by breaking even on lead acquisition (a 1:1 ratio), and then you will be able to generate a profit for your business every time you hit send on an email.
What’s the ultimate traffic goal?
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To get your advertising ROI as high as possible, but we have to base our expectations in reality.
There’s a golden ratio in direct response, cold market advertising (especially in the infomercial arena), and that’s the 2:1 ratio.
That means you make $2 for every $1 of ad spend, or a $1 profit.
That may not seem like a lot, but in paid traffic scalability is the name of the game.
A 2:1 return on a $100 investment means you can take your family out to dinner.
But... a 2:1 return on a $100,000/month ad-spend, means you make $200,000/month in revenue or $100,000/month profit.
You will never be able to experience that kind of predictable and scalable growth chasing free traffic. It’s just not going to happen.
The “missing link” in paid traffic:
If you are doing any type of paid traffic, then setting up a retargeting campaign is an absolute necessity.
Honestly, I don’t believe any site should be published (if you’re in business) that doesn’t have a retargeting code in place.
Retargeting (the heart) is as vital to me as an opt-in form (the brain), but this is just my humble opinion.
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Stage 1 traffic is the quickest way to break seven figures this year. Getting traffic on demand does require seed money and can get out of control fast so make sure you handle it like high explosives.
If you’re not trained to handle high explosives, then you better hire a traffic pyrotechnician.
The reason why entrepreneurs tend to focus on free traffic strategies is because they fear losing money. So the dessert to their traffic strategy becomes their main course, and you can not survive off of cheese cake alone (believe me, I tried).
If you’re not willing to go for broke marketing your product, then create a new product. - Tweet This
Stage 2 - The “Value Plan” Traffic Strategy
Now that your traffic on-demand system (a.k.a the main course) is served...
It’s time to start adding side dishes to your traffic strategy with (value based) content marketing.
I’ve known a lot of people who’ve created six figure incomes with content marketing, but remarkably few that have broken seven figures with this strategy alone. Focusing on content marketing isn’t a quick and easy route.
I’ve been asked, “Why would somebody want to use a traffic strategy that isn’t quick and easy AND won’t likely get them to 7 figures?”
That question is exactly my point. It is very unlikely that you will begin seeing exponential and consistent growth in your business until you are willing to invest into paid traffic.
But YOU have to decide what YOU want from your business, and more money isn't always the answer.
I started in internet marketing with a genuine desire to help people succeed online. I find content marketing to be the most fulfilling part of my business even though it’s not the most lucrative.
You get to really engage in the lives of your customers and share in their success, but I would not use content marketing as the foundation of my lead generation system.
How To Have True Success With Content Marketing
Providing value and personally engaging your audience are the only two ways you will have true success with any form of content marketing.
In future blog posts I want to examine specific content marketing strategies and techniques, and break them down in a step-by-step formula. In the meantime, here's an overview of the primary benefit created by the three most popular content marketing strategies.
(If you have specific questions and/or traffic strategies you would like me to cover in future posts, then please leave them in the comments below)
Blogging - write with a purpose of increasing value (e.g. How does your post solve a problem or ignite action in the reader?), and not for the purpose of SEO or promotion.
Blogging for SEO is absurd, because search engines do not buy your products. - Tweet This
I do not care about chasing SERP (Search Engine Results Page) placement unless I know that the keywords I’m targeting will produce lead conversions and sales for my business.
Please do not misunderstand me. I’m not saying to neglect SEO. I’ve have previously built and managed a highly successful seo consultant firm in Kentucky.
SEO principles and best practices should be the foundation of all content marketing, but at the end of the day -- writing epic content, engaging your audience, and adding value to the reader is what true SEO is all about.
SEO needs to be accepted as inadequate for direct sales marketing. - Tweet This
It's a traffic strategy that is too unpredictable, unscalable, and inconsistent.
SEO is a great long-term traffic strategy and phenomenal for branding yourself as an authority in your market, but you'll never be able to accurately measure the expected ROI of an seo campaign ahead of time.
Social Media - Social Media marketing is not an outlet for endless promotion! The value you provide your market, in a social media campaign, is your sales pitch.
With social media marketing you must:
- Personally engage your fans -- If you ignore them, then they will ignore you.
- Respond when they speak, and thank them for their interactions with you.
- Prove that you’re a human they can relate to, and not just a corporate entity.
vLogging - Video marketing is one of my favorite content marketing strategies, because you can easily repurpose video content in a variety of different ways to leverage your content creation.
Plus some people simply prefer to digest certain types of content via video
Consistency - Before you embark on any content marketing conquest you must have a consistent plan in place.
If you want to ruin your credibility fast, then abandon a podcast after a month, create a YouTube account you never publish to, or start a blog that you never update.
Your reputation in social media is more valuable than any testimonial you have on your site. - Tweet This
So use social media wisely!
And please do not forget...
Yes! - Retargeting should even be included in this step.
Stage 3 - Relationship Maximizer
After your traffic-on-demand system (a.k.a the main course) is well established in stage 1, and your “value plan” traffic system (a.k.a the side dishes) is served in stage 2, it’s time to look at getting occasional infusions of cash from joint ventures and affiliates.
I call stage 3 the Relationship Maximizer Strategy (a.k.a the dessert!).
The reason why I consider stage 3 the last traffic strategy you should focus on (when most people try to do this first) is because you should never branch out into jv/affiliate marketing until you know for sure that your sales funnel converts...
...or you'll be blacklisted.
Honestly, this isn’t my favorite traffic stage because I, personally, would rather focus on paid traffic.
Because you’ll usually make more money.
How Free Traffic Can Cost You More Than Paid Traffic
When you have a jv/affiliate relationship, then you are likely giving up 50%-75% of your income in commissions.
With a 75% commission payout, if you generate $100,000 in sales, then your business only profits $25,000, and you are still handling all the operational and support costs.
The biggest deception with jv/affiliate traffic is people think these are free sales, but they’re not. You are paying $75,000 to make $25,000 in revenue.
If you have mastered Stage 1, then that same $75,000 investment could have made you $150,000 in revenue ($75,000 in gross profit).
Friendships and “free traffic” can be costly sometimes! :-)
Don’t get me wrong -- joint venture relationships and affiliate sales are wondrous for occasional spikes in revenue, but it’s not a long-term, sustainable traffic strategy.
There are more risks involved with paying for traffic, but it is the most predictable, reliable, measurable and consistent way to grow your business.
… and the ol’ saying is true: “The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward”
And as always, don’t forget about retargeting!
Post-Game Wrap Up
There are a lot of phrases we know, but never do.
If I asked any business owner to define the 80/20 principle, then they would give me their rendition of it.
If I asked: “Do you believe it?”
“Oh definitely!”, they’d reply.
But it does not matter what we say we believe the actions we take is the ultimate judge.
Most of the time, all that is needed to transform a struggling business into a highly profitable one, is to start chopping away at the 80% of the activities that are producing minimal or no results.
This “chopping away” will free up 80% more time, energy and resources to allocate towards the 20% of the highest yielding actions.