Aaaaannnnd we’re back!
Yesterday I covered the first 4 of 8 web traffic sources — and what you need to do to succeed with them. Both in getting more traffic from each, as well as converting that traffic into actual profits. (Plus, I covered the foundation of all internet marketing success, Ken McCarthy’s Traffic + Conversion = Profits.)
If you missed yesterday’s essay, I strongly encourage you click here and read it before continuing below.
Now, we continue with our web traffic sources!
- Paid search traffic
Paid search traffic includes Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Yahoo Search Advertising, plus any number of smaller players (Amazon and YouTube are also HUGE search engines with their own advertising programs). These are the ads that show up on your search engine results page, alongside the unpaid search results.
The nice thing about paid search traffic is that it’s easy, and almost instant. All you have to be willing to do is pay, and you can be driving traffic to your site before you go to bed tonight. Like unpaid search traffic, you have to telegraph to the search engine’s user that you’re able to answer their question, or solve their problem. It also offers a fertile ground for testing. Because most platforms allow you to rotate ads and compare performance, you can test 5, 10, even 100 (or more!) different ads and messages against each other to quickly learn what grabs the market’s attention.
Getting search advertising to convert profitably used to be super-easy. There was low competition and high opportunity. Because most searchers are actively looking for a solution, your conversion rates can be very high. The tricky part today is the economics. Search advertising has matured dramatically, and you must have more sophisticated conversion systems, including multi-layered funnels in place to compete in many markets.
- Paid display ad traffic
Paid display ad traffic is the ads that show up on all the sites on the internet that are NOT search engines. That is, banner ads, text ads, video ads, or anything else you can pay to show to a website’s visitors. Here I also include Facebook ads, YouTube ads, and other ads that appear on social media platforms.
This is the holy grail. If you can make your offer work with paid display ads, nearly every user on the internet is accessible. The tricky part here is finding the sweet spot between a very wide appeal that will catch all your target audience’s attention, and targeting enough so that you’re only paying for visitors that are likely to convert. To get more qualified visitors to your site with paid display ad traffic, you need to jolt them out of their internet stupor. What can you show or say that both piques intense curiosity (so they’ll click) and telegraphs the biggest benefit your target market wants (to try to get more clicks from your target market, and less from those outside of it).
Like search traffic, most of these platforms are getting increasingly competitive. You need a sophisticated conversion system, and probably a multi-step funnel to maximize per-visitor revenue. You’ll typically be competing against the best of the best marketers here, so your copy and sales message needs to be juicy!
BONUS: Retargeting (also called remarketing). It’s a very powerful way to make display advertising even more effective. This is where ads follow you around the internet, based on a site you’ve recently visited. Retargeting can be ultra-profitable, if you know what you’re doing. First, do something (including display advertising) to get them to your site. Second, use retargeting to bring them back into your funnel, or to use multiple variations on your sales message (including scarcity deadlines, etc.) to get them to convert.
- External email traffic
External email traffic comes from promotional emails sent on your behalf. This usually happens because you’ve paid someone to send out your email, because they’ve agreed to a revenue-sharing deal, or because you’re doing a tit-for-tat swap of email sends to each other’s lists.
The great thing about this is it can be highly-profitable. Email marketing is typically the most profitable type of marketing out there. Because it leverages an existing relationship, the prospects are warmed up and more likely to respond. For maximum traffic, you need a big list, and you need big engagement. The big list is easy to quantify. How many email addresses will the email be sent to? Engagement can be a stickier pickle. How many people regularly open their emails? How many people regularly click? How many people open and click your email? Again, pique their curiosity, and promise a benefit when they click.
To get the highest conversions from external email traffic, here are some recommendations. First, mail to a good, complimentary list. Find others who sell to your target market. Second, get the list owner’s endorsement, if possible. A promotional message with an endorsement from a trusted authority is far more powerful than one without. Third, write the email to get the click. Email marketing has no other purpose than to get the click — remember that! And fourth, send the visitor to somewhere they can easily engage. Maybe this is an opt-in page, so you can follow up. Or maybe it’s a low-price, easy purchase.
- Internal email traffic
Internal email traffic is traffic that comes from your own marketing emails, sent to your own list. This is far and away the most profitable source of website traffic, but it’s also one of the hardest to get. Because it requires you to get other traffic first, and convert that traffic to email subscribers, before you can send those folks your marketing emails.
Here, it’s all about relationship. While you can do tactical things to get the click in every email (and you should, in a respectful manner), it’s more important to build a trusting relationship. Readers who know, like, and trust you will be far more likely to respond in the future. You can do this by delivering a ton of relevant value in your emails, and interspersing that valuable content with calls to action. You can also do it by just being the kind of person your readers would like to be around. Personality is at least as important as what you’re saying if you want to keep your readers around and responding to your marketing messages for the long haul.
Like I said, if you want to convert, you need a good relationship. Your readers need to want to open your emails. And they need to trust you enough to follow your recommendations in the emails. To generate a maximum number of conversions, make sure you tell your readers clearly what it is that you want them to do after reading. Give a call to action, and a direct link to where you want them to go.
Now, go get some traffic!
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,