This is a guest post from Sunil.
I generate most of my revenues online through niche websites that I research, set up, optimize, market and leave on auto pilot. For me, free organic search engine traffic is invaluable and is the lifeblood of the passive and residual income streams I have established online over the years.
As good as it works for me, search engine optimization (SEO) is not the be all end all for everyone. As I have discovered and continued to learn recently, traffic generating methods vary from one webpreneur to another and is mainly predicated on each’s objective and timeline.
For someone like me, SEO is critical because I rely on free organic search traffic to find my websites over time. For someone with a groundbreaking product or discovery, however, SEO may not be the best option because it takes time for websites to index and rank well optimized sites over time.
For a professional selling personal services, particularly those that require a good level of trust, credibility, and rapport that only the human touch can establishing and hone, SEO should definitely not the primary method of medium with regard to traffic generation.
For this type of a professional, whether they operate online or off, several other alternatives are available that drive more “personable” traffic to their web properties. These channels also apply to entrepreneurs who have a time sensitive idea, product or service that they need to get out in the marketplace immediately. For those entrepreneurs, these alternatives to SEO can drive traffic to their sales funnel (either a sales page, capture/squeeze page) a lot quicker.
Traffic Alternatives to SEO
Purchasing Email Lists – there are readily available platforms where you can purchase the opportunity to access the email lists of others providing you share a common audience. This gives you instant penetration to a willing audience. What should you look out for? Ensure the list is legitimate, includes addresses of folks who would be interested in what you have to offer, and that the email addresses are valid.
Purchasing Ad Spots – similar to purchasing email lists, you can purchase spot ads such as banner ads on relevant blogs and websites. Your goal is to make the ad compelling enough for users to see it and click through to your sales funnel. What should you look out for? Verify that the traffic promised to you is accurate (check traffic stats).
Purchasing Clicks (PPC Advertising) – Google Adwords is the most common example of pay per click marketing. You pay Google for advertising your sales funnel each time a web surfer clicks on your advertisement. What should you look out for? Make sure you know what you are doing. One can lose their shirt and then some overnight with Adwords. Trust me, I’ve been there.
Social Media Opt In Marketing – this one is one of my favorites but I still have not applied it. That’s why I am a student of Tamar! You can actively market a freebie giveaway on Facebook and Twitter, providing readers an incentive to either “Like” or “Tweet” your website or message. Each time a user does so, your message is spread to their connections, potentially exposing your sales funnel to a whole new world of audience you didn’t have access to before.
Social media is free and readily available platforms like Twitter and Facebook make it relatively easy for anyone to join and utilize. What to look out for? Succeeding with social media is not a passive activity at all. It requires genuine relationship building which comes with a lot of time involvement. This is not necessarily a bad thing – just be prepared for it.
Each of these methods can be effectively utilized to drive immediate traffic to your website, blog or sales funnel. Notice the first three require capital outlay. The fourth requires significant ongoing effort (not passive by any means). In short, all these take time, effort and resources (money).
I am not suggesting that you do any one or a combination of these instead of focusing on SEO, but my intent is merely to introduce some alternative traffic generation methods. Which route you go depends solely on your goals, objectives and mainly timeline (how quickly do you want results?). Can you wait or are you in a burning rush?
For example, when I embark on a new niche site, I enter the project with the understanding that it will take time before I see any results mainly because I rely on organic growth over time. I don’t rush the process. However, when I started my -ecommerce business back in 2005, I paid for traffic by launching an extensive Google Adwords (PPC) campaign. To me, the cost to profit arbitrage was worth it. Spend $1 to make $3 was a no brainer, at least initially.
SEO is NOT Everything!
Evidently SEO is NOT EVERYTHING after all, I suppose. Many websites are terribly optimized, if at all, and they are doing just fine. There are gobs of single page sales funnel sites out there with high page ranks and Alexa scores. They must be doing something right.
Proper SEO takes time to implement and come to fruition from a traffic generation perspective. One can instead buy traffic and route it to a targeted sales funnel of some sort. Social media on the other hand can bring gobs of traffic as well in exchange for your time (It’s free!). What do I recommend?
Why Not Best of Both Worlds?
SEO leads to free, long term organic traffic that is the best and longest lasting in my opinion. Unlike paid mechanisms, traffic from solid SEO doesn’t stop coming in once it gets started. Traffic from paid ads however stops when you stop making payments, so you might want to consider an SEO – Social media approach.
I can understand and appreciate the urgency involved in getting products launched quickly in the marketplace, but one can always go back and optimize a site that was neglected from an SEO perspective in the past, right? Why not get the best of both worlds when you can do it?
Readers, what traffic generation method(s) do you prefer? Why? Are there methods you despise? Why? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Sunil owns over a dozen profitable niche websites and is the author of “How to Go from $0 to $1,000 a month in Passive and Residual Income in Under 180 Days All in Your Spare Time”, a FREE report you can download instantly from his Extra Money Blog, where he discusses how to create multiple streams of passive and residual income, entrepreneurship, internet marketing, blogging and personal finance. In 2007, he sold his ecommerce website for $250,000 to a top Ebay Power Seller and since then has sold several niche sites for five figures each. You can read more about him and his work on his blog.
Image credit: Señor Codo