You must have heard of the term “Quality Links”. How about “Quality Traffic”? “Quality links” means that the one way links coming to your website are from reliable sources and the content is related to yours. For example, if your website is about web design and a link pointing to your site from the web design section of msn website is considered as a quality link. “Quality Traffic” means that the people who come to your website via whatever channels are actually looking for something and have better chances of using your services. They are looking for something specific and your website can provide the answer and make them stay longer. Quality links are important in search engine optimization as to Quality Traffic to sales generation.
Forum / Blog
By participating in forums, you are exposing your url to anyone who is reading your post. For example, if you provide web design service, you might want to be more active in the web design section of the forum because you know that the people who are reading your post are people who are interested in web design. The clicks from these people are usually more valuable than clicks from any other tom, dick and harry. I would recommend using only one link in your signature to avoid confusion. Some people use alot of links in their signature for SEO purposes and that actually defeats the whole idea of getting quality traffic.
Many people leave their urls when participating in blog discussions. Like forums, people who take time to read the blog are interested in the topic. Depending on the popularity of the blog, your url in the blog comments may provide you with quality traffic.
Article submission to websites and discussion groups can reap great rewards. If your article is unique and good, it might be duplicated in many websites and invites alot of targeted readers. If the readers are impressed with the content, the chances of them reading the bio at the end would be high, and hence there is a good chance that they will click on your url. Many people write articles for different reasons and I find that many people like to stuff links in their content and bio. I, too operate an article website and sometimes, I saw an article so well written that I wanted to use it in my website but the bio spoiled everything. There were too many links in the author bio. I can understand from the search engine optimisation perspective of putting links in the bio but it will become harmful to my website (I am stingy about out-going links) and annoying for the reader if the bio is stuffed with links. Some links aren’t even related to the author.
Online Advertisement / PPC Programs
Another proven technique is to advertise urls or banners in established websites. If you noticed, Dell loves to advertise their products in MSN. Just imagine how many people are surfing msn everyday and how many people are looking at the banner…Intelligent use of words and banners can lead to high volume of targeted leads to your website. Such advertisements can be effective but very costly. Therefore, most people tend to use Pay-Per-Click (PPC) programs whereby your urls will only be displayed when certain keywords are searched. The most notorious of all PPC programs is Google Adwords.
Let us not all forget that the best way to get quality leads is via organic search engine results. Though it takes a lot of hard work and time to be ranked well in major search engines, the effort will be rewarded in a long run. Once you are ranked well in the Google especially, quality traffic becomes almost unstoppable.
This is an area that is often overlooked. Sometimes words of mouth can be even more effective than all of the techniques mentioned above. I remembered how friendster used to spread like a virus sometime ago and everyone were talking about it everyday in schools, colleges..etc. This is how powerful peer pressure can be. As long as something becomes popular, everybody will go for it. Many traditional advertising techniques such as putting your urls in brochures, magazines, stands, t-shirts, cars…etc still works. Of all the offline advertising techniques, I found newspaper ads really effective especially if the newspaper is really popular. Offline advertisements may well worked better for people who do not use search engines alot.
There are other ways to get traffic but most of them are not really effective. I will list 2 commonly used techniques now a days:
Guaranteed Targeted Hits
There are companies that promised certain amount of quality hits for certain amount of money. This service is very attractive for new website owners because it is hard for a new website to get traffic. How does it work? By using pop-up advertisements. There are also unethical companies using automated scripts to generate hits. A quick way to determine if this technique works for you is to check your web statistics. If all the visitors from the “Guaranteed Targeted Hits” program does not go beyond the landing page or generate sales, then you should consider quitting the program. There are also cases that this technique actually works for some webmasters. For me, I will block all “pop-ups”, “pop-downs”, “pop-unders”…etc whatever.
Hits Exchange Network
Some websites offer hit exchanges, ie you visit my website and I visit yours. It usually works on a point system. The more websites you visit, the more points you get and the system will show your links more frequently, bringing in more hits for you. There is usually a timer to make sure that you visit the site for at least 20 or 30secs before you can move on to the next. I must admit that this is a very good and cheap way to get free traffic but the traffic is not targeted. Most users in the network visit your site just to get points and they do not take your content seriously. I have joined many such networks and none actually works for me.
Quality Online Traffic is important for anyone who provides an online service or runs an online business. Visitors who arrived at your site with a purpose are more likely to make purchases. This article discussed some of the common ways to bring in quality traffic for your website, some online and some offline. There are of cause many other ways not covered in this article.