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Note: The ideas and opinions expressed in this Guest Article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Joe and Maria Gracia of Give to Get Marketing. It is vital that you test the ideas that seem appropriate for your particular business and your specific marketing strategy. For more details on developing an effective marketing strategy click here.
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The 3 Secrets of High Traffic Sites
Guest Article: by Mark Joyner

It seems to be in vogue these days to downplay the importance of web traffic. It's popular (and perfectly valid) to say things like: 'Traffic is worthless if you don't turn it into money.'

Excellent point, but this assumes that you actually have some traffic to begin with. Each step of the Internet Marketing Process is not just important - it's required for success. So, let's focus today on getting traffic to your site, and remember:

A. Getting traffic to your site is like putting gas in your car. You can have a great engine, but it won't go anywhere without the gas. Likewise, you can have a perfect sales letter - but without traffic, it's just pretty to look at.

B. The highest traffic sites of the world do not just get a little more traffic than the next guy - they get exponentially more traffic than the next guy. For example, according to Media Metrix, AOL's network weighed in at #1, getting more traffic than any other site in the world in April of 2001. Amazon was ranked #10. Both are top ten sites... And the difference? AOL had 89,000,000 visitors that month and Amazon had 19,000,000. That's a whopping difference of 70,000,000 visitors between the #1 site and the #10 site.

Interestingly, the higher up the ranks you go, the greater the gap between each site.

So, what's the difference? Why is it that the better a site gets, the further behind it leaves its closest competitor? Here are their secrets:

1. They Set Up 'Multiple Streams of Traffic'

Back in 1995 I observed an interesting phenomenon. I found that the likelihood of someone responding to your website was highly dependent on the path they took to get there.

People may ask you 'what is the conversion rate of your website,' but that is really an irrelevant question. Conversion rates are meaningless unless they take into consideration how someone gets to your website. (Test this yourself and you'll find it to be true.)

So, I coined the phrase 'All Clicks are Not Created Equal.' For example, traffic from a site recommending your product is more likely to generate a sale than traffic from a site criticizing your product. That's an extreme example, but you get the point, right?

When people discover this, their natural tendency is to start getting picky about how they get their traffic. Why waste your time on traffic that won't generate a sale, right?

If you're paying for advertising, this makes perfect sense. However, many people mistakenly throw away traffic from free sources as a result.

High traffic sites never throw away traffic and constantly endeavor to set up new traffic streams.

Let's take the worst possible traffic source imaginable: FFA pages. Traffic from FFA ads is extremely sparse. To make matters worse, this traffic is rarely the source of an immediate sale. Very little amounts of the lowest quality traffic in the world - yep, I think that qualifies it as the worst possible traffic source.

If, however, you have an automated FFA promotion going that doesn't take you any time to maintain and still brings in traffic, should you throw it away?

Maybe not...

I still have in place free automatic traffic building sources that I set up years ago. Much of the traffic that comes from these free sources is of low quality, but hey, I don't lift a finger to get it any more.

Most super-high-traffic sites are constantly working on new ways to bring in traffic - many of which are not very sophisticated at all. Even Yahoo, for example, uses a low-budget 'tell a friend' script on their site to encourage people to forward articles to their friends. Does Yahoo care that anyone can do this with a free CGI script? Of course not. It's just one of thousands of traffic sources they've established.

When you read #3 below, you'll realize why 'low-quality' traffic may not be so bad after all...

Remember, though, if you're paying for 'cheeseburger' traffic, don't pay a steak-and-lobster price. Better: get your cheeseburger traffic for free from as many automated sources as you can.

2. They Use Viral Marketing

'Viral Marketing' was the vogue buzz-phrase of 1999. Several books have been written on the subject in hopes of cracking the code, but still very few sites are taking advantage of this incredible concept.

Viral Marketing is any type of marketing that encourages people to spread your marketing message around for you.

Think about this - it sure would be great if people advertised your product for you, wouldn't it? It beats the heck out of paying for advertising.

Here's a viral marketing story for you:

When I started the e-book marketing craze back in 1995 with the release of 'Search Engine Tactics,' I promoted the book with a very simple viral marketing scheme.

Here's what I did:

I put a note in the book itself that everyone was granted permission to give away or even sell the book on their sites. They would benefit by giving something of value to their visitors - I would benefit by advertising products in the book. The people that they gave it to saw the note in the book, and they gave it away on their sites - and so on...

So, did this work? You be the judge:

a. The e-book was downloaded over 1,000,000 times when we last counted in 1998.

b. The e-book was noted by ZDNet as one of the top downloads of 1999, and is the only e-book ever to be given 5 Stars by ZDNet.

c. Experts have since written entire books about my little ploy showing people how, they too, can unleash the viral power of free e-books as traffic builders.

The point? Well, one simple viral marketing tactic put my name on the map. Granted, it was an unusually successful virus, but this was just one simple tactic...

People are still giving this book away on their sites today, and I haven't done anything to promote it in years.

High traffic sites are always looking for new ways to spread their message virally.

3. They Turn Traffic into More Traffic

This is where most people blow it. Allow me to explain...

Whenever I consult for businesses I always teach my 'Internet Marketing Battle Plan' concept and use that as the basis for everything we do. This lays the groundwork for the best marketing possible. (Side Note: I very rarely do any consulting anymore - and usually only as a favor to close friends. I just don't have time for it - I love it, but my own Internet business is too lucrative to spend time doing anything else.)

The Internet Marketing Battle Plan is a cohesive system consisting of 5 unique tactics that represent each step of the Internet Marketing Process. All successful Internet Marketing I have encountered follows one form or another of this plan.

Step 4 is: 'A Tactic for Getting People to Come Back to Your Site.'

If you're selling a product on your site, remember that most sales are not closed the first time someone hears about a product. Obviously, getting people to come back will greatly increase your chances of closing a sale.

If you're selling advertising on your site, clearly getting initial traffic to come back over and over again will snowball your traffic.

There are thousands of ways to do this, but you always need to have:

a. An incentive for getting them to come back.

For example, at the killertacticsjournal.com site, we entice readers to come back by offering free marketing advice each week from world-leading experts. This incentive needs to be truly valuable or it won't work.

If we offered misguided advice from self-proclaimed experts, it would not be nearly the same incentive. Instead, we offer battle tested advice from undisputed world-leading experts like Jay Conrad Levinson, Brian Tracy, Joe Sugarman, Ted Nicholas... If we didn't offer our readers value each time, they just wouldn't come back!

b. A method of informing them of the incentive.

For example, sign up for our newsletter and we inform you whenever this new information is available. You come back and this starts the cycle again.

Can you think of other ways to inform people about your incentives? Use your imagination.

High traffic websites always keep people coming back for more.

You now have the plan - it's up to you to put it into action. Work on all three of these secrets every single day and I assure you that your traffic will increase dramatically.

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About the author:
Mark Joyner is the CEO of Aesop.com. To quickly and easily start using free viral traffic building as he recommends in this article, we recommend StartBlaze. http://www.roibot.com/tk_sb.cgi?sbyg1

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