Where do we find the best sources for targeted traffic, and what do we have to do to get them to work for us? In this article, we start exploring some well known, and some lesser known volcanoes of paid traffic that can be turned on like a faucet, by anyone.
- Google Adwords
- Forum Marketing
- Microsoft Adcenter
- Facebook Ads
- Sponsored Tweeting
- CPA Marketing
- LinkedIn Marketing
Probably the better known method of achieving targeted traffic is the paid traffic colossus, Google Adwords.
1. Google Adwords
There are two main ways of utilising Adwords to generate targeted traffic, using its Search Network, and via its Display network. You can use them separately or together depending on your goals and budget. For the latter, you can ideally create and display banner ads on other people’s websites. But the easiest way to use Adwords is via its Search engine.
This way, you can easily and quickly dominate search results without having to work extensibly on Search Engine Optimisation, which can be a medium to long term endeavour.
The other main advantage of Adwords is the ability to do efficient split testing, that is comparing amongst different keywords and ad copy to continuously monitor and improve your campaigns.
Typically your ad can appear either at the top or bottom of the search column, and even on the right hand side, when utilising the Search network.
For more information about this method of driving targeted website traffic, here is Google’s official guide to Adwords: Google’s Adwords guide.
2. Forum Marketing
Forum marketing is a powerful, yet seldom used traffic generation technique.
Discussion forums are online discussion sites, where user communities gather and discuss areas relating to the site’s specific topics. For example there are online Forums on Technology, Pet Care, Education, and the list goes on. Participation occurs in the form of questions and discussions.
Below is a screen capture of a Pets Discussion Forum, one of thousands that can be found on the internet.
Many forum users on the popular discussion boards are respected experts and especially passionate about their particular area. Because Forums are very tightly themed, it is an efficient way of driving targeted traffic to your website.
The steps that need to be taken include:
1. Finding the right forum(s), and registering as a user with a compelling profile.
2. Become comfortable with the ‘atmosphere’, and the rules of engagement.
3. Make valuable contributions to the forum, establish a presence.
4. Create a signature with a link to your website.
Should the Forum be popular and indexed by Google, your website link not only provides a vital backlink to your website, but it provides a handy clickable link for another user to use if they want to learn more about you or your products and services.
Simple as that!
3. Microsoft Adcenter
Another Pay Per Click traffic source is the Microsoft Adcenter. Here is a screenshot of how Adcenter ads display on Bing:
Adcenter ads, as you can see are quite similar in appearance to Google adwords. So this raises an important question – why would you use the Adcenter service in the first place?
- Less competition, so you don’t have to pay as much to place ads for the keywords you want.
- Adcenter ads include the search markets of Bing, Yahoo, and MSN – by not using Adcenter you are missing out on a huge chunk of potential customers.
- And you can import your Google Adwords campaigns into Microsoft Adcenter.
There is a strong argument, that if you are serious about using Pay Per Click marketing to generate targeted traffic and sales for your website then you should definitely take a look at Microsoft Adcenter, in addition to Google Adwords.
For an interesting perspective on the effectiveness of the Microsoft PPC network, read this comparison of Microsoft Adcenter and Google Adwords.
4. Facebook Ads
Because Facebook is one of the biggest domains in the world, it can also be used to generate some seriously targeted traffic to your website.
Above you can see the more traditional Facebook marketplace ads on the right of the screen.
On top of this strategy, Facebook has introduced several more ways of showing ads on its network, including ; Page Post ads, Sponsored stories, and Promoted Posts.
The main reason Facebook ads are so powerful is that you can target your campaign to the exact demographics you want. You can filter by age, sex, interest, levels of education, location, and much more.
This provides a powerful tool to ensure your getting bang-per-buck for your advertising efforts. Facebook ads allow you to tailor who your advertisements are shown to, which can boost your conversion rate and reduce ‘wasted’ traffic.
5. Promoted & Sponsored Tweets
Twitter can be quite a powerful source of traffic if you have a large and loyal following. However, building a large following can take quite some time.
Promoted tweets within Twitter allow you to target by keywords, interests, geography an even device. You can even manage and follow user engagement within Twitter’s own analytics capability.
Sponsored Tweets takes this concept one step further by providing you with the option of paying to have a message ‘Tweeted’ to the followers of say a celebrity with a large following.
Using Twitter as a PPC platform can potentially be quite an efficient source of targeted traffic if your niche is appropriate and your offer is compelling.
6. Cost per Action (CPA) Advertising
CPA advertising is another paid method providing a great source of targeted traffic that you can use, to not only receive instant traffic, but efficient monetary gains as well. It’s different from PPC in that you pay when a user completes an ‘action’ (usually entering a name and email address).
This type of advertising requires some more effort than other methods. For example, finding a decent CPA network to join. However, CPA advertising does have huge potential if you are making a very consistent profit with the offer you want to promote.
We would suggest becoming proficient with Adwords and Facebook before entering the world of CPA advertising.
7. LinkedIn Marketing
Perhaps a late entrant into the media advertising landscape, LinkedIn is taking a leaf from some of the advertising incumbents like Facebook. Because of its rapidly growing network, its database is ripe for the advent of hard-core advertising, which can be used as a terrific source of targeted traffic.
You can effectively target by company size, industry, title, and geography. LinkedIn has its own analytics as well to ensure a campaign can be managed efficiently.
While LinkedIn can be one of the more expensive promotional channels online, it can also be one of the more lucrative in terms of ROI (return on investment). Average incomes for LinkedIn users are quite high, and as it is a professional network, most offers are meant to be seen as above board and pertinent.
If used correctly, paid traffic can provide quite quick results without the need for effort and expenditure on such exercises as link building and Search Engine Optimisation. Many businesses in fact use some of the above methods to compliment medium to long term strategies such as Search Engine Optimisation.