“What is the absolute, hands-down best website traffic sources?”
This is a common question from people who have just put up their websites and are starting to drive traffic.
Of course, the really important question is:
“What is the best source of buyers?”
Because traffic is useless if no one is buying!
I have a couple of different answers to this question.
Best Website Traffic Sources – Your In-House Email List
Now, I understand that you need traffic in order to build a list, but the fact is that an email list that you have a strong relationship with is your BEST source of buyers.
At the flick of a switch, you can send out an offer to a solid source of buyers and make sales.
Of course, this is assuming that you have been marketing responsibly and creating a strong relationship with your list!
This is why I always emphasize to people that you have to build your list.
The money is in the list!
Best Website Traffic Sources – Affiliates
If you have a brand new business and haven’t built a list yet, you need other sources of traffic.
After an in-house list, affiliates provide the next highest converting source of traffic.
Getting affiliate traffic means using sites like:
- Commission Junction
- Share a Sale
…and leveraging the traffic that these sites get for your own site.
Of course, you can also build your own affiliate program using 1Shopping Cart, Infusionsoft or any of the other ecommerce systems which have affiliate technology built in. You would then go out and find affiliates who will recommend and endorse your product.
The reason that this is such a high converting source of traffic is because these are people coming to your site who have been partially or completely pre-sold by the referring site.
The right affiliates who have strong relationships with their list and audience can send a ton of qualified traffic to your website.
Affiliate marketing does have a downside though – consistency.
There are two reasons that consistency is a problem with affiliate marketing as a primary website traffic source.
When you get a new affiliate, they’ll generally write a blog post or send an email that directs their readers to your site and you’ll get a bunch of traffic and sales.
Your affiliate might even make your product a regular feature, but the fact of the matter is that each affiliate you get can bring a spike in traffic but it won’t be a consistent flow of website traffic.
The second reason the traffic is inconsistent is because affiliates tend to be most loyal to the product that has the highest conversion and pays the highest commission.
This means that an affiliate who’s sending a lot of website traffic your way can suddenly get a better offer from a competitor and you’re left hanging.
So although affiliate traffic is one of the best website traffic sources giving you high converting buyers, it’s not a good long-term source of consistent traffic.
This is why I recommend that people who are just starting out also pay attention to my third choice…
Best Website Traffic Sources – Search Engines
There are a couple of different strategies to use with search engine traffic – organic and paid.
Organic Search Engine Traffic
If done properly, organic search engine traffic is by far the most consistent and the highest converting source of website traffic.
Someone coming to your site from an organic search listing in Google is going to convert as high as 7 times higher than someone coming from an equivalent paid ad.
So if I have a keyword such as “Internet marketing training” and I rank in the number 1 or 2 spot organically and I also have a pay-per-click (Adwords) ad, the people who find me organically are 7 times more likely to buy than the ones who click through the paid ad.
There are lots of theories as to why this is true, but the one that makes the most sense to me is because people are sophisticated enough to know that you can’t pay to be ranked organically.
So if Google has you listed in the top spot for your keyword, Google is basically endorsing your product!
That is hugely powerful and makes the organic search engines (primarily Google) a great source of qualified buyers.
Of course, when we talk about search engine marketing, we’re basically talking about Google because it’s by far the biggest source of search traffic.
So, getting ranked organically for your keyword will get you:
- The most consistent website traffic source
- The highest converting source of website traffic
Website Traffic Sources Summary
In summary, your list is your highest converting source of buyers but you need traffic sources such as affiliate marketing and search engine marketing to build that list.
Affiliate marketing is awesome for its high conversion rate, but inconsistent and tricky for building your business.
Organic search engine marketing can drive you the most predictable, consistent source of qualified buyers.
And really, even your affiliate marketing is driving traffic that originated from the search engines in many cases anyway!
Beyond those three sources, there are other options for driving traffic such as blog posts and forums, but they typically can’t match the website traffic generation potential of the source listed above.
You might be wondering where social media fits in to all of this.
Frankly, it doesn’t make my top 3 right now because as far as conversion goes from social media, my experience (and that of many marketers out there) is that social media at this point in time does not convert anywhere near as well as the three options I’ve given you… at least not right away but I will save that discussion for another day.
So there ya go. My favorite website traffic sources.
Hope you learned something!