By Brendan Fitzpatrick
There are many ways to build a web site that receives lot’s of traffic. However the first things you need to figure out are “what does lot’s of traffic mean to you”, “what kind of traffic are you looking for”, “what do you intend to do for that traffic” and “how much is this traffic worth to you?”.
What does lot’s of traffic mean to you? Are you looking for dozens of unique visitors per day, per week, per month? Are you looking for 100’s of unique visitors per day, week or month? Or are you looking for 1000’s of unique visitors? Depending on what your site has to offer, any of the above quantities of users can be considered “lot’s of traffic”.
What kind of traffic are you looking for? Global traffic, regional traffic, geo-located traffic, product specific targeted traffic? You need to assess your objectives and goals and then weigh the various options that might work best for you. Not every option below will work for everyone, here are some key ways to generate significant traffic for your situation:
1. A great Domain Name – depending on what you are looking to offer it may be very easy or very difficult to find a really good domain name. Domain names that people type into the browser directly without searching in search engines (ie. cars.com and loans.com) are diminishing daily in the registrars. If you have a niche product or idea then there is a chance that you may find a domain name that receives some traffic just by owning the domain (ie. organicguavadrink.com and superbowlboulevard.com) but more common products and ideas are very competitive and will cost you $100’s if not $1,000’s of dollars for a domain name that receives direct traffic.
Note: a friend of mine bought SuperBowlBoulevard.com in October 2013, really good domain names are out there if you look hard enough. Another way to find really good domain names is to try and predict future domain names such as an up and coming professional athelete or movie title.
2. A fad – depending what you are looking to do with the web site if you are just trying to make money and you really don’t care what type of traffic you receive you can copy an existing fad and place Google Ads or Amazon.com’s affiliate ads on your site. For example, when AmIHotOrNot.com came out I created iGotLooks.com and I received so much traffic in the first month that it brought my server down, it received hundreds of visitors per hour and 1000’s of pages per hour. I added banner ads to dating sites and I was making a couple of hundred dollars per month without lifting a finger.
Note: creating a site like iGotLooks.com would normally cost a few thousand dollars, I didn’t know how to build the site but I learned over time and built many custom features which eventually led to me earning ALOT of money per hour by fixing and building other sites. I found work using eLance.com and craigslist.org
3. A well designed site – back to reality here.. Most people cannot purchase a great domain name for their site because most of the domains are either taken or too expensive to purchase from someone and most people cannot piggyback their ideas onto a fad. If you fall into this category then you have two options, either design and build your own site and learn EVERYTHING about SEO along the way or you’re going to pay someone good money and then you’re going to have to cross your fingers that they don’t rip you off AND hope that they know what they are doing. I’m not going to go into the details of how to design a great site as that is not the purpose of this article, the purpose is to make you aware of options. I will say though – that even if you can afford for someone to design and build a great website, you really should try it on your own so that you can at least talk with a level of authority with your designer. A well designed website will be found higher in the search engines than poorly designed sites generating organic traffic. You need to understand topics such as META-Tags, keywords and the content of your site.
You don’t need to be a mechanic to talk to your mechanic but you should have a basic understanding of how many miles you can expect out of your tires and brakes so that you’re not replacing them too frequently.
Note: my wife had no knowledge of building a website but she designed and built WeddingRice.com which receives a good amount of traffic which brings in a good amount of side business for us. The biggest Bridal magazine in the United States eventually found the site and voted her product as #36 out of their top 100 products in their September 2007 edition. It truly is amazing how far a well designed web site can take your business.
4. Paid advertising – this is an extremely complex discussion but I will attempt to simplify an example. No matter what you can afford to spend on traffic you must educate yourself on topics such as CTR and your conversions to sales. Depending on your average profit it may be impossible to earn money using Paid advertising. Example:
Keyword cost per click: $0.10 (10 cents)
If 10 people click on your ad before one of them buy something it will cost you $1.00, if your average profile it $0.90 then you are losing $0.10 every sale.
Keyword cost per click: $3.25
If 1000 people click on your ad before one of them purchases a loan it will cost you $3,250 BUT if you are making $150,000 per loan then you have just struck gold!
Paid advertising should always be tested with an amount of money that you can afford to lose. You’re best bet is to find websites in the same category as your products and pay a fixed fee for an ad on their site – but be cautioned that you should require proper evidence of the traffic they expect to send you.
Note: Just because a website doesn’t advertise that they sell banner space shouldn’t deter you. Email sites directly and you are bound to find a great advertising opportunity for your site. I sell ads on AnniversariesByYear.com that brings 1,000’s of unique visitors per day and people contact me all the time and I work out custom ad agreements at incredibly low rates.