Every online marketer knows that in order to become successful, you’ll have to have a high amount of traffic driven to your website. Traffic volume means more income potential, but when you’re just starting out, adwords ad campaigns may not be a viable option for your marketing budget.
So when you are trying to drive more traffic to your site, you’re faced with whether to try to get free traffic or use paid traffic programs such as pay per click (PPC) marketing like Yahoo search marketing and Google AdWords. (Or you can go for both).
Free traffic routes deliver the best ROI (return on your investment) because there’s no out of pocket cost. But the traffic you bring in may not be as targeted as a PPC campaign and quite frankly, may take you longer to get started.
Some forms of free traffic-generating methods include articles marketing, social networking and forum marketing on niche-related message boards using a link-driven signature file. You can also toss in more creative ideas like eBay and Squidoo.
The problem with free traffic is that it’s a work-heavy advertising technique. In order to gain high amounts of traffic, a marketer needs to continually advertise their site to get their link exposed to prospective customers.
If time is in short supply, free marketing isn’t an option that will benefit you. So then what?
It’s time to turn to paid marketing.
Paid traffic avenues cost you money to gain traffic, but if executed properly, the ROI will be much higher and the maintenance much lower. If you’re using article directories, you may have to wait 10 days for approval, but an AdWords campaign can be live in minutes.
While costs are considerably higher, so is the potential for profits - higher the risk, higher the reward right?
If you don’t know how to conduct a savvy PPC campaign, you stand to lose a LOT of money, trust me… I’ve “been there, done that”.
There are barriers in place to prevent anything bad from happening, such as daily limits to your spending. Unfortunately, many marketers put limits far beyond what they can actually afford, not knowing Google will find a way to tap into your coffers.
Let this be a lesson to you, I like to advise my AdWords clients to start with $100 (my default budget, which may vary of course depending on your market). Treat it as their “AdWords testing money” to get their feet wet with AdWords.
The best way to use paid and free traffic is to implement a strategy that combines both methods. You might run a pay per click campaign and at the same create a lens on Squidoo and HubPages – both for the same keywords. Now you are covering your basis.
And assuming the keywords you tried ranking and advertising for, a few days later, you might find your lens ranked #1 in the Google SERPs.
Do you need to continue the PPC campaign? That’s what testing and tracking of conversions will tell you. You might find that the PPC ad linking visitors directly to your sales page has a higher conversion than those who click through to the lens and then have to take an additional step to get to your sales page.
Savvy marketers understand the need to constantly track and tweak their marketing efforts. Implement new strategies. See what works best for your niche audience. Then wash, rinse, and repeat your success!