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Not all site traffic is good. Like automobile traffic, sometimes traffic is just... congestion, and it just gets in the way of those who you really want to come your way.

Marketers sometimes worry that they are getting too detailed with their campaigns in fear of leaving out potential clients. But, in an answer to our dilemma, a reader explains how that can be more beneficial than being too general.

Next Marketing Challenge

An icy marketing campaign needs defrosting.

Click here to offer your advice.

Other readers suggest placing articles in targeted publications, using e-newsletters to get more visitors' attention, and buying very targeted keywords. No matter which techniques you use to drive traffic, the key is to focus on targeted traffic.

Previous Challenge

Paying for traffic—no tickets involved here

I've been to traffic-for-sale Web sites, as I'm working on a way to get traffic in an organic manner. However, I'm researching on how to get instant traffic as well. How effective is paying for traffic and how do you go about finding the right places to buy traffic?

—Ian, SEO marketing

Before you dig in and work on getting lots of people to visit your site, consider why you want a whole mess of cars coming your way—as Andrea Harris, owner of Minerva Solutions, points out:

You should first ask yourself why you want a lot of traffic. Who cares about getting lots of traffic if it's not from your targeted audience? You don't want lots of traffic, you want the RIGHT traffic—the people predisposed to actually buy your product, download your PDF or do whatever it is you want them to do. I don't think you can pay for this. You need to understand where your audience comes from and target them. For instance, placing well-written articles in the Web publications your audience reads will increase the likelihood that the traffic you get is the traffic you want.

Kris Bickell, owner of Hi-Speed-Internet.com, also prefers not to buy traffic. Instead, he recommends another cost-effective and efficient way to increase response rates:

One of the most cost-effective and quickest ways to get traffic to your Web site is to advertise in electronic publications that your customers read. E-newsletters often provide good value for the cost; your ads will be published much quicker than with print ads; and you'll get quick feedback to help you track and test your ad results. Offer something of value (free report, free trial, free subscription and so on) to the reader, to maximize responses. The key is to find the right publication and make the right offer.

Getting specific works to your advantage, as you can learn from Michael Buckingham, owner and creative of Holy Cow Creative. If you are open to buying traffic, he provides some excellent suggestions:

While an organic search is certainly effective and often the most sought after, cost per click through (CPC) is indeed one of the most powerful marketing tools to come around for businesses of all sizes. The response rate is very similar to direct mail. We have seen a 1-5 percent click-through for our primary search term: church marketing. Page views tend to be consistent with CPC visitors, very seldom do we have a visitor poke his or her head in and not look around when coming in through CPC.

Be careful, though; click-through isn't what you want. For businesses, sales are what you should concentrate on. Anyone can guarantee click-throughs, but those don't pay the bills. Getting click-throughs is just the door opening; it is up to you to capture the visit. You can increase the likelihood of turning a visitor to a customer by how you choose your keywords. Be specific. In fact, I'll even say: The less click-throughs you get, the better.

If you sell blankets, buy the keyword "red fluffy blanket." Don't buy the word "blanket." When the person looking for a red fluffy blanket clicks through, your chances increase that he or she will be converted to a customer—unlike the person who came across your site in search of a baby blanket. In other words, target as closely as you can.

Find that extra keyword and seek out electronic publications where your target market congregates, and you should keep the traffic you desire moving at a good clip toward your business.

Next Marketing Challenge: Can You Help?

Defrosting an unsuccessful government marketing campaign

The Federal government has an Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE) System that is a Web-based application for collecting and reporting customer feedback to determine satisfaction with services and facilities. I'm trying to think of ways to market this to the military, their families, government civilian employees and contractor employees who use the services and facilities. Since this is not the corporate world, there are minimal dollars to support marketing ICE. However, no marketing = no results. What kind of marketing campaign would be appropriate to make the most of our small budget and target market?

—Minnie, Program Analyst

If you have a situation or question needing a few hundred brains for ideas, 180,000 MarketingProfs readers are ready to deliver their thoughts to resolve your challenge. Share your question and you'll get a chance to win a complimentary copy of our book, A Marketer's Guide to e-Newsletter Publishing.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hank Stroll (Hank@InternetVIZ.com) is publisher at InternetVIZ, a custom publisher of 24 B2B e-newsletters reaching 490,000 business executives.


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