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5 Basic Online Marketing Strategies for Driving Traffic to Your Website If your marketing well has run dry, try these basic ideas -- they still work like a charm to bring in more site visitors.

By Robert W. Bly

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The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly's book The Digital Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code MARKET2021 through 4/24/21.

Never depend on only one or two channels when driving web traffic to your site. Justin Bridegan of MarketingSherpa writes: "It's always best to have a variety of traffic sources. This minimizes the risk of your website being decimated if your main traffic source dries up."

With that in mind, let's dig into five ways you can drive traffic to your site.

Affiliate marketing

This doesn't just mean you should become an Amazon Associate or Click­Bank affiliate and use that status to drive traffic to your indepen­;dently owned website. Instead, you should start your own affiliate program, where you partner up with people who'll promote your product or service -- generating revenue for both of you and building your email list in the process.

How exactly do you go about finding an affiliate and convincing them to promote your product? All you need to do is set up a page on your website that explains the benefits of promoting your product. In addition to detailing how big of a cut they'll get from each sale, you'll also explain how they'll benefit from being associated with your brand. Include a sign-up form to make it simple for them to contact you. Then, promote the page to individuals and a wider audience in a targeted niche.


This traffic generation strategy has to do with online advertising. It's a process for collecting subscribers by co-advertising along with other site owners or companies collecting opt-in subscribers. Here's how it works: When the user opts in to receive an offer from the other participant(s), they're given the option to subscribe to your information as well.

Co-registration allows you to target a specific demographic or customer subset. Depending on whom you partner with, co-registration can be less expensive than other types of marketing. Also, with co-registration, building your email list doesn't depend on the amount of web traffic you're able to generate.

There are two major players in co-registration: Opt-Intelligence and CoregMedia, and many choose to work with them. But, there are also smaller companies worth looking at, such as AfterOffers and BirdDogMedia.


Just a few years ago, the average ROI for email cam­paigns was 4,300 percent. That fact alone should inspire you to focus attention on email marketing.

Because 56 percent of customers are more likely to buy with a personalized experience, you want to personalize your email marketing messages. In fact, the average open rate for emails with a personalized message was 18.8 percent, as compared to 13.1 percent without any personalization, in 2016.

The goal of email marketing is to convert an interested customer into a paying customer by driving traffic to sales pages. You can increase clickthrough and conversion rates by making sure the email and the sales page it hyperlinks to are promoting the same offer.

Google and Bing pay-per-click advertising

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Es­sentially, PPC gives you a way of "buying" visits to your site, instead of earning those visits organically.

Search engine advertising through Google or Bing is one of the most popular forms of PPC advertising. You'll bid for ad placement in a search engine's sponsored links when someone searches on a keyword that is related to the advertised offering. PPC success is achievable if you focus on:

  • Keyword relevance. Develop PPC keyword lists of terms relevant to your audience. Use these lists to write keyword-driven ad text.
  • Landing page quality. If you're sending people to a landing page, optimize it with persuasive, relevant con­tent and a clear CTA, tailored to specific search queries.
  • Quality score. Both Bing and Google offer quality scores, which rate the quality and relevance of your keywords, land­ing pages and PPC campaigns. Advertisers with better quality scores get more ad clicks at lower costs.

Lead magnets

A lead magnet is a free content offer -- an ebook, white paper, case study, e-course or checklist. Your lead magnet should be so relevant to your prospect's needs or problems that they can't help but ex­change their contact information to get it.

Of all the possible offers -- ebooks, white papers, you name it -- which are the most effective lead magnets? Here are five:

  1. The cheat sheet. The problem-based specificity of the cheat sheet, also called a tip sheet, makes it very appealing to pros­pects (and it's fairly easy to create).
  2. Free templates. These are extremely popular and generate lots of leads, but make sure the template doesn't replace your service or product offering. Templates can be in Word, Excel or any other common program.
  3. Free training videos, workbooks or a combination of the two, delivered through daily emails. Think about problems that require multiple steps for your customers to solve. These can make ideal step-by-step training products for your lead magnet.
  4. The swipe file. This is a collection of tested and proven copywriting elements (such as headlines and email subject lines) or creative ideas the recipient can use to simplify a project.
  5. Tool kits. These can be a little more complex to create, but because they're filled with resources, they can make excel­lent lead magnets. You can use existing resources, blog posts and other content to complete your tool kit. Common tool kits include a variety of content types, such as ebooks, worksheets, checklists and video.

Did you enjoy your book preview? Click here to grab a copy today—now 60% off when you use code MARKET2021 through 4/24/21.

Robert W. Bly

Author, Copywriter and Marketing Consultant

Robert W. Bly is an independent copywriter and marketing consultant with more than 35 years of experience in B2B and direct response marketing. He has worked with over 100 clients including IBM, AT&T, Embraer Executive Jet, Intuit, Boardroom, Grumman and more. He is the author of 85 books, including The Marketing Plan Handbook (Entrepreneur Press 2015), and he currently writes regular columns for Target Marketing Magazine and The Direct Response Letter.

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