Basic Traffic Management, Part 1: An Introduction

Stephen Yagielowicz

You may remember that in last week's article, "The Secret of Success," I stated that "Traffic is the single most important ingredient needed to build a profitable web business." Well, this week I'll begin to explore the world of basic traffic management. What? You've never heard of "traffic management" before? That may be one reason why you don't have as much traffic as you would like to have — and also why you need to read this series!

It's been said many times that "failing to plan" will produce the same results as "planning to fail." Since I believe that it's much easier (and less expensive) to learn from other people's mistakes, I'm not one to ignore such universal truths. With that in mind, let me tell you that one of the most frequent questions that I'm asked is "How can I get more traffic into my site?"

I've been contemplating my standard answers to this question lately, and I have now come to the conclusion that there must be a better procedure than the old hit-and-miss promotional methods employed by so many Webmasters - both experienced and newbie alike. This method involves the development and systematic implementation of a traffic management plan. Not some rigid blueprint to be followed without deviation, but a flexible and evolving outline for driving a steadily increasing flow of traffic into, and out of, your adult web site.

Before we get too heavily involved in the actual traffic management process, let's take a quick look at some of the factors that we will be considering:

Bringing Traffic Into Your Site
The next installment of this series will outline some of the most popular (as well as the most under-utilized) methods for driving traffic into your site. From Search Engines and Directories to Direct Mailings, we'll look at a dozen or so methods that are sure to put an end to your (lack of) traffic woes. I say "lack of" traffic woes, since if you make use of all the techniques that we will explore, you may find yourself with more traffic than you can handle — or afford — giving you a whole new set of woes.

In the coming months we will examine each of these traffic sources in greater detail, as well as some unique new ways of combining them for maximum traffic flow. And therein lies the problem: having a substantial flow of traffic without an established management plan is a sure-fire way to cause a server melt-down and hefty hosting bill, which is why we'll discuss getting rid of your new found traffic next: of the most important decisions that you as a Webmaster have to make is what to do WITH your traffic (that is to say, where and how to send it away from your site for maximum profitability)...

Sending Traffic From Your Site
Sure, everybody wants to have a lot more traffic, but the truth of the matter is that you could send many sites all of the traffic that their server can handle, and they still wouldn't make any money!

The reason for this is quite simple: although one of the most important decisions that you as a Webmaster have to make is what to do WITH your traffic (that is to say, where and how to send it away from your site for maximum profitability), it is a subject that few folks give much thought to. Most aspiring Webmasters are content to slap up a few banners and maybe add a few text links, all hoping to make a sale. Perhaps a little consideration has been applied to targeting the sponsor to the traffic your site is generating, but it usually ends there. This is a shame, since it costs sales.

As such, we will explore some of the various scenarios for dealing with traffic once you actually have some, and how the type of site you operate (free, pay, AVS or traffic pump), affects how you should best handle your traffic.

"Washing," "Looping" and "Filtering" Traffic
In this installment, we'll take a closer look at several methods for washing, looping, and filtering your traffic. These more advanced traffic management techniques will help you to maximize the effectiveness and profitability of your site's traffic by improving its quality, retaining it for as long as possible, and then sending it to the sponsors most likely to convert it into cold, hard, cash!

Once you have an understanding of where to get traffic, how to handle its flow through your site, and how to best squeeze every possible penny out of it, we'll wrap things up with a look at how you can implement a basic traffic management plan for your own site. Because just as having a business and marketing plan is important for any commercial endeavor, so is having a traffic plan important for your site's success. Stay tuned, this one will be worth following along with: