educational

Building a Comprehensive Traffic Strategy

Stephen Yagielowicz

From Pinterest and its growing number of adult emulators, to Viddy and its “Tweet” style video capabilities, for those responsible for delivering a steady stream of website visitors, there seems to be a continuous flow of new and innovative ways to attract adult content seekers. With all of these options, however, it is important not to neglect time-honored basics, that while perhaps passé, still resonate with vast audiences — including surfers that may not know about, or patronize, tube sites.

It is also important to realize from the outset that different types of sites will require (or be able to make use of) different types of traffic. For example, most free sites do not find it profitable to pay for traffic from affiliates; while Twitter may be better leveraged by amateur site models that are promoting live cam show performances, than by a generic tube site announcing its latest updates. It comes down to the actual results you’ll achieve, versus the time and energy they require.

It is also important to realize from the outset that different types of sites will require (or be able to make use of) different types of traffic.

With that being said, here are seven components of a comprehensive traffic strategy:

Affiliates

A staple component of adult webmastering tradecraft, affiliate programs have proven to be a reliable traffic source for the program owners (also known as “sponsors”), as well as a profitable revenue stream for affiliates themselves. While affiliate programs continue to power most paysites, many have moved their primary traffic generation initiatives in-house as a cost-saving measure. Although fraudulent activities on both sides of the fence have tainted the pool for affiliates and sponsors alike, affiliate programs remain valuable, if challenging, tools for driving traffic to your paysite. Whether on a per-sale or revenue sharing basis, paying commissions on referred sales is the foundation of commerce and as such will always have a place in the savvy merchant’s audiencebuilding strategy.

‘Old School’ Webmaster Promotions

From directories to DMOZ, from link lists to pic posts, TGPs, MGPs and beyond, the adult Internet has taken many forms over the years — all of which provided the visitor base needed by free website operators, and the customer base required by paysite owners. While these previous generation powerhouses have faded in glory (and visitor volume), they are the foundation of many site’s “in-house” traffic efforts. They should also be seen as higher quality traffic sources, than some other more modern venues. For example, an MGP clip of 30 seconds duration whets the appetite, while full-length tube clips satisfy it.

Paid Advertising Spots

Whether it is a traditional banner ad, pop-up or pop-under, targeted redirect or video pre- or post-roll ad, e-mail blast or other advertising technique, paying for ad placement is an easy (and measurable) way to put your offer in front of as large an audience as your budget allows. Unlike other channels that are less under your control (such as when a search engine might list your site and how far down that list it appears), paid placement “guarantees” X number of visitors, delivered within timeframe Y. This can be vital for planning resource scaling. For example, the release of an advertisement (or gallery / clip) on a high traffic site can cause harmful traffic surges to your own site. While “too much” traffic may seem a strange concept to some site owners, when your server is buckling under the sudden load of countless visitors, sales and satisfaction won’t be forthcoming. Knowing when and from where traffic surges will come allows you to warn your webhost to make suitable accommodations.

Search Engines

Commanding the lion’s share of Internet traffic, the major search portals, such as Bing and Google, provide the life-blood of many site’s traffic plans — delivering highly qualified, targeted visitors — because they are seeking your specific product or service. Of course, you likely have many competitors striving for those same viewers. Even if you use paid listings to augment your site’s organic search volume, someone will pay more, pushing your site further down the list. Still, search engines are arguably the best source for website traffic, with smaller engines and meta-search tools providing opportunities for operators feeling the heat of Google’s competitiveness and constant updates.

Social Media

When considering the topic of social media in context of building traffic to adult sites it is easy to focus on Facebook or Twitter as prime venues. Indeed, many performers use these services to interact with their existing fan base while garnering new devotees. There are many other ways to make use of social media, however. From using comments, polls and ratings to drive future content decisions in hopes of increasing traffic by giving your site’s audience what it wants; to leveraging tools such as Tumblr, Instagram and more to provide the content for your site, with a social boost.

Traffic Trades

Text link or banner exchanges and other traffic trades have been around for as long as websites have, serving as a fundamental mechanism by which surfers discover new sites. This form of trading traffic can take two main forms: blind trades or actual clicked traffic. In the former case, the surfer is unaware of the actual destination he will arrive at, such as when clicking on a thumbnail image in anticipation of seeing a related gallery, but being sent to a different website instead. In the latter instance, a banner or other visual leads to more of the same or a related product offer; for example, a live webcam preview window, that when clicked on, leads to a performer’s free chat or other area. The surfer arrives at the site or content choice he intended. Of course, a blind link that simply states “mature” or other niche category, and leads to appropriate content, is an acceptable hybrid.

Tube Sites

Originally met by the adult entertainment industry with indifference and disdain, tube sites have come to be a major driving force within the business today. Tube sites have evolved into desirable distribution channels for adult content producers and other rights holders, who make use of marketing services such as Pornhub’s Content Partner Program or Pimproll’s new PaidPerView.com in order to generate direct sales while building their brand and home-site traffic. While many rights-holders have frowned upon (and litigated against) tube sites over their business practices, the top tier of these companies have been able to emerge as “better” corporate citizens that will shape the adult website traffic scene for years to come, making content marketing via tube sites a growing necessity.

There is more to developing a comprehensive traffic strategy for today and beyond than can be conveyed in any one article.

From careful interlinking and network building, to geo-targeting and foreign market penetration, translation and video transcription, robots.txt and .htaccess optimization — even your use of HTML5 or not — will all affect your overall visitor volume and quality. It is a never-ending battle to the top, or a rapid slide into Internet obscurity. It is website traffic building, and it is an ongoing endeavor.

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