educational

Traffic: Strategies for Today

Stephen Yagielowicz

There is one thing that all website owners have in common: the need for an ongoing, increasing and profitable flow of high quality, qualified visitors. Unfortunately, the laws of supply and demand — as well as shifting consumer preferences, adult content filtering, search engine updates and other factors, combine to throttle traffic to many sites today — and thus limiting the available amount of visitors for each site competing for a share.

Grabbing your slice of this pie means rethinking traffic strategies to better handle the flow of traffic in 2013 and beyond. Here are a few things you may want to consider:

While many of these legacy sites are currently running on autopilot, they continue to attract legions of loyal fans, providing proven channels via which automated tools can be used to keep a continual flow of new visitors to your site.

AN AFFILIATE ANCHOR

While the adult affiliate landscape has dramatically changed over the past few years, both for adult affiliate program owners as well as for the affiliates themselves, this source of traffic remains a vital part of many adult site’s portfolios — and sometimes has a twist.

Owning an affiliate program doesn’t mean having it open to everyone, however; with site owners that may not be interested in running a traditional program still opting to offer links through their biller’s in-house programs; such as those provided by CCBill, Epoch, CommerceGate, Zombaio and other online payment processors. Doing so will let you put these moneymaking links into the hands of review sites, tube sites and other “pay to play” traffic providers willing to send visitors to your site in exchange for a share of the wealth.

Running an affiliate program in this manner doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to hire affiliate managers and pump out new FHGs and other marketing tools every week. It simply requires you to perform due diligence by monitoring how and where those links are being used.

This makes setting up at least a basic affiliate program at the same time that billing is setup for your site a smart idea, serving as the foundation of a progressive traffic strategy.

OLD SCHOOL RULES

Traditional adult traffic sources may get little respect from many modern marketers, who point at the traffic dominance of tube sites, but this dismissal may not be very wise.

Consider how many times you’ve seen a “How does The Hun still make money?” discussion on an adult message board. While the golden years of such operations likely have passed, their survival is buoyed by old school surfers, many of whom still pay for porn and many of whom have yet to be seduced by tubes.

TGP and MGP sites, among others, enjoy great audience that will convert better than the visitors to many tubes, while review site traffic can be some of the most productive — try these old school sites as a traffic source or leverage affiliates to do it for you — being sure to carefully measure the productivity of these portals. You might be surprised.

While many of these legacy sites are currently running on autopilot, they continue to attract legions of loyal fans, providing proven channels via which automated tools can be used to keep a continual flow of new visitors to your site.

MOBILE MATTERS MORE THAN YOU THINK

In 2013 and beyond, having a mobile friendly version of your website is not a luxury, it is a necessity, as many consumers use their Smartphones and tablets for surfing porn and downloading adult apps — a trend that is rapidly escalating.

Catering to these customers has gotten easier over the years, with responsive design techniques eliminating barriers to entry while boosting content availability and reach — taking away excuses and opening the door to new opportunities — and new visitors.

According to DK New Media CEO Douglas Karr, website marketers should embrace mobile technology as another means of attracting new prospects.

“Mobile optimization of your site via a responsive design, mobile theme and/or mobile application is an incredible way to grow traffic,” Karr told Social Media Today, noting that his company’s own Android and iPhone apps are growing at a much faster rate than its web traffic and adding, “Having a mobile optimized site and application are great for search engine rankings and mobile search as well.”

Annette Tonti, CEO of mobile services provider MoFuse, explains the growing value of mobile technology today.

“[Mobile] browsers are becoming much more intelligent and powerful with HTML5,” Tonti told BusinessInsider.com, “We’re actually seeing that some of the capabilities that you could only do with an app, starting to be built into the mobile browser. So for example, iOS 6, I believe, we can get our hands on the camera through the browser, which you could never do that before.”

SEARCH ENGINES EVOLVE

These tips tie in to how savvy marketers are able to leverage search with their other promotional initiatives; as some search engines incorporate various “infrastructural” cues such as cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility, mobile and tablet “friendliness,” W3C standards compliance, HTML5 coding, site speed and more — while adding bonus points to sites with strong social media support.

It is a tangled web of factors that boils down to “the better the site, the more traffic it will receive.”

While many webmasters see search engine optimization as a black art, and others try their best to game the system and others still pursue misinformation, the blind leading the blind, there is an easier way: just ask Google.

If you want to increase your search traffic, then Google’s Webmaster Tools should be your first stop, as they outline what you need to do, step by step, straight from the source. Check it out at https://www.google.com/webmasters/.

Social Networks Seed Success

“Sharing is caring,” or so they say, and search engines tend to believe this old saying, providing an additional benefit to those willing to work today’s growing range of social media channels and formats.

It’s not just about posting on Facebook and Tweeting all day, but about adding a full spate of social media icons to your content, so that others may share it easily and freely. Remember that having these icons in the right place is as important as having them, so place social media icons and content sharing links at the bottom of your content pages, where folks are more likely to use them — after viewing your content.

Like search marketing, social media marketing returns what you put into it, and if you want sustainable, tangible results from either, it quickly becomes a full time job, but one where the payoff can be more than worthwhile. None of this will really matter, however, unless you consistently and frequently post original, high quality, relevant content, even when it’s only marketing posts on social sites.

Tube Sites Take Lead

Love them or hate them, tube sites are where the traffic is — but rather than bemoan this simple fact of life, turn it to your advantage by luring as much of that traffic away as you are able to. Some of the most popular tube sites today offer content partnership programs, where content owners are able to post their material in exchange for traffic. While the rules vary from site to site, some tubes will allow the posting of short-form clips when accompanied by an affiliate link that is used to credit the tube site for any resulting sales — with longer duration clips rewarded by not requiring affiliate links, so the poster receives all revenue generated by the video.

The addition of banner ads and text links near the uploaded clips, as well as the use of watermarks when allowed, provide extra traffic for webmasters submitting clips to tubes, making these mega sites a valuable part of any paysite’s traffic mix.

It is no longer enough to focus on only one type of traffic. To isolate a website from sudden, unexpected fluctuations in traffic — such as the next Google wobble — it is vital to cultivate a robust portfolio of sources. Take a fresh look at where and how your site is getting its visitors and see if some changes to your strategy will produce better results for both today and the coming year.

Stephen Yagielowicz is XBIZ World’s senior technology editor.

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