“Where's The Traffic?” was the question asked at the opening seminar of GFY's inaugural Webmaster Access event held this past weekend in Los Angeles, and a panel of industry veterans provided the answers.
In short, the panel, which included Aly from Python, Jason from SilverCash, Sex.com founder Gary Kremen, TopBuck's Ali and Scott from TGP SleazyDream, concluded that adult traffic is derived from six basic avenues: Affiliate sales, paid advertising, opt-in mailers, thumbnail gallery posts, search engine optimization and pay-per-click placement.
Experimentation is the key to finding successful traffic sources, panelists said, explaining that there were too many variables among adult sites, products and services to offer a standard plan of traffic acquisition. The audience of over 100 attendees was encouraged to diversify their marketing budgets in the beginning to test various traffic avenues, then zero in on optimizing those sources that emerge as the most profitable.
“Test it! When you find something that works, run with it!” said SleazyDream's Scott. Once you've found reliable and profitable sources of traffic, “you have to optimize that traffic to maximize the value you get from it…” added Ali from TopBucks.
When pressed by several participants for a dollar amount for a traffic-testing budget, Gary Kremen offered the opinion that marketers should allocate at least $300 per test for any given source of traffic.
Panel moderator YNOT Bob cautioned that before you spend any money on marketing, you should first put your time and monetary resources in to preparing your site for optimum sales, otherwise your efforts in traffic acquisition will be wasted. He estimated it takes about six months to fully prepare an adult site for marketability.
Avenues of Traffic
Panelists touched briefly on various avenues of traffic. Aly of Python talked about the importance of opt-in email marketing to our industry as a valuable source of traffic and sales. “I have a lot of respect for mailers,” she said. “It's a source of traffic for most people here. It's crucial and if it went away, we'd be in trouble.”
Gary Kremen stressed the importance of working with both pay-per-click search engines and optimized free listings. He advised webmasters that they should allocate at least a portion of their marketing budgets to search engine optimization.
He also brought up the issue of the reliability of affiliate traffic. “When buying traffic or doing search engine optimization, you don't have the issue of the bad affiliate or the malicious affiliate.” Kremen said, explaining that with new chargeback and refunded transaction issues, companies are susceptible to unscrupulous competitors potentially submitting fraudulent transactions in an effort to eliminate competition. “That's something that is really happening in our industry.”
SleazyDream's Scott says the webmaster's goal should be to be the first piece of porn the surfer sees that day in order to secure a sale. He spoke about the value of the sometimes controversial thumbnail gallery traffic. “The key to making TGP traffic work for you is to differentiate yourself by offering unique sites and services that you can't get from free picture sites,” he added “Trying to sell a free picture site on a TGP is very difficult…”
Scott advised that webmasters looking to create galleries and generate some traffic from TGPs should look at the top spots on the various posts to see what works the best.
An audience participant made the statement that he felt that TGPs were killing the industry by offering up so much free content. “I think that's a very simplistic statement, and I think you're wrong.” Aly said, adding that “There's no point in pointing a finger, you just have to make it work for you.”
Overall, panelists offered good advice to webmasters looking to get started in the traffic game.