“You think you know, but you most likely don’t. Traffic is the single most important ingredient of a profitable web business,” the seminar’s description stated.
On hand to lend their expertise on staying at the leading edge of traffic management was Aly Drummond, traffic guru for Python Communications and the hostess of newly-launched live video show “Aly TV;” Bob Smart, co-founder of adult search engine Booble.com; Scott Hjorleifson, president of SleazyDream.com, one of the highest traffic-generating thumbnail gallery posts; Pete Neumann, vice president of business development for FindWhat.com; and Scott Rabinowitz, co-founder of TrafficDude.com.
“Think of all things traffic as assets,” said Rabinowitz. “Take the best of what you’ve learned and what works and turn assets into lasting value.”
Rabinowitz cautioned that consistency is essential to generating lucrative traffic, and that at a time when things are going well, sales and profits are up, to not take for granted that consistency is key.
“Do not lose sight of the fact that the business can turn on a dime,” said Rabinowitz.
Neumann of FindWhat.com named the pay-per-click model and ad word buys as choice traffic generators, adding that keyword search results still have a higher return on investment than most other traffic methods.
Neumann named a key formula to successful traffic: Find, Get, Keep, which translates into finding potential customers, getting them to convert into paying customers, and then retaining them by delivering the content or product as promised.
Drummond of Python brought up the issue of tracking the source of webmaster traffic and making sure that its origins won't cause liability issues at a later date.
"We will have to look more deeply at some point into who is sending that traffic and where it is coming from,” said Drummond, implying that affiliating with traffic sources running illegal sites can eventually pose a risk to the webmaster community in general.
Rabinowitz suggested using the pay-per signup model as a way of gauging how well a premium ad buy performs. He also lightly touched upon the benefits of geo targeting and customer profiling as ways of generating site-relevant traffic and making sure that users can actually buy the product being marketed and aren’t constrained by international billing obstacles. For that reason, Rabinowitz urged webmasters to speak to their billing processors to more closely understand billing solutions that are applicable to certain parts of the world.
Hjorleifson of SleazyDream passed along sage words of advice an industry veteran told him when he was just starting in the TGP arena. “Test, test, test,” said Hjorleifson. “There are a lot of success stories in the TGP marketplace but the reality is you have to keep trying and testing, and when you find something that works, run with it.”
Hjorleifson also encouraged webmasters to create sites that stand out from the crowd as unique, much like the way that reality sites have taken the adult web by storm.
After only a year in the adult business, Smart of Booble told seminar attendees that in such a short time after launching the sex search database, he’d learned a windfall of information about staying ahead of the traffic numbers, affirming, he believes, that there is still room out in cyberspace to create a successful business model.
While claiming that Booble is only “moderately successful” after its January 2004 launch, Smart also runs porn review site SirRodney.com that has served as a steady money maker over the years and compliments his more gimmick-inspired Booble site, an obvious parody of search engine Google. However, finding a corner in the adult market has required constant attention, leading edge technology, and a never-ending push to stay in the media spotlight.
“Traditional methods for generating site traffic are not working as well as they used to,” said Smart, adding that while consumers have one-click access to porn nowadays, there is still mainstream resistance.
“The marketing of adult sites face increasing challenges, but look who is winning,” he added, presenting a laundry list of successful site "types" that are proven traffic generators.
Among those models are leading brand sites, star power sites with an already established name, pop sensation sites, technologically innovative sites, and high concept sites like Booble, which relied almost entirely at first on public relations, print and radio ads, offline guerilla marketing, and paid search advertising aimed at the mainstream market.
“Give the marketer a way to generate interest even to people not involved in adult,” Smart said, adding that one-hit wonders cannot sustain themselves over time and must eventually deliver traffic volume to stay alive.
“Find what works and exploit it as much as you can," he continued. "The winners will have a hook to retain and generate quality, consistent traffic.”
Smart also found success in marketing Booble through link exchanges as a way to generate traffic long-term.
“The more people you link to, the more traffic you’ll get,” he said.