One of the biggest mistakes I see small business owners make is that they chase free traffic. And I know this sounds completely counter intuitive … I mean, whats wrong with free right?BTW I’ve found that most success secrets are counter intuitive… that’s why so few people ever make it to the top. Because they are not willing to look beyond their own beliefs and opinions and they are not willing to get help and input from people that have gone before them. But anyway I digress so lets get back to why relying mostly on free traffic can hurt you. There are basically two sources of “free” traffic.
1) Search engines like Google, Bing, Youtube etc etc and 2) Social media.
So lets get right to the two main problems with free traffic.
a) It’s unpredictable, unreliable and cannot be scaled or controlled.
b) You MUST understand that NO traffic is really free because you will either pay with money or pay with time. To get “free” traffic you have to invest quite a lot of time on getting ranking in the search engines, endlessly producing content and posting stuff to social media sites. Most of the people I know that are chasing free traffic, have already experienced burnout and if not already they are about to.
PLEASE get this: Your time is FINITE … it’s the most valuable commodity and while you are spending time trying to get “free” traffic you are not serving your clients or selling your products. And the latter part is probably what drives you… that’s what you are passionate about, right? Posting stuff to facebook was probably not what you dreamed about when you got into business.
Also free traffic from search engines are very unreliable. One day you can be on page one and the next day you can be on page 10 and get no traffic what so ever. I know a guy that literally from one day to the next lost 70 % of his traffic because of a change that google made. That business went from thriving to bust overnight.
If your business can only survive based on free traffic you are doing something wrong. And more importantly it’s a disaster waiting to happen, because it’s only a matter of time before there will be a major change that dramatically will impact your traffic.
SO what to do instead? What you need to focus on is creating a sales funnel that converts well enough that you can afford PAID traffic and/or advertising. Paid traffic is the way for so many reasons.
First of all it’s controllable … click prices might increase slightly over time but it’s not going to disappear overnight or suddenly double in price.
AND really important it’s SCALABLE… For example. If you have tested a campaign with 100 clicks a day that profitably gets you 1 sale…. well now that you have tested that it’s profitable … you simply buy more clicks… and you can take it from 100 clicks a day = 1 sale a day…. to 10,000 clicks = 100 sales a day
With free traffic you cannot grow it from 100 to 10,000 daily visitors overnight… it can simply not be done.
And just think if this… can you name me 3 big brands that get all or even most of their business from free traffic? That’s a hard one, I’ve been searching a long time and the only ones I can find are the ones where there entire business model is based on producing or hosting content… blogs like Huffington for example.
There is nothing wrong with free traffic… it’s is great when you get it, but think of it as a bonus. Please don’t build your business based on it.
Hope that was helpful. Have a brilliant day and whatever you do… give it all you’ve got
Patrick M. Powers