How to Drive Traffic to a Website to Make Sales

Despite all the noise about making money online, knowing how to drive traffic to a website to make sales is arguably the most important skill you can possess.

Let's face it, you can write the most well-researched, factual, inspiring, grammatically correct and interestingly awesome content about a topic ever on your website.

driving trafficHowever, if nobody comes to read it, it might as well not be there!

Without traffic, your website is for all intents and purposes, invisible!

So how do you get people to show up and read your stuff?

Driving Traffic

It's only natural to want an audience of appreciative visitors to come to your web property and see what you've created for them to consume.

The acquisition of human eyes and/or ears to read (and/or listen to) what you write or watch what you create is referred to in the business as driving traffic to a website page, blog post, video, or product sales page etc.

Driving traffic literally means coercing or gently pushing people to open your web entity through whatever means is available to you. There are a number of resources in existence for you to do that, some of which are free and others that have to be paid for.

Paying for Traffic

What appeals to professional Internet marketers that intend to make a lot of money from their time and effort is to bypass all the hard work and waiting around that getting free traffic entails and going straight for the paid sources of traffic.

The most popular and arguably most effective kind of paid traffic source is to pay for ad space on yours and my favourite search engine, Google!

Other sources include ads on other, less trafficked search engines like Bing or Yahoo for example. While not exactly a search engine in the commonly held sense, ads on Youtube are also highly prized sources of buyer traffic.

Aside from search traffic, the next most popular sources are ads on large social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for example. In addition to social media ads, there is another way to buy traffic that is acceptable.

That is to make use of existing accounts that already have huge followings, such as what is known in the game as influencers. Under certain circumstances it is possible to reach out to influencers and ask for a ″shout-out″ that can promote your offer to their followers. This can prove expensive but can have a pretty good ROI if you choose the right influencer with a following that would be potentially interested in your offer.

Then there are ads on other ad networks such as Mediavine, Ezoic etc.

Also, you can leverage other people's email lists via Safe Lists to drive traffic.

Free Traffic

When you're just starting out and probably don't have much (if any) spare cash to splash on paid ads, going after free traffic looks to be a great option.

The most popular and effective free traffic source is still organic search traffic. Using search engine optimization (SEO) to convince Google to rank your web page on its first page for your chosen keywords is a sound tactic. That's when it works, of course.

Most of the time however, using SEO to rank a web page in Google's search engine ranking pages (SERPs) index can be time consuming in the extreme. That's because new pages are being indexed very slowly and ranked even more slowly than ever by the search giant.

Add to the mix the fact that your web page needs to not only be better than all the other web pages that already occupy the top spots, it has to carry more authority before Google's ranking bots will even look twice at it.

I'll explain what I mean by that here.

SEO and its Pros and Cons

Back in the day when I first started making money online, my main source of traffic was free organic search traffic.

I learned how to leverage Google's ranking algorithm to get my pages to rank high for search terms that provided me with buyer traffic. That technique was SEO and back in around 2008-2012 it was not only very effective, it was also possible to be had rather unfairly.

By that I mean it was fairly common knowledge that Google would rank a web page if it had more backlinks from multiple sources than everything else trying to rank for the sake keywords. The task at hand then, was to get those backlinks any way I could, which I did for probably the easiest money I ever made online.

However, fast forward to today and the methods I used up until 2012 that were so successful then are not applicable now. So there's not much point in explaining what I did to get the backlinks and rank my sites.

Certainly, backlinks are as important as ever today, despite what a lot of SEO gurus might have you believe. But they have to be the right kind of backlinks that come from high profile, high authority, highly trusted (by Google) websites that it is almost impossible to obtain them from (at least not without paying a small fortune for them).

So the pros of SEO are:

The cons of SEO are:


Of course, you need to be creating quality content consistently if you want to have even the slightest chance of ranking in Google's SERPs.

To have something to rank, you first need to create it for people to read or watch etc. The stumbling block for many is getting the search engine bots to come visit your site in the first place so that Google even knows your new content exists.

All the current talk about how important it is to create amazing content that is expertly authored, authoritative and topically relevant is not much use when your website doesn't have more than half a dozen low quality backlinks to its name. Worse, all that time and effort you'd put into creating the best content of all is wasted if nobody ever sees it or is ever going to see it!

Conspiracy Alert: Also, it is my valued opinion that the main reason Google wants you to create such expert, topical content has little to do with ranking it and more to do with teaching its artificial intelligence (AI) engine to get better.

The AI content will eventually take over the web and we'll be back to where we were in 2008. That's when machine generated spam overran the search index. Only now, it will be AI generated spam that will read better, but will ultimately grind to a halt when humans stop creating new content for AI to learn from... and it will only have old news to regurgitate.

You heard it here first!

Other Free Traffic Sources

When free organic search traffic becomes just too difficult to come by, there are other free traffic alternatives that can work. Here are some of the better ones.

Ranking a video on Youtube is the next best thing to ranking a webpage in Google's search index as long as you are ranking for keywords that imply buyer intent or interest in what you have to say. Some video makers do very well by attracting large numbers of visitors to their videos that go on to buy products via affiliate links or click in-video ads to make the content owner some money from Youtube's ad revenue.

Next is having your own email list to leverage. In fact, a big list is without doubt the best source of buyer traffic because it's targeted and if you have done it right, they'll trust you more and buy things from your link.

The drawback with then concept of using an email list is you have to build one in the first place. When you're starting out, this puts you in a chicken and egg scenario: You need traffic to build your list to begin with!

Building an Email List

Learning how to build an email list is the subject of many lengthy and often very expensive training courses created by some of the top marketers out there.

In essence, the process is fairly simple. It's the practicalities of the process that are difficult and require that you know a lot of the ins and outs of how its done the right way.

All too many people go about completely the wrong way and either fail miserably or end up becoming little better than a spammer. Neither of these outcomes is desirable for sustaining a long-term business that, when done right can be hugely profitable.

As you can probably guess from how I'm phrasing this section of the article, I'm not going to go into detail on how to build your list here. But I will lay out the bare bones so you know it's perfectly doable for anyone that wants to put in the work.

Essentially, you are looking to accumulate email addresses from people that have already visited an online property of yours, such as a website for example. You do this via an opt-in page that you can get from an autoresponder such as Aweber, Getresponse etc.

By offering something for free to a visitor if they complete your opt-in form, you capture their email address for future use. They get whatever it is you're giving away.

Hint: Make whatever you give them something they would perceive is of value to them. And be sure to give good value or you could very soon lose your subscriber.

Their email address gets stored in your autoresponder and it will send out further emails that you schedule to them for as long as they remain subscribed. Some of those emails will suggest a product that you recommend and contain an affiliate link that if clicked, will earn you commission if they buy whet you recommended.

Think cash cow. You can email a subscriber multiple times and suggest multiple products or services that correspond to the subject that they showed initial interest in via your site. If they keep buying, you keep earning!

Note: Treat your email list with the utmost respect. Don't ever just blast them with offer after offer or they'll soon get tired of you and unsubscribe. Then you've lost them for good.

Instead, cultivate a good relationship with your list by sending non-sales emails that contain a useful tip or some helpful information that will increase their ability to thrive in that niche. By giving lots of good value, you'll not only keep your subscriber for longer, but they'll be more likely to buy from you because you will have earned their trust!

Social Traffic

The other big source of free traffic is social media. If you have built up a big following on certain social platforms, you can leverage that following by suggesting they go and visit your latest blog post that will contain ads or affiliate links that you can earn cash from.

The downside to social media is you can get your profile deleted if the platform thinks you're syphoning off its traffic to your own web property. In any case, it's also worth knowing that the vast majority of people that use social media do it to connect with others or be entertained. Not to buy stuff!

While you can generate sales from social traffic, it's a lot less effective than going after targeted search or ad traffic that is looking to buy something or for a solution to their problem that you can provide.

However, while there's no arguing with how great getting stuff for free is, there are so many drawbacks to finding and driving free traffic to your site or offer that one wonders if it's even worth all that time and effort any more.


Whether you get your traffic for free or you pay for it, the bottom line to making money online is you need traffic to come from somewhere.

I will expand on some of the suggestions I have provided here in future articles on this site.

As long as you can get a steady stream of visitors to see your offer, you stand a pretty good chance of making some decent cash via ads or affiliate commissions. Without them, you fail.


Posted on January 13, 2024