Know the worth of your traffic

We all know that no matter what kind of site you have, in the end it’s about traffic. Without it, your site is worthless. We all need those all mighty visitors and the more the merrier.

The question is, how much is your traffic worth?

Well it obviously depends on the type of site you have, but in my case, I have a free site, that generates traffic to sale. So knowing the value of my traffic is really important, so that I know how much to sell it for.

Not too long ago I was in need of so I offered up one of my ad spots for $50 a month ($600 for the year). It was really stupid of me to do that because the value of that traffic is much more, but like I said, that particular day I wanted to make a quick $600 for something I needed right away.

I setup the deal with a new website owner but when it came time to pay me, he flaked. That’s not uncommon in our business. I found over the years there are a lot of people who are all talk and this dumb ass was just like the rest of them.

Annoyed and no longer in “need” of the quick cash, I put up an affiliate banner for one of Vivid’s new porno parody movies. In 3 days that ad spot made me $56.40.

Simple fact is, my traffic on that site was high quality, search engine traffic about porn stars – so I sent it to an affiliate program that I knew converted and was about porn stars. In the end I’ll make far more than $50 a month for that traffic than I would have, if I would have taken the other guys money. So that obviously worked out well for me that the other guy flaked.

But how can others know how much their traffic is worth?

That is what this article is really about. I’ll get more into that later though so you know how to classify and calculate your traffic.

I was talking to someone last night about their desire to buy traffic. He commonly does so and can list no less than ten traffic network sites he buys from. I couldn’t help but choke back a laugh when he told me, not surprisingly, they don’t always really convert that well.

I wanted to say, well duh?

But instead I tried to be nice and approach it from a different angle.

If you had a real store, like a grocery store, and had a choice for me to send you 1,000 people or 5 people, which would you prefer?

Obviously most people would say 1,000 right? But a smart person would want to know what kind of people these are.

The 1,000 people are just random people who typically aren’t into buying groceries in stores. But if you pick the 5, you can all but guarantee at least one of the 5 will buy something. Now which would you prefer?

That’s the thing about those traffic networks. They are full of shit ass traffic from places like tube sites. A traffic network valued my ad spot (the one I talked about earlier which made me $56.40 in 3 days) at a value of $2 per month.

Why? Well because they deal with a different kind of traffic. They deal with volume – tube sites have this volume and value based on the number of clicks, not the actual number of people that clicked and then bought. All they care about is how many people they can send to you site. The more people they can send your site, the more that ad is worth. The problem is, the type of traffic they are sending almost rarely converts. So now you have a bunch of traffic, but what’s the point?

So again I have to ask … would you rather have 1,000 random people who will probably not buy a damn thing from you, or 5 guys who are for sure interested in your type of store (site) and most likely 1 of them will buy from you?

Some tube sites are converting their traffic at 1:4500 some at 1:1600 and others don’t convert at 1:30,000 or even 1:60,000.

But you know what I convert at? Well it depends on the affiliate program, but my numbers are typically around 1:150 right now with Vivid Cash.

That means out of every 150 people that I send to Vivid, 1 person buys. That’s because I don’t have shitty ass tube or TGP traffic. I have quality, search engine traffic.

So since my traffic isn’t the same as tube traffic, how do I know how much to value it at, to sell it outright? That’s a great question and one that isn’t always easy.

First you need to really understand the type of traffic you have, not just where you get it from.

In the case of say my Fame Registry website, I know the majority of my traffic comes from search engines. But what TYPE of traffic is it? Well the theme of the website is porn star’s popularity so that means that people who are into porn stars (or popular porn stars) are my type of traffic.

So now I need to find an affiliate program that isn’t scammy (which isn’t always easy but there are some out there) who really focuses on the same thing my site does.

In the case of my Audrey Hollander website, that’s easy. I need to find a quality affiliate program that offers Audrey Hollander content.

Then I run a test and find out how much money that ad spot makes me. Then that becomes the value of my traffic. If I send all of my Audrey Hollander traffic to (whatever) affiliate program, and it makes me $65 a month, then I can sell that same spot to (whoever) for $65 a month, because that is what that spot would have earned me if I would have sent it to an affiliate program.

The only other thing to note is the length. It takes a lot of work to change up ads every month so I have a rule … depending on the site and type of ad, I require a 3 month, 6 month or 1 year commitment. Meaning they must pay for the entire length up front. That saves me the hassle of having to change up banners all the time. When you run as many sites as I do, you’ll learn that can get tiresome.

 

 

 

Goodbye PageRank …. Hello Secret PageRank

For awhile now people have been speculating the end of Google’s PageRank system. This week Google’s John Mueller said Google probably won’t update Toolbar PageRank ever again. But does that really mean PageRank is gone forever? Not hardly. In fact, we have already been told time and again that Google uses an internal version of PageRank and their entire search engine is built around it.

First let’s define it. PageRank is an algorithm used by Google Search to rank websites in their search engine results. PageRank was named after Larry Page, one of the founders of Google. PageRank is a way of measuring the importance of website pages. PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites. PageRank was developed at Stanford University by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1996 as part of a research project about a new kind of search engine. Sergey Brin had the idea that information on the web could be ordered in a hierarchy by “link popularity”: a page is ranked higher as there are more links to it.

So do you really think they are going to ditch something named after the founder of Google as well as the system that their entire search system is built around? Of course not! Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t pay close enough to what Google engineers have been telling us for years.

So why ditch the toolbar PageRank then? You know, the little PR0 – PR10 system we normal folks used to judge the value of our website on? Simply put, because far to many people were using Toolbar PageRank to try and abuse the system and manipulate search results. Instead of focusing on quality, unique content (which Google wants you to focus on) people obsessed about getting more links. So for them the easiest way to combat that is to ditch the public version of the product.

Not much is known about the internal version of the PageRank system but some rumors and tiny tidbits of information have leaked over the years. Unlike what we know as the toolbar pagerank system which is updated a few times a year, Google’s private PageRank is updated at least once every week (possibly as much as twice a week).

The old toolbar PageRank system was based on a 0 to 10 point system so for example a website could be a PR0 up to a PR10. But the Google internal or secret version is said to be up to a point system of 0 to 200 and can include any number in between. So for example, a site could be 43.00 or 93.19. Heck in theory a site could even be .00001 or 99.062247.

We really don’t know what the PageRank of a given site is at any given moment but what we do know is that it changes often. How often varies depending on who you ask. Some say every 7 days, while others say twice in a week, while others say it could change just slightly every single day. The current theory by most experts at this time is that the Google “secret” PageRank is updated once a week. Google is in a constant state of flux. It’s spiders never sleep. It is not only out there indexing all those new pages that appear each and every day but also all the changes to the current pages that are already in its database. We know that its spider does a quick sweep daily but then it will come back and do a more in depth one later on if it finds changes, and some say it is those more serious sweeps of a site is what plays into the secret PageRank update. But again we really don’t know for sure.

Like the toolbar PageRank the internal Google PageRank system is said to be based on total backlinks as well as the authority of those backlinks. So basically from what the rumors are, the internal PageRank system as Google worked just like the other version when it comes to getting backlinks. The more you have the better, but a single link from a higher PageRank’d website means more than a bunch of links from a lesser PageRank’d website. That’s exactly how it worked before and that’s exactly how it still works now. The only difference is, now you have no freaking clue what your Google PageRank is and that’s just the Google spam team likes it.

Now you have less and less people out there buying and selling links because they don’t *SEE* the value. It’s no longer right in front of their face. It’s not to say that value is no longer there, but most people want to SEE what they are paying for so since they can’t do that anymore, the buying links market has really started to take a huge nosedive and no doubt the fine folks over at Google couldn’t be happier about it.

 

 

 

 

 

Just because someone says something, doesn’t make it true

I was once given some very valuable advice, that literally changed the way I approached everything I do in business. The advice was “just because someone said something, doesn’t make it true”. And that most especially applies to the web and SEO.

Even if the person in question is a so called expert. There are any of a variety of reasons why you shouldn’t always believe everything you here.

  • Sometimes people lie. Most especially in our business.
  • Sometimes people heard it from someone else and they heard it wrong or are perhaps missing part of the information.
  • Sometimes the information has changed. So what they told you may have been true before that isn’t the case anymore.
  • Sometimes people are just jackasses and they feel better about themselves if they tell you something you believe. Even if they didn’t really know the answer but hey it sounded good, right?
  • Sometimes information may be true for them for one reason or another, but may not be true for you.

When I stopped taking everything everyone told me at face value, especially in terms of SEO and started doing the research myself I was blown away at the little insightful tidbits that would come to me.

When people tell me things like “but everybody says”, I just smile and say thank you. Because to me it doesn’t really matter what “everybody” says.  I like to do the research and find out for myself. Maybe in the end “everybody” was right about whatever it was I am researching but in the process of trying new things, I could stumble upon something else all together, something I might not have found had I had no been doing the work myself.

It was recently revealed that a so called industry marketing expert that people like XBIZ put on panels to speak and educate the rest of us poor dumb folk, did all of his research by seeing what others had to say. So when his clients hired him to do work or ask him about marketing he would simply relay advice he learned from others.

Kind of sad huh? I mean who is to say that advice is legit? And companies like XBIZ put him on panels and invite him to host seminars to teach the rest of us. Seriously? I can’t tell you how much I lost respect for XBIZ over that one. But that’s another story for another day.

Sometimes you just can’t go with what other people tell you. Just because someone says the sky is purple, doesn’t make it so. Even if that person telling you is a leading industry expert with their own website and everything.

I’m not saying you don’t need to include what other people say as part of your own research. Heck I attend SEO and marketing classes all the time, still, even after being around since 1996. I’m just saying, don’t take everything everyone says as gospel. Unless you have done the research yourself or have seen it with your own eyes, don’t believe it.

Some experts may tell you that the best color for a join page is pink and purple. And hey, maybe for them that really is true. But how do you really know that is true for you, unless you test it out for yourself. Maybe your traffic is quite different than theirs and as a result black and red works better for you. Maybe pink and purple really is the best color, but the point is, you won’t ever really know unless you test it out for yourself.

Stop just taking people’s words for things.

Stop listening to these dumb asses that companies like XBIZ.com promotes as experts and puts on their panels. Because trust me when I say, they are no more than expert then you or my left toe are. They only got on the panel as an expert because they asked to be so or in some cases paid for that spot.

Of course it’s okay to look to others when you need help but just remember you don’t have to believe everything people tell you. Even if it sounds totally legit, take anything that anyone in our industry says with the grain of salt.

Example … someone told me they were THE leading expert in SEO. Now if you think about that statement, that’s some pretty big claim. He said he could help me with one of my sites for just a little bit of money, which turned out to be $10,000. He sent me a list of computer generated stats about the problems with the site in question to make it seem like he knew what he was talking about.

So I said, okay show me one of your sites. Since you are such an expert, surely you can show me something you’ve done before. He said something like how his client list is confidential but how in the past he has worked for this company and that company and I could ask this guy from GFY or xbiz or that guy because he knows him.

I wrote him back. So let me get this straight. You claim to be the leading expert in SEO and you don’t have a single website for yourself? Why would you not use this knowledge you have for yourself and make millions? I get you are busy with helping others but I mean come on? Who in their right mind would pass up on the millions of dollars you could be making if you were truly such an expert?

He wrote me back. Because I care about my clients more than I do myself. I just don’t have the time to spend on my own stuff.

Well that leads me to two points. #1 If you are so busy how in the world would you have time for little ‘ole me and #2 if you were making your clients so much money with your services how could not a single one of them snap you up and bring you on full time? That just doesn’t seem logical to me.

Much to no ones surprise, he stopped emailing me. LOL

Now here is the important part of this story. This person is promoted in our industry as an “expert” and he has all his little buddies on the industry message boards saying just as much.

If a person were to take what he said at face value they would be out a lot of money because the only thing he seems to really know how to do is setup email lists and copy and paste a bunch of reports from various SEO tools websites. He claims to have a waiting list that is months long and yet he somehow still has the time to spend hours a day on various industry message boards instead of actually doing any work for those supposed clients.

So consider today’s boring and long post a lesson learned in life  …

Just because someone says something, doesn’t make it true

 

 

 

 

Twitter’s Team Follow Train … Does it work?

So you have this new twitter account and now you need some followers, what are you to do? You know that people look down on buying followers, so then you hear about this thing called #TeamFollowBack or the Twitter Follow Train.

How it works is simple … you follow everyone in who teams #TeamFollowBack and in return they follow you. You follow 5,000 people, 5,000 people follow you back.

Sounds great, right? Well … turns out not so much.

What is the point of getting people to follow you? That’s really what you need to define before you can answer how great it is to buy or do team follow back.

Is the point so people don’t look at your account and go OMG they have 12 followers ewww? Or is the point so that your fans or followers can interact with you, find out what’s going on with you and perhaps buy some of your goodies?

That’s what Twitter SHOULD be about for you. Social media marketing is about marketing you (your brand) and the people you buy followers from aren’t real people and the same it turns out goes for follow train people either.

I did some extensive testing on three twitter accounts and these are my results.

  1. I bought 15,000 followers on an undisclosed account.
  2. I did team follow train and got 5,000 followers.
  3. I did it the hard way and tried to build up my account by being active.

I started all three test accounts on the exact same day (with exception of #3 see below) I made sure to give them real looking names, profiles and pictures. I tweeted exactly the same thing on all three accounts.

I made sure that with all three accounts I tweeted with the 80/20 ratio meaning that 8 out of every 10 things I said were about general stuff like the weather, what I was doing that day – no links. The other 20% of my tweets were pictures, promos, and whatnot.

Account 1 with 15,000 followers had a 0 rate of engagement. Out of about 600 tweets, not a single re-tweet, comment, or click through, nothing. LOL

Account # had 5,000 followers and in return I followed 5,000 people. My stream was full of their team follow back tweeting spam but you know what? That’s all they tweeted about. Those people were so busy getting new followers and tweeting about that, it’s all they talked about. I got 1 click through, from 600 total tweets, no comments, no re-tweets. It was almost like buying followers, only worse because now my stream is full of jackasses going on about #TeamFollowBack.

Account #3 had 312 followers. LOL I’m sorry but it was all I could get. I had to really work for those guys using creative hash tags, etc. In all I tweeted the same 600 tweets as the other two accounts but I also tweeted 83 additional tweets, each time using creative #hashtags and comments to other people’s tweets that I was following.

In the end my return was 21 click throughs, 6 retweets and 17 comments. 21 out of 312 was a hell of a result.

So it turns out the only way to have any sort of financial success with your twitter account is to have real followers and actually interact with them. Tweeting 400 ads won’t do anything for you. If you want to have a successful twitter account then you need to actually tweet real things. Talk about the weather, talk about some TV show you are watching or your favorite sporting event. Talk talk talk That’s the key to success on twitter.

 

 

 

Build it and they come … right?

In 1989 Hollywood produced a movie starring Kevin Costner called “Field of Dreams”. Without a doubt the most famous line to come out of the movie was, “If you build it, they will come.”

Although this concept may have worked in the movie when Kevin Costner plowed down his corn field and built a baseball field for dead baseball stars, that isn’t going to work when it comes to driving people to your website. It never ceases to amaze me how many clients are truly dumbfounded that their new website isn’t an instant success.  They all seem to share a common mindset … BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME. Ummm no, sorry but it doesn’t work like that.

When you create your website you need to realize that there are millions of people on the Internet. There are also millions of websites and new websites being launched every single day, and your new website is just one more. But how do those millions of people who are on the internet know you created a new website? Did you tell them? Are they supposed to be physic and just magically know you have this new website?

If you create a website you have to tell people about it. It’s really just that simple.

If you build it, they won’t come … not unless you tell them to. People aren’t mind readers. They don’t just magically know you have a new website. You have to get out there and market the hell out of it and tell the world about your new website.

The better you are at telling people about your new website, the more money you’ll make. It really is just that simple.

 

 

Don’t be a Social Networking Spammer

Social media is about being social, not about spamming your friends and followers. This is something that a lot of people just don’t seem to get.  If you follow the rules of etiquette when using social networking sites, you might just find that you’ll actually have far better results than you would by being a spammer.

I want you to think about this … if you were to go to a mixer at your local Chamber of Commerce, would you wear a big sign around your neck that promotes your website? Of course not and you shouldn’t do it on Twitter or Facebook.

 

don't spam twitter

 

Don’t use automated direct messages to promote your website.  First and foremost, they are against the Twitter Terms of Service and have been known to cause a high ratio of un-follows.

Don’t start sending direct messages to your followers unless you really know them. If you want to thank them for following you then send it in an @tweet. If also helps to make it personal so you don’t look like a twitter bot. Say something like Hey @MissKelliXXX thanks for following me, really appreciate it. Now to the next guy say something like Thanks for following me @FameRegistry. Love your site. Now you are engaging your followers in a conversation and that is what social networking is about.

By using social networking sites int he way they are supposed to, you actually might generate interest from people – real people. They click your name and you know what they see? A link to your website and chances are because they are interested in you, they will click your link to your site.

The other side of that coin is, you could spam your new followers, annoy them and eventually they just stop following you or even worse, enough of them report you for spam tweets and then you lose your account.

Did you know there are groups of people dedicated to nothing but enforcing anti-spam rules on social networking sites? They are internet vigilantes and they are quite dedicated when it comes to going after people they deem a twitter account nothing more than spam.

So here are some basic “guidelines” to follow … you should have a 1:10 ratio of tweets. This means that you should have a minimum of 10 real tweets (text with no links at of all of kind) for every 1 tweet that includes a link.

So if you want to tweet out a promo to your website once a day, that means you’ll need to tweet about 10 other things first. It doesn’t really matter what those things are, as long as they are engaging to your users and don’t include links to anything else.

So what are some things you can tweet?

  • Tweet hello or good night.
  • Reply to other people’s tweets.  If they ask questions, try and answer them. If they say good morning, say good morning back.
  • Tweet a thank you to someone or something. ie: I so love @Pepsi. Nothing wakes me up in the morning more than an ice cold @Pepsi.
  • Ask for help or advice about something. ie: The new iphone.
  • Tweet happy birthday messages to your favorite porn stars or celebs.
  • Tweet tips about something you are knowledgeable in. Just remember to talk like a human – make sure your tweets don’t make you sound like an auto-tweeting bot.
  • Ask questions that require an answer more than a yes or a no.
  • Conduct a poll. Ie: Do you like blondes, brunettes or red heads?
  • Tell a funny or interesting story. It make take you a few tweets but that’s okay to do sometimes.
  • Did you eat something great? Tweet out the recipe.
  • Tweet interesting facts.
  • Compliment someone’s profile or avatar for a person who follows you.

Just remember that you have two main goals … #1 Is to tweet text without any links. You want to save your links to tweet about your website. #2 Your goal is to be engaging. The more interesting your tweets are the more people will comment or re-tweet them and that will help you even more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Graphics or Bad SEO?

There are two things most people dream about in regards to their new website … having it look fabulous and getting lots of people visiting it. Problem is, sometimes our pursuit of having it look fabulous can actually hinder our effort to get lots of traffic. We all want beautiful websites with lots of pretty graphics but there is a problem with that.  While we can look at the image below and know that’s a photo of porn star Eva Angelina, but that’s because we are human’s.

Eva Angelina

Computers aren’t as smart. They can’t “look” at a picture like we can.  They can read the text on a page and try and figure out what your website is about, but if your website has a bunch of photos and not enough graphics, then how can they understand? Because again don’t forget computers (like the robots that index your sites for search engines look Google) can’t look at a picture and know unless you tell it.

So what I’m saying is, you need text and lots of it for search engines to understand what your website is about. But if you are smart about it, there are some things you can do to be able to use some graphics, if that is, you do it in a certain way.

First is the file name.

Have you ever downloaded a picture from Facebook and noticed the long, odd name? ie: 1514336_594029313994636_421512611_n.jpg
How would a search engine know what that photo was about if you named your picture that? So instead why not name it something like Eva_Angelina.jpg? Now when you look at the picture you know it looks like Eva Angelina and Google can read the file name Eva_Angelina.jpg and go oh hmm this must be a picture of Eva Angelina.

Next you want to always give your images an alt description.

Every image you have on your website needs an ALT=””. Far to often we get lazy and don’t fill that out. Here is an example <img alt=”Eva Angelina” src=”http://www.kelli.net/Eva_Angelina.jpg” />. Notice how it says alt=”Eva Angelina”? That tells every computer and TTS (text to speech) reader that this is an image of Eva Angelina. It’s vital that you properly tag every single image on your website. Have you done this?