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"Targeted Traffic For Pennies.."
By Jim Daniels
What follows is a proven, step by step formula for driving highly targeted traffic to any
website; for pennies.
Recently, I've been sampling new promotions methods to drive fresh traffic to my website.
I had been reading quite a bit about goto.com and how other webmasters had been
getting great results with it, so I decided to give it a try.
In a nutshell, goto.com is a "pay for rank" search engine. It allows website
owners to bid on keywords related to their site. When users search on any term at goto.com
they are presented with a list of sites, with the highest bidders appearing closest to the
Based on my own experience, this site not only offers a great way to find things on the
web, it offers a very inexpensive way to generate targeted traffic to any site. By
following the details of my own goto advertising campaign, you should be able to emulate
the excellent results I've had.
Just a few weeks into my campaign, I am now generating between 85 and 100 visitors each
day from goto.com. My costs are averaging about 4 bucks a day. As I continue to tweak my
advertising (I'll teach you how) I expect my numbers to double and possibly triple. But
I'll get to that in a minute. Let's take things a step at a time...
Step 1: Open your own GoTo account.
The first step is to visit www.goto.com
and open an account. There is a minimum investment of $25, but you get the best bang for
your buck with GoTo's
$99 Express Service.
The way it works is simple... As an advertiser at
goto.com, you bid on search terms relevant to your site. You have complete control over
how much you pay on a per- click basis on each of those search terms. The higher your
"bid," on each search term, the higher in the search results your site will
appear. As GoTo proudly states, "It's targeted, cost-per-click advertising and you
set the cost per click!"
Step 2: Decide how much a visitor is worth to you.
You can do this by checking your current website stats. Add up your average number of
monthly visitors and determine what percentage of them actually go on to become a
customer. This can be tricky but it is an important step. Depending upon the average cost
of your products or services, you should be able to come up with a ballpark figure as to
what each visitor is worth.
Example: If I'm converting one sale from every 100 visitors and my average sale is $100,
then each visitor is worth about a buck. (Keep in mind, this does not take into account
the lifetime value of a site visitor or customer.)
Once you have an idea of how much each visitor is worth to you, write it down. You will
use this number as a "cap" on your bids. More on this later.
Step 3: Start a file on your computer with keywords pertaining to your site.
Using any word processor, start typing anything and everything you can think of that
pertains to your site. If you are selling pet supplies your list would look something like
(Don't worry about pluralizing all your words. GoTo's Search Pluralization feature
analyzes your keywords and does this for you automatically.)
Now before you tackle this step, I must inform you that this can be the most
time-consuming part of your goto campaign. Why? Well, in order to really get the most from
your campaign you'll be making a list of at least 1000 keywords, or search terms. That's
right, I said one thousand. You don't "need" that many to get started with goto,
but I tried bidding on a limited number of keywords and the results were nowhere near the
cost- effectiveness of using a large list. A large list allows you to bid as low as a
penny on 90% of your keywords. Even if 10% of them get a single click each day, you're
generating 100 visitors right there.
Goto offers a "suggested search terms tool" to help you: http://inventory.go2.com/inventory/searchInventory.mp
When you type in a word there, you get a list of
related search terms that were searched on last month at goto.com. I found their
suggestion tool helpful, although it can still take quite a bit of time to compile a large
list with it.
Actually, I must admit I cheated on generating my own keyword list... As a registered
member of Challenge, I have access to a
keyword generation script that generated literally 1200 terms for me in a few minutes.
This tool saved me days of thinking and typing and quite frankly is worth
the price of admission to the private site. (Especially if you are planning a goto
Step 4: Write a title and description to go along with your keywords.
When you place your bids at goto.com you will also be asked for the title of the URL you
are submitting and a short description. It is important to write something brief, yet
eye-catching. Remember, the main objective is to get people to click. Use of the words
"free" and "you" can be very useful here. Stick to the tried and true
classified advertising axioms but make an effort to stand out from the crowd. A good idea
is to write something YOU would click on.
You may want to write two or three of these titles and descriptions, especially if you
plan to bid on keywords that cannot be directed to the exact same URL at your site. Ex:
One of my bids was on the keywords "free downloads" so I wrote a separate title
and description for the software area of my site, http://bizweb2000.com/software.htm and
submitted that specific URL.
You can save time if you can write a description that covers your entire site and then
link all your bids to your main URL. Although your traffic may not be as targeted when you
do this, it is less time consuming than trying to break your site into specific areas. It
all depends on your individual site and how much time you have to spend. (Remember, you
can always adjust links once your account is online and drawing traffic.)
Step 5: Place your bids.
Okay, you have a nice long list of keywords, along with titles and descriptions. Now it's
time to get your bids in! You do this at goto's DirecTraffic Center. This is their account
management tool, where you can add, modify, or delete your search listings, 24 hours/day,
7 days/week. You can also check your account balance, add money to your GoTo account,
change your bids in real-time and view your activity reports. Once you've opened an
account you just click https://secure.goto.com/s/dtc/center/
to log in.
As far as actually placing your bids, there are basically two methods to utilize
--manually (by hand) or by using the Excel spreadsheet they offer. This is a no-brainer.
Go for the faster and more accurate spreadsheet option. It allows you to complete one form
and email it to email@example.com for their review.
Microsoft's Excel is part of the Office Suite and many PC users have it, even though they
may never use it. Although I had never opened Microsoft's Excel program before, I was able
to learn enough in about a half hour to get me through. Basic skills like repeating text
and drag and drop of my keyword list were simple enough to figure out. Within an hour of
downloading the spreadsheet they offer, I had a completed form ready with over 1200
An important topic to touch on here is the pricing of your bids. I suggest you price all
your bids a one cent. (0.01) Since you will undoubtedly be submitting some keywords that
are not currently being bid on at goto, why pay more per click than you have to. A penny
bid will put you at the top on these keywords! Once your spreadsheet has been accepted and
put online, you can then start adjusting for more traffic. (More on this in the next
Note: Make sure your spreadsheet does not contain off-topic keywords. Submissions are
spot-checked and routinely refused if they contain keywords unrelated to your site.
Step 6: Adjust your bids.
This is where knowing what a click is worth to you comes into play. At Goto.com's
DirecTraffic Center you can now adjust your bids in real-time. This area shows you your
current ranking on each of the terms you've bid on and also tells you how much you need to
bid to get to the #1 spot. What a tool!
While I don't recommend you go for number one with every bid I do recommend you try for a
top 50 spot. As of the writing of this, each page returned on goto searches returns 40
sites. Getting your keywords on the first page or even the very top of the second can
What has been working for me is this: As I go through my bids I adjust only the ones that
I feel are highly likely to get searched on. If I can squeeze into the top ten on any of
these by adding a few cents to the bid, I do it. Then, I make sure that the real common
and super-busy keywords appear at least in the top 50.
Example: The word "business" was very popular and my penny bid had me at #153. I
had received zero hits from that low position. So I bid just enough to move it up to the
top 50 spot and bingo- six hits the next day. While you may be thinking that six hits is
nothing, remember that I'm bidding on 1200 keywords. I've had time to adjust about 35% of
them so far and I'm up to 100 visitors a day from goto.com. That's over 3000 visitors a
month and I'm far from done.
As I mentioned, knowing what a click is worth to you comes in handy here. If each visitor
to your site is worth say, .65, then set that as your limit, or cap. Bid up to that amount
on any keyword, but not over it. This will ensure that your campaign remains profitable.
As you make adjustments to your bids, you should visit the "view stats" area of
the DirecTraffic Center frequently. Checking your stats at least once each week will allow
you to keep on top of your adjustments and maximize your traffic.
That's it! An effective new traffic source for your site!
While I'm not much for spending money on advertising, this new method is cheap and
effective. Anytime you can get targeted traffic to your site for pennies, you need to take
I've managed to get some excellent results with goto.com, even with the huge amount of
competition in my industry. For other webmasters who are focused on less crowded niches,
goto.com could be a goldmine of targeted business.
Take this lesson plan and goto
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