ShoeMoney: Last week I wrote a post about using BANS to build your own niche store. I received a ton of questions about how to build traffic and many other questions. Ian contacted me at the same time to do a follow up to answer these questions
This time of year is when everyone starts to splurge money on physical items such as toys, clothing, and electronics. I have had my BadCircuit.com BANS (Build a Niche Store ) for a little over week already and I have managed to get a fast growing amount of traffic to it. But I spent a good 2 days on perfecting my BANS layout, I did not want to create a BANS look a like at all. So documented my BANS creation, I have part 1 and part 2 of my ‘building of the BANS’ video series.
Since my store is more geared towards physical electronic items, computers, laptops, televisions, etc – I find it easier to capture traffic that is non-seo or keyword content related. There is no content to help with SEO at all with an ecommerce store unless there are articles and posts within the store itself. It makes it hard to gather that traffic from search engines. This year’s traffic should be concentrated on 3 items which users are doing on a day to day basis, these 3 sources has helped my BANS grow in a short amount of days.
The 3 traffic sources I will be talking about will be Adwords or any PPC campaign, Classified Ads, and Social Media Networks, they are ordered from most traffic received to least. These 3 sources alone have helped my BANS grow over the weekend with great amounts of traffic of all which are all targeted traffic. Since this is the holiday, buyers already have a list of what they want to buy or an idea. That idea is the target item they want to buy. For example my store sells electronic items, ranging from computer pcs to ipod nanos. For a buyer that is looking for ‘electronics’ they have an idea of what they are looking for and will concentrate on that goal until it is accomplished, this makes their holiday list less cumbersome when doing some last minute shopping.
If they have a general idea they know what they are looking for which make them a niche buyer. Below is a screen shot of my traffic and you can see the growth over the Holiday weekend, though it is not much but what I did in a couple hours was worth it. If I spent a week or so on trying to gather other traffic it might have been more substantial.
I can say these are pretty good stats because my bounce rate is high. Since it is an affiliate system for ebay, a high bounce rate is good because they are exiting your website. A buyer finds what they want and exited to get more information on that product. Most of my visitors are new and spend just little over a minute on the pages with at least 2 page views. I think these stats are great for a weekend worth of quick work. If I have planned a little earlier I would have probably reached more visits, but I was slacking. But now let me talk about how I receive these traffic in such a short time.
A niche buyer wants to buy something specific and at that moment that is the only thing he will be concentrating on. The first source of traffic that I have used for my BANS store is using an Adwords campaign. This is the easiest way to get targeted traffic. Simply bidding on keywords and using targeted keywords to get buyers to your store. The most important thing is to always try to get is to be on the first page on Google. I have decided to use keywords that are 3+ worded strings, because buyers this time of year are again niche buyers, the more specific the better and cheaper as well. For example this past weekend buyers may search “after black Friday sales” it is a specific audience but it is still too broad, so another search keyword I may bid on is “desktop computer sales.” This is a 3 word keyword, long tail, which may get me on the front page of Google, depending on the CPC, for that specified search keyword.
For Black Friday I spent about 300$ a day for the Black Friday Weekend and have increased it to 500$ a day for Monday (Cyber Monday). I have great impressions with great CTRs, Adwords alone proves to be my most powerful traffic source for my BANS. Another source of traffic that was very powerful was the use of CraigsList.
Using Classified Ads such as Craigslist
Craigslist is great this time of year because buyers are looking for deals, and BANS has all the great deals because its already discounted from most merchants. Almost all of my postings on Craigslist never got taken down, because I am advertising a physical item! When I first experimented with Craigslist for BadCircuit.com my first ads was taken down because I just left the domain and explained “I Have Discounted Electronics.” Craigslist HATES SPAM! So once you arrive at craigslist pick your state and city, then picking your main category under “for sale.”
How I bypass this was very easy, I simply posted the actual item on eBay on Craigslist. This never got my ads taken down and again it is targeted traffic because someone is actually searching for that specific TV or Desktop PC. Craigslist, to me is more for posting physical items or posting jobs (freelance work). Since it is the time of year for physical items, Craigslist to me proves to be a perfect way to gather niche specific traffic.
Once you have chosen your state, city, and category – click on [post] in the upper right hand corner. This will bring you to a sub category listing. Once there it is simple to gather the traffic. To gather this traffic, I simply just post an actual physical item from your BANS and organize the list by newly listed. The newly listed item will be on your BANS for 7 days (if the sellers post for 7 days), so if the actual buyer is looking for that specific item they can still find that item within a 7 day period, Craigslist post your ad for about 30 days.
When creating your post you want to keep the same exact title and price of the actual item on sale. Now comes the description – DO NOT post anything that says “go to this website to get this” or “you can grab this item here”, etc. Just simply copy the specs of the item from the ebay listing and post it on Craigslist.
In my case I simply took the specs and warranties of the description and paste it within the description section of Craigslist. Simple. Once you have created your description add your URL to that specific category, just the URL. Again do not say “you can view this item and others here,” if you do it gets flagged. If you posted a Plasma TV within the Plasma Television Category of your bans, have that specific link directly associated with that item. If you just leave your domain, you will be flagged. Make it as specific as possible.
At the bottom you will notice your email address, you will need a validated email to actual publish your posting. Once you publish you are able to edit it later on as well. Also chose “do not show my email address” since you are not the actual seller of the ebay item. With Craigslist, since posting is free Craigslist also allows you to post images. Right now I only upload 1 image and since it works I will stay with 1 image per posting. I do not use a cartoon or a false image; I use the actual image from the ebay listing. Associate the description with your links and images, because they will pass Craigslist standards.
Social Networks and Bookmarks
Using social networks to capture traffic is another great tool and resource to use, this is not my most powerful way to get traffic to my BANS but it does work. Social networks are great because it becomes viral at some point. I also tend to use a follow through technique as well, assuming everyone has an account with a social media network. First I will talk about forum traffic and get into my Follow Through Traffic with social medias bookmarks.
Forum traffic is a great source for global communication and niche specific traffic. For my BANS I targeted the discount and coupon forums, with categories in electronics and computers, everyone is looking to save a dollar or so.
These types of forums have buyers that are looking for that deal or that big discount, and since it is an ebay feed – most items are already discounted. I participate as a new comer, this way I communicate with other sellers and buyers growing my post level to at least 10 before I create my own post/thread about a topic. I think this is important because then you are not looked at as an advertiser/spammer within a forum, you engage in communication and you become a resource. Of course I have already edited my signature to point to my BANS, but the best is creating a controversial issue when you start a thread and keeping that thread alive with valid communications between members. As long as the thread is fresh with content and controversial, the thread will always be bumped by other members and viewed by search engines!
Once you have reach a post of at least 10, start a thread that has a controversial topic such as “TV Brand VS TV BRAND.” Any one looking for discounts on TVs or a comparison will most likely visit this thread. Within the thread you can state you found 2 comparable TVs with the same price range but you are undecided. You can list small features and state you found these deals at YOUR BANS CATEGORY SPECIFC. This is not spam or advertising; you are simply redirecting users to check for comparison of the TVs, it is targeted traffic.
Once you have a reply usually it is a comment which the user will have a favoritism for a specific brand and will not even go to the site. Once you have that first reply – turn the user’s reply into a controversial question. When that happens, everyone will put in their opinionated answers as long as you keep your responses in question. Just do not post, “but why” “what do you mean” – actually participate as well.
Another great social media to use are social media bookmarks such as digg and stumble upon. This type of technique I use is called follow through traffic, assuming everyone has used stumbleupon and digg before. Follow through traffic is almost automated since the end user does the work and all you have to do is get the ball rolling.
Follow through is a simple system where a user found your site via digg which was found by stumbleupon, there is a middle source which is can benefit from the users interaction. Here is an example; users use the stumble button to find new websites. If stumbled on a digg link page which is linked to your website, that end user will visit your site via the digg link AND might digg the page as well, again assuming everyone uses digg and stumbleupon. The end user simply follows through their likings, if they stay on the digg page (which was stumbled upon) long enough to visit your site via digg, then it has a good chance of being dug.
The only key aspect I can give is to make sure you have a strong title and description without it sounding as spam or a commercial. The key is to sound like a normal user. Do not use words like “cool discounted electronics,” that is just boring to read.
Each of these sources is viable use to gather traffic to your BANS or even any website. If you do not want to spend money or lack the pocket change, use classified ads such as Craigslist and USFreeAds. These are great resources to post an item from your BANS, which you are technically selling.
In the end all of these tactics are about capturing your targeted audience’s attention for your BANS. It is about getting their attention for X seconds to react to your listing, reacting to visit and buy. Adwords – you need to have a good ad that captures, Craigslist – you need a good title to capture, Social Bookmarks/Networks – you need a good title. See the similarity; capture their attention long enough for them to follow through to your link and to buy.