I am going to go into the types of free traffic you can get. Including referrals and SEO. Just keep in mind that free traffic for generating leads is awesome! It is awesome because that traffic didn't come through a paid channel. However... the concern is how to measure something that was free, and how do we apply it to our advertising stream to scale?
Referral Based Marketing is Not Measurable... It's just a Bonus!
I always considered referrals a bonus. They were not really measured into my funnels as people who came directly from Facebook and were consuming my content. Don't get my wrong. Referrals are awesome! I love them so much because each one that I get, is practically instantly wanting our services based on what their friends told them about us! But by all means, is referral marketing scaleable. It is not quite a controllable approach to growth. It just happens when one of your loyal clients tell them out of good will how awesome we are!
Lead Generation is the key element to business growth and success. It is the number one ingredient to getting clients.
- If your business pure survival is referrals, it is not a business it is a promotion.
- If your business number one survival is free traffic it is not a business. It is a temporary promotion.
Paid advertising is the most measurable form of marketing because you have a scalable business. You have full control of how big it can grow and how fast it can grow!
Put 1 dollar in. Get 2 dollars out!
Put 1 dollar in. Get 1 dollar out (breaking even), then upsell them to make a profit.
This is the sane way to do business. Every business no matter small or large needs paid advertising. Relying on free traffic or word of mouth marketing referrals is a good way to lose in the long term! Word of mouth marketing is great, and we love it. But our number one goal is to create a measurable, and scaling platform to grow our business and referral marketing is out of your control. It is within the control of your customers if your services are awesome!
Search Engine Optimization
Back in 2009 I had a exporting business. I use to export wedding goods from China to the states, and UK along with Canada and Australia. We were making a killing. We created a very scalable business growing to about 1.3 million dollars a year.
Our primary source for marketing was Google SEO. People would search for our particular products and we would show up on "Page 1." For those particular keywords and keyphrases.
Then,... The worse happened!!! (which was actually the best)
The SEO company I was using sourced back links to bad websites! What a backlink is, is when we have link that points to your website. It marks your website as an authority and makes you more relevant towards that particular keyword. So for example, if a big authority website such as Apple pointed links to my website and I sold iPhones then I would likely be ranked on Page 1 for the keyword iPhones.
So what happened with my business is some of these SEO companies create "fake website" just to host a LARGE variety of keywords on the page to point these websites to that domain. When google finds out about this website (and they always do) they banned that website from the search engines thus marketing that backlink as a bad link! This is called Black Hat techniques when you abuse the system by trying to point automated fake websites to a particular domain repeatedly and rapidly. It will rank your website on the search engines in the short run, but long term it will kill your authority!
We went from Page 1, to Page 7... Then from page 7 to page 400+ all within a week!
Our business primary source was "Free Traffic" from SEO so we lost everything just about overnight!
I had to let staff go, and we had to shut down the business until we got back on our feet with paid marketing!
Once we starting using paid marketing we could measure our results. I felt that we had more control over our own marketing and we could grow it as much as we wanted. We could scale it, pause it, shrink it, and do multiple things to it. We had absolutely control over our marketing in term had absolute control over our revenue!