Is traffic cost inflation stalking you, or has it fully violated your 2007 marketing budget? No online marketer is exempt; online traffic costs will increase. It’s the nature of supply and demand.
This relatively new Internet economy is settling into familiar patterns, and the costs of doing business online are beginning to resemble those of our brick-and-mortar brethren. In the brick-and-mortar world, there’s no such thing as low-cost traffic.
The corner of 57th St. and Fifth Ave. in Manhattan is one of the highest trafficked intersections in the country. So it’s no surprise the cost of commercial real estate is priced accordingly. To establish and support a retail store there, you must take advantage of the traffic’s high margins and volumes.
Some domains, such as Blinds.com, Diamonds.com, Business.com, and CreditCards.com, are rare. The natural traffic that comes with them is similar to those of well-located real estate. Some brands, like Macy’s, Wal-Mart, and Apple, are so well known that they, too, receive lots of natural traffic.
Organic traffic isn’t free, either. Most highly ranked sites are firmly established and largely relevant to the search queries they attract. There aren’t a lot of these out there.
Most companies simply don’t have the capital or means to attract natural traffic flows. As in the brick-and-mortar world, they must work a little harder, advertise more, and otherwise make up for their lack of location. There’s usually a correlation between location and ad budget: the better your location, the more traffic you get without advertising; the worse your location, the more you need to advertise.