Do Traffic Exchanges Really Work?

I want to thank Mark Isherwood of JMJ Web Services for submitting his Top 3 Online Marketing Questions.  His questions require a bit more time and thought, so I am posting them one at a time over the next three days.

His first question is this:

Do traffic exchanges really work?  If so, should they only be targeted to other marketers?

First off, let me say that I have no personal experience with traffic exchanges so I had to do some research in order to answer your question.

For some background information, view this article on Traffic Exchanges at Wikipedia.

After reading this and several other articles, here is what I think.

Traffic exchange programs may result in lots of hits and pageviews for your web site, but they will generally be very low quality visitors, many of whom are there just to get credits so they can get people to visit their own site.

It appears that traffic exchanges have been designed specifically for web site owners and other marketers, so I don’t see how you could target anything but other marketers.

There are times when you will want to team up with other marketers in order to expand the reach of your message, but I don’t think traffic exchanges are the answer.

It seems to me that traffic exchanges could take up a lot of precious time for very little bottom line results.

Here’s what I would recommend:

Instead of spending time clicking through other sites just to get other people to click on yours, find a small number of people who offer complementary products and services to yours and who are working to reach the same target market.

Create a sort of mastermind group with them and brainstorm for ideas that will help your target market solve their problems and ease their pain.

Create a list of keywords that your target market may be searching on for help and write articles that will meet their needs.  Optimize and add these articles to your web site.  Maybe even start a group blog and add the articles to it with a link back to the person’s site in your group who specializes in that topic.

This goes a long way toward establishing yourself and your group as subject matter experts who are knowledgeable and trustworthy and will attract those in need of your products and services.

As your target market begins to know, like and trust you, they will be more inclined to spend their hard earned money with you.

Mark’s other two questions:

Can you really expect good marketing results from Twitter? It would seem that you are only marketing to those who follow you.

Is Google Adwords still the top marketing tool? What else brings good results (besides SEO)?

To your success!

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