Web traffic in this day and age is really not all that necessary, right? As long as you have a stunning web site with a sophisticated product offering that differentiates you from your competition you should be fine. Wrong. Dead wrong! You can have the most incredible creative site with products that are cutting-edge, unique and incredibly attractively priced. You can have the most persuasive sales pages with jaw-dropping graphics. You can have loads of confidence and an unwavering belief in your products and you can have spent enormous time, effort and no doubt a lot of money on your site as well, but if you do not have web traffic you do not have a business, no matter how audacious or original you think your site is. If no-one knows your site exists, no-one will find you. It will be as if you do not exist. Of course it goes without saying that you need an impressive site with captive products, but what you need most of all is web traffic. An ordinary site with ordinary products, but with high volumes of web traffic will sell a lot more products than a stunning site with excellent products, but poor inbound traffic volume. In the movie "Field of Dreams" the main character repeatedly hears a voice in his head that drones "If you build it, he will come". If you have watched the movie you will know that he eventually does come, and with him comes a multitude of fans. Unfortunately web sites are not movie scripts and yes you can build it, but your potential customers will not magically appear out of a cornfield and arrive in their droves. They simply will not come. No matter how many voices you hear, no matter what smoke and mirrors you employ, no matter how strongly you visualise it, the prospective customers will not arrive, ever. The Internet after all is no longer something found in a book in a bookshelf, it is ubiquitous and exists all around us, and there are fundamentally very few aspects of our lives that are not affected by it. We need to be cognisant of that fact and we need to adapt to accommodate technology, especially 24/7 online technology. If you want a successful internet business you need to align yourself to technology and online customers. After all, your online business success is predicated on attracting and building web traffic, and of course converting that traffic into some form of a sale. Go big or go home, and without web traffic home is a good option. Fundamentally you need to offer a solution to a customer's problem, but equally you need to ensure you have a pink Cadillac to get him or her to your solution. No woman, no cry. No Cadillac, no customer. No web traffic, no sale. The road potentially really does become less travelled if you do not have a basic strategy in place to develop web traffic. But what is this mystical web traffic, this kind of 21st century form of online hieroglyphics that so many potential marketers dream of, this sacred software language through which search engines choose to communicate? SEO seems to compete with Black Ops and for the ordinary man in the street the cyber chaos seems to get more confusing. Fundamentally there are two conceptual approaches to web traffic, one is to develop and implement your own strategy, alternatively you use a professional to develop a strategy on your behalf. The former is by far the less expensive of the two, but undoubtedly the most time-consuming and challenging, whereas the latter will come with a cost, but will save time. In the former approach you use your own skill (or lack thereof), whereas in the latter approach you outsource the initiative to someone with a resident skill. Either way, the fundamental principles of effectively driving traffic to your website remain the same and encompasses a combination (or all) of the following strategies: •Develop a site that is content-rich and employs genuine and unique material that is easy to read and written in a seamless, free-flowing style •Target two or three specific key word phrases per article •Vary your key word phrases. If you target the same key word phrases repeatedly using different articles, you run the risk of being penalized by search engines •Use unusual, catchy, impactful article titles •Avoid excessive repetition of key words and keep your key word density under 2% •Build in an appropriate call to action at the end of each article •Add new articles with fresh content on an on-going basis •Make use of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds on your site •Give away free stuff on your site, for example a mini-course or an eBook, thereby establishing trust with your potential customers •Develop as many good quality back links to other relevant sites as possible (avoid poor quality back links) •Avoid broken links at all costs •Start a blog and blog at least once a week •Most people are visual. Post a series of explanatory videos on your site and on YouTube linking back to your site •Develop a monthly mailing list with unique content •Understand what search engines like and dislike and ensure you maximize what they like and minimize what they do not like •Ensure your site is linked in to the major social networks, for example Face book, Twitter, Flickr and MySpace •Get known on any relevant forums or discussion boards •Pay for traffic by using the various options available to you, for example Pay Per Click ads (PPC) Daunting yes, challenging undoubtedly, frustratingly perpetual, but unquestionably rewarding! Web traffic to a successful online business is like a healthy heart to an athlete. It simply remains a non-negotiable necessity.