What Is A Traffic Exchange?
If you have surfed the internet for very long, you have probably ran into what is referred to as a “traffic exchange”. These programs can be designed in many ways, with many different functions. In this article we are going to cover what they are, where to find them, and how to use them to actually receive quality traffic as opposed to just plain “hits”.
A traffic exchange is, simply put, an exchange of traffic. The basic idea is to view other member’s websites or ads, and in exchange, different members will view yours. There are 2 basic types of traffic exchanges available today:
1. The manual surf exchange. In this type of exchange, you manually click through the other members websites or ads. Usually there is an anti-cheat method of some variety being used to insure that the system is not being cheated. I can assure you that any exchange that does not have an anti-cheat system is being cheated by several people.
2. The auto-surf exchange. This system is easier to use, but far less effective. In essence, it runs automatically with no effort on your part, changing websites or ads every so many seconds. Obviously, if you don’t even need to look at it to have it work, chances are, people aren’t viewing your ads either.
Most, if not all exchanges of both types will offer new members free “credits” or visitors just for signing up. This amount can vary between 50 free visitors all the way up to 10,000 free visitors or more. However, in regards to the exchanges offering an extremely high signup bonus, if everyone is given 10,000 free credits upon signing up…who is left to surf the exchange?
In addition to sign up bonuses, other things to pay attention to when signing up for an exchange are surfing ratios, timer rate, referral bonuses, and extra features.
All exchanges have surfing ratios. These can vary from 1:1 to 5:1 and up. What this means is that for every X amount of times you view someone elses site, your site will be viewed in return Y amount of times. So if there is a 3:1 surf ratio, for every 3 sites you view, your site will be shown to someone else one time.
All exchanges also have varied timer rates. This is the amount of time that a website is shown to you before you can move to the next site. Average timer rates are about 30-15 seconds per site. On auto-surf exchanges, this is the amount of time before it automatically switches to the next ad. On manual exchanges, this is how long you must wait before you see the next site or else you will not receive credit for viewing the site.
Most exchanges also offer referral bonuses, by giving you extra credits for referring other people to the exchange (referred to as a “downline”). Often, exchanges will give you part of a credit for every page your referrals surf.
Some exchanges offer nifty “extra” features, such as lotteries, games, trivia for points, ways to bet your points, and many other things to keep you from being bored as you click away.
So now that you know what one is, how can you use it to actually get traffic? Obviously people will view your site if they see it in an exchange, right? Sadly, the truth is that this is not the case. 95% of all traffic exchange surfers pay no attention to the sites they are viewing, no matter how attractive their design and content. They are focuses on the clicking to get credits, or in the case of many traffic exchange “pros” they have 20+ browser windows open and are clicking “next, next, next” one after the other with little regard to what is on the page before them.
But before you get discouraged, I do have good news for you! There are ways to get people to actually look at your site and pay attention to it! A few tips and tricks to use are:
1. Don’t make the page long and filled with text. In fact, a great thing to do is to make a splash page that catches their attention, with a “bookmark me” and “enter here” link. With only a 10-30 second window to catch someone’s eye, you have to be loud, bold, and fast! Use obnoxiously bright colors, get straight to the point, and offer a fast easy way for them to bookmark you or open your site in a new window so it doesn’t interrupt their surfing. That is why is it a good idea to make a seperate page that you use only for exchanges.
2. Offer something that they want that they will see and stay for. Free samples, free ebooks, and especially free advertising. Anything that you can give them that will give them an incentive to take a second look at your site.
3. Get rid of the popups. Most exchanges won’t allow more than one popup window, if any. And when surfers hit a popup window, or anything else that interrupts their quest for credits, it merely annoys them and makes them want to leave your site faster.
It is possible to get visitors to your site, and signups for programs using traffic exchanges. However you have to think like a surfer in order to do so. You also have to be active in the exchange. Obviously, the more people surfing, the more the exchange works.