On the Internet, traffic has always been valued at a premium. For good reason too. Without traffic ecommerce sites would fail to turn a profit and PPC sites would just be a waste of cyberspace.
Traffic is what powers sellers and provides hope for burgeoning marketers. With a reliable source of traffic, anyone can make a profit.
It's obvious why traffic is placed at such a premium. Without customers, any business wouldn't succeed, and on the Internet, customers come in the form for traffic. With statistics playing such an important role in the productivity of a website, if you can maintain a consistent conversion rate, more traffic directly results in more sales which means more money.
With such an importance placed on traffic, driving traffic has become an obsession for Internet marketers. Those marketers who can drive more traffic wield more power and those who can't are continuously seeking traffic shortcuts.
There are many different kinds of traffic shortcuts that exist, mostly in the form of a traffic exchanges. A traffic exchange is a website that will guarantee any website traffic in exchange for the owner flipping through a list of websites himself. The exchange is fair, usually tying the amount of traffic guaranteed to the number of pages the website owner surfs. For example, if I want traffic to my website, I'd be given a list of websites to visit. In a simple scenario, if I visit 100 sites, I'm promised 100 users to my site.
Traffic exchanges can be effective, but most marketers find the traffic garnered from such exchanges fairly useless. Shortcuts are usually shortcuts for a reason. If they worked well, everyone would be using them and they would become the standard way to drive traffic.
A more effective way to shortcut your way to driving traffic is with an ad exchange. An ad exchange is an agreement made with two or more websites where each party agrees to exchange ads on each other's site. It's generally a straight forward agreement and in a simple exchange, every website should be receiving as many visitors as it is giving.
Unfortunately, not all ad exchanges are simple and most marketers feel cheated by these types of exchanges. The general feeling with such exchanges is why trade a customer before you know his worth. If you hope a user clicks on a banner, why not make that banner profitable instead.
There is one kind of traffic shortcut that is receiving a lot of notoriety lately. It's called an exit ad exchange and it's based on the ad exchange concept, though with one major difference. Exit ad exchanges work the same exact way that a normal ad exchange works, except that it is shown only after a customer leaves your site.
The beauty behind such an idea is that if a customer has already left your site, then you know exactly what his value is to you. If a user isn't going to click on anything on your site, he's a perfect candidate to trade to another site where he might click on something that is more to his liking. So each visitor is given the option of continuing his surf of the Internet on a related site and in exchange, the forwarding website will receive a customer in return.
Since exit ad exchanges are very new and require specialized software, only a few exchanges currently exist. If you want to see how well an exit ad will work on your site, I recommend to see ExitPollAds.
ExitPollAds is a free membership site that not only will provide you with an easy way to increase your traffic, but it has an integrated exit poll built in so you can find out as much information as possible about your customers.
If traffic is the lifeblood of your business, then you should always be looking for effective shortcuts. If more people start using exit ad exchanges, though, then sooner or later, they won't be considered a shortcut anymore.