We’re into June and it’s officially summer! Hope you’ve got some good summer plans lined up.

Well, the good news from a business-building perspective is that most of your competitors will probably start relaxing and taking it easy. You see, here at Main Street ROI, we see summer as one of the best times to start gaining an edge over your competition.

And that’s why we’re giving your online marketing a “Summer Tune-Up” — starting today.

Yup, we’ve got lots of big plans to improve your marketing this summer. We’re going to be introducing you to lots of new resources to help you attract new customers.

Here’s more good news: most of these resources will either be free or very low-cost for you.

So without further delay, let’s get started…

The first step is to get you more traffic.

And today, I’m going to simplify how to think about traffic, so you have a solid gameplan.

In case you aren’t familiar with that term, “traffic” simply means prospective customers. If you have a retail store, traffic means people walking into your store. And when it comes to online marketing, traffic means people visiting your website.

So what’s the best way to get traffic online?

The 3 Types of Traffic

Actually there are a lot of ways, and today we’re going to break traffic down into 3 simple categories.

1. Traffic You Influence

Influenced traffic is traffic that you can’t directly control – you can only influence it.

Google rankings are an example of influenced traffic. You don’t have any control over Google’s algorithm. However, if you follow best practices, then you’ll have a very good chance at ranking on the first page of Google (as most of our customers are able to do).

Social media is another form of influenced traffic. You can’t directly control whether people will “Like” you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, and then visit your website and become your customer. But if you do a great job with social media, you can build your influence and translate some of that influence into customers.

Although you can’t totally control it, we usually recommend that you start with influenced traffic, because it’s typically free or low-cost. And if you are trying to attract local customers, then we strongly recommend starting with Google+ Local.

2. Traffic You Rent

The next type of traffic is rented traffic. By this, we mean advertising.

There are many places you can advertise. You can advertise with Google AdWords, Facebook, or one of the many other online advertising platforms. You can also use radio, TV, print, direct mail, and on and on.

The great thing about advertising is that it’s fully under your control. You get to decide when you place an ad. And, as long as you’re following advertising best practices, then your ads will deliver qualified traffic to your website.

A great strategy we often recommend is to reinvest some of your profits from Influenced traffic (e.g. SEO) into your paid advertising tests. And our favorite place to test advertising is with Google AdWords.

3. Traffic You Own

The third category of traffic is traffic you own (versus rent).

The most common example is an email newsletter.

You have total control over the timing of the messages you send to your subscribers. And when you click “send,” your messages get delivered straight to them.

And if your subscriber list is big enough and responsive enough, you might not even have to advertise at all — because you’d already have all the traffic you’d need to sustain your business.

I recommend you invest in all 3 categories of traffic, but — of all 3 types — this third category is the most valuable. The relationship you cultivate with your prospects and customers over the long-term is what will provide you with long-term security.

Coming Soon… 3 New Traffic Guides

As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, we’re working on creating some new resources for you, and we’re really excited to share with them you.

Over the next 3 weeks, we’re going to be releasing 3 new guides to generating traffic.

#1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 101

With all the latest changes with Google, we wanted to make sure you stayed up to date on SEO best practices.

So, we’ve just finished recording a new 50-minute CD on SEO best practices (specifically for small businesses), and we’re planning to give away 100 copies of the CD to our Main Street Marketing Tips email newsletter subscribers later this week.

#2. Google AdWords

The following week, we’re going to be releasing a new CD all about Google AdWords — so stay tuned for that. We’re going to be giving away up to 100 copies of that CD, too.

#3. Email Marketing 101

And then, in a couple weeks, we’ll be giving away a new CD on email marketing best practices, and how you can use email marketing to attract more customers and build your business over the long-term. Same deal, we’ll be giving out up to 100 copies — on a first come, first serve basis.

If you’re already receiving our email newsletter, you’ll be hearing about these new resources as soon as they become available.

And if you aren’t receiving our Main Street Marketing Tips email newsletter, and you want to be notified when we give away these CDs, you can sign up here: http://www.mainstreetmarketingtips.com.

In Closing…

I hope I’ve given you a little motivation to give your marketing a “Summer Tune-Up” so you gain the edge over your competitors.

Remember, the key is to invest in all 3 types of traffic — rather than just one. That way, your marketing will become more predictable and stable and secure.

If you have any questions about traffic, post a comment below.