A Smart and Easy Way to Get Free Traffic: Ad Swaps

An advertisement swap or ad swap is simply an arrangement where you agree to put up someone else’s ad on your site or email newsletter in exchange for them doing the same.

The goal of an ad swap is mainly to get exposure for a specific purpose, such as selling products/services or improving awareness of your brand/site. This is different from a link exchange because you are not seeking to improve your search engine rank.

The link value doesn’t matter at all. What matters is getting visitors into your web site.

For an ad swap to be successful and fair, there are four pre-requisites to be fulfilled:

Equal traffic and exposure: Both parties ought to have websites that receive a steady amount of visitors everyday, or an email list with a decent amount of subscribers. Otherwise, there is no meaning in setting up an ad swap in the first place. Ad swaps are most agreeable when both parties have an equivalent audience reach/traffic count. 
Fair and Good Ad placement: Traffic flows more easily to you when your ad is displayed in a spot which is easily viewable and accessible by visitors. While site designs may differ, both parties should endeavor to exchange ads that are displayed in a similar fashion. A pop-under does not capture visitor attention in the same way as a site-wide banner, so seek to use equivalent ad formats too. 
High Relevancy: In the best scenario, an ad swap should occur between websites in the same niche, as both parties would benefit from a trade in visitors with an already established interest on the same topic. But it is possible for trades to occur for sites in different niches. The essential point to remember is that your ad/message MUST be relevant to the page or site where it is placed and vice versa for your ad partner.No Conflicting Purpose. If you’re a merchant selling a product or a firm offering a service, you should not do ad swaps with competitors (other merchants/firms in the same niche). However ad swaps can be done for joint promotion of a specific event or shared project. You also should not do an ad swap with a site that contradicts your brand’s ethos or image (e.g. PETA doing an ad swap with Kentucky Fried Chicken).
There is one more important factor and that’s networking. Webmasters and bloggers are often inundated with requests for link trades: they have a defensive barrier against requests from strangers. Unless your site has some reputation or authority in your niche, ad swaps usually need to be prefaced with an established relationship.

People are far more likely to do ad swaps after they become more comfortable with you, when they don’t see you as a leech but a potential benefit. So keep this in mind as well when you aim to fulfill the four other prerequisites.

While it’s a common email marketing practice amongst internet marketers, I don’t often read about ad swaps being recommended as a traffic strategy for bloggers or webmasters. There were a few ad trading networks around but none of them really caught on for some reason.

Perhaps it sounds archaic and boring compared to all the super cool social media viral marketing buzz building tactics being promoted right now by all the experts. Yes, ad swaps may sound dull but they still work if you know how to do them right. If you’ve got ad space you can’t sell, why not give it a shot? You have nothing to lose at all.

Source: Dosh Dosh