Generating traffic is the life-blood of any online business. It determines whether you win or lose. It determines whether you will succeed or be a failure. It does not matter if your product is the best thing to happen since chocolate. Without traffic it’s like you are winking in the dark and asking your buddy to guess at what you are doing. When it comes to marketing successfully online, there are tons of methods you can use. But only a few of them are really effective.Free Classifieds AdsThe best way to use this method is to find the ads that rhyme with your business. For instance, you do not want to put your ads in the motorcycle section, when you are in the video gaming business.Classifieds enjoy mammoth traffic and it’s great to get your business out there. Furthermore, this type of ad is effective only with perfect timing. Do not try to make outright sales with these ads, offer freebies in exchange for contact information. You can close a sale much later.Affiliate MarketingGet used to the fact that some people will do a better job of pushing your online business to the virtual world, than you would do. Get them to do just that for you by becoming affiliates. Offer them profitable commissions for every sale they make. Ensure, your site is cool and your product is impressive. The best affiliate marketers have a reputation to protect and would not promote a dodgy site or crappy product.Social MediaTwitter, YouTube Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ are the biggest social media platforms in the world, reaching out to billions of people worldwide. You can twist the massive traffic in these places to your favour, if you have a smart strategy to work with. Remember people are not looking to buy stuff. They want to mingle and have fun. So mix your business with a lot of fun and excitement.Search Engine OptimizationThe best traffic you could ever get is traffic from the search engines. Millions of people type in queries into Google, Yahoo or Bing and visit the sites that show up. And the good thing is that people who type specific keywords, especially long tail keywords (minimum of 4 words) are always in buying mode. Buy keyword finding software and locate hot but low competition keywords that put you on top of the search pile.Professional Site & Capture PageFirst appearances count. When people visit a site, the look of your site is what hits them first before they even look your content. If your site has a poor layout and you have a wonderful product, you are shooting yourself in the foot here. Even crappy products get away with sales, just because the site owner was smart enough to fashion out something fancy.On another note, remember that the money is the mailing list. So you need a capture page on your website. Most people never buy stuff first-time out. You have to build a rapport with them and make them understand why they should buy from you. So offer them a free eBook, coupon code or ask them to subscribe to your weekly newsletter. Do something, dangle a carrot and get their contact information. Your mailing list is your online goldmine.Positive Customer ReviewsPeople are skeptical about things online and would prefer to wait for a glowing testimonial or other people to review and recommend. Your online business is in la-la land without positive reviews. These reviews give you an authoritative edge and credibility in the midst of the competition.