Paying for website traffic has become an additional marketing strategy for online businesses. However, the mixed reviews written by paid traffic users and fake reviews posted to boost or ruin reputations have placed this form of traffic generation deep in the shady world of black hat.
While you can buy website traffic to boost yourself in the SERPs, there are multiple distinct white hat applications. Furthermore, how your online presence appears to the general or targeted public and your expectations of paid traffic has much to do with the quality of review you can be expected to leave behind.
What is Paid Traffic?
Any form of traffic redirected from another source that requires payment for the privilege is paid traffic. In the field of website traffic, this usually comes from huge, popular sites specifically designed to attract, engage and keep visitors – much like the goals of any website marketer.
Any company that can attract tens of millions of visitors and signups on a daily basis is a marketing expert. Not only must these sites work to generate numbers, they must also gather data that allows the provider to sell on percentages of visitors as niche groups. Web traffic providers use every available channel to generate global engagement. They publish attractive content without asking much from the visitor – because for a paid traffic provider, the visitor is the product.
Who Leaves Paid Traffic Negative Reviews?
There are three types of negative reviews associated with paid traffic:
- Faulty service by the provider
- Faulty expectations of the buyer
- Biased reviews placed by marketers
Faulty service complaints range from non-delivery of an order, double credit card payments, delivery of bot traffic (one needs to be careful about making this accusation as we’ll see later), and not receiving the numbers or niches promised by the provider. It is important to read the small print when signing up with a new service. Does it guarantee 100% human visitors? Does it deliver these visitors within 48 hours? Can you dribble visitors over time so as not to flag the Google crawl bots or overload your website? Does that service offer visitors from the niches that are most likely to convert? And is the customer services department responsive?
There is another common cause of negative reviews – soaring expectations for a cheap source of targeted traffic. As has already been mentioned, provider sites aim to attract huge numbers of generic visitors that they can categorise and forward to other sites as a paid service. Most of these visitors will not have made a purchase from that site. Instead, they were looking for answers to specific queries or needs. In short, no paid traffic visitor is likely to provide a higher sales conversion rate. However, these visitors are used to signing up, filling in basic forms, adding thumbs ups, and clicking on basic CTAs.
But you won’t even get signups if your online presence isn’t up to scratch. No matter how many millions land on your pages, who you are, what you look like, what you offer and how you perform makes the difference between paid traffic success and wasted investment as with any marketing strategy. If your site is purely numbers oriented and all you want to do is gather clicks or page views, buy bot traffic – in particular bot traffic generation software where you can fill in how long each bot remains on a page and how it interacts. If you want real people to increase conversion rates, you are obligated to make your website attractive in every possible way. Paid traffic is not a band-aid for ugly sites offering low service standards.
By now, everyone has learned to be suspicious of reviews – and for good reason. Reviews are a great marketing strategy – a new visitor is much more likely to convert if he or she feels that reviews are both truthful and positive. Unfortunately, reviews as a marketing channel are dark hat strategies, also used to damage the reputation of the competition. If you are unsure of implementing the services of a traffic provider, search for another or make the minimum order first (paid web traffic is cheap) and analyse results using your own tools.
What Can I Achieve With Paid Traffic?
Is your online presence attractive? No 404s, all content regularly updated, easy to navigate? Do you offer a great solution, product or level of entertainment to visitors in one or more niche groups? Then you can achieve a lot with this cheap and rapid marketing strategy.
Use paid website traffic to achieve five cumulative goals:
- To increase the effects of SEO
- To increase brand awareness
- To increase conversion rates
- To gather data
- To increase the effects of other marketing strategies
Paid Traffic As An SEO Strategy
Every search engine, global (Google) or internal (Etsy), scores high for popularity. The more people visit your website, the more popular it is. While this is just one of over 200 constantly updated ranking factors on the Google algorithm, it is one of the most important. What is more, bounce rates don’t affect website SERPs ranking – and paid visitors tend to have a high bounce rate.
Most SEO strategies are slow, especially in comparison to paid traffic that is delivered to your door within 48 hours. And no SEO strategy can generate the numbers produced by larger paid traffic orders except by the biggest brands. Be aware that sudden surges in visitor numbers can raise alarm bells. For SEO, use monthly recurrent paid visitor plans that keep your site active at a steady rate.
Paid Traffic Increases Brand Awareness
If your landing page is big on visuals you can achieve a huge boost in brand awareness with paid traffic. Most services provide you with anywhere from a few hundred to a quarter of a million visitors from your choice of three niches. Country of origin is a separate choice and you are most often given the option to select three locations from a long list; age group is usually categorised as a niche. Select the landing page designed to best shout your brand, the start date and the time over which these visitors arrive – anywhere from 1 to 30 days.
Paid Traffic Conversions
Beware the traffic provider that guarantees high conversion rates. You can’t guarantee them, so how can they?
However, there is a major plus point when it comes to paid traffic and conversions – numbers. If your SEO and ads generate 500 visitors a month to your website and 4% of these make a purchase (a healthy figure), you make 20 sales.
Order 100,000 targeted visitors living in the right (shipping) locations and your conversion rate only needs to be 0.02% to achieve the same results. Investment in this strategy is also likely to be much lower than your SEO and ad budget.
What your conversion goals are also affects your conversion rate. Paid traffic can be asked to sign up with an email address, fill in questionnaires, click something, go to another page, or just bump page visit numbers. All of these are conversion goals.
Paid Traffic Data
To move forward, any online company (or physical company) must match the changing needs of its customers. One only has to look at the surge in ‘free shipping’ offers to see how trends can quickly become consumer expectations. A range of analytics software as well as expert agencies allow businesses to track the responses of their public. However, when your outreach is low, gathering data doesn’t offer much of a guiding light.
Clinical studies that look at the responses of four or five people to a drug aren’t much use when a pharmaceutical company wants to launch a new treatment – instead, they need to go through large clinical trials to gather the reliable data they need. The same applies to your online business.
While the paid traffic bounce rate is high, you still get data on the movements of 2,500 people if 95% of a 50,000 visitor order bounces. Even with a 99% bounce rate, that’s 500 people. What data you analyze depends on the quality of your tools and the type of data you want to collect. Paid traffic is often used for A/B testing of different web page styles, for example.
Paid Web Traffic Supports Other Strategies
Use paid traffic alone and you will probably be disappointed. This strategy should always run alongside one or more other campaigns or marketing channels unless your sole aim is page lands and clicks (in which case use a bot traffic generator tool).
When you invest in other campaigns, adding a supplementary order of a few extra thousand visitors improves results. After all, these are real humans who are also susceptible to a good offer.
A rule of thumb is to multiply your expected outreach by 50 and make this your paid traffic order. If your ad campaign aims to bring in 5,000 new visitors, spread 250,000 visitors over the duration of the campaign. If you use SEO to bring in 400 new visitors every month, do the same with a 20,000 visitor recurring plan.
A Legitimate Supportive Marketing Strategy
Used correctly and with realistic expectations, paid traffic is a rapid, cheap and extremely useful source of targeted visitors. While this form will never support your business as a stand alone strategy, it provides something only the biggest brands can command – huge numbers of potentially converting visitors to a single URL.