For years I’ve heard people touting over and over again how paid traffic is so wonderful, like it’s a magic bullet that will somehow skyrocket your site to new heights. Unfortunately, it’s not magic at all, and in some cases, the use of paid traffic can damage your site, your credibility, your business, and your reputation if you fail to understand the implications of what you are doing. In other cases, paid traffic can actually help to accelerate a quality product online, depending on how it’s implemented. Here we’re going to trace over some of the pro’s and con’s of paid traffic so you can make better, well informed decisions as to whether you should use these tactic or not.
What is Paid Traffic?
Paid traffic comes in many forms, such as with pay per click advertising platforms like Google’s Adsense, Bidvertiser, popup Ads, text links, etc; as well as by the purchasing of banner Ads on other sites, automated traffic sources run by bots, paid ads on social networks like twitter or facebook, just to name a few. Paid traffic ranks among the number one marketing tactic of all those used online today. It also tends to be the least effective marketing tactic as well. People often get so consumed by marketing that they actually lose sight of their product, causing their business to ultimately fail. That being said, marketing with paid traffic is by all means not a set it and forget it marketing tactic.
The Con’s of using Paid Traffic:
One misconception about paid traffic is that it can magically bring a return on investment, regardless of the service, product, or content you are selling or marketing. Well, as the old saying goes, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!” What many have failed to realize is that you can’t pay people to genuinely like your product or service! Doesn’t work, no exceptions to this one either! You can drive traffic in the tens of thousands of people a day to your site, product, or service, but it doesn’t make a difference, if no one likes what you have to offer then all that traffic is totally pointless. If your content sucks so bad that you have to pay people to get them to even look at your site or notice your product, then you’re probably in the wrong business to begin with!
Some sources of paid traffic violate Google’s webmaster terms of service, as well as with their Adsense platform. Certain paid traffic sources are also disliked by a majority of most pay per click programs, such as infolinks, Konetera, etc. These disliked paid traffic sources may actually be automated bots that simulate the appearance of real traffic when in fact they clearly are not. The question’s is why would you want fake people traversing your site anyways? Too make matters worse there are thousands of websites today offering to sell you “high quality traffic”, when in fact all that traffic is nothing more than script clicking through to your pages. If you do plan on purchasing traffic, make sure that traffic is from real people, and you are purchasing that traffic from a reliable source.
The Pro’s of using Paid Traffic:
For businesses where the main focus is on the product or service at hand, paid traffic and marketing efforts can really pay off! While paid traffic can help to get the word out about your product or service, real marketing involves actually connecting with people on a first hand level, not spitting ads at them and hoping to get results. People generally prefer to purchase a product or service from businesses and people they trust, and without that trust factor in play, you are likely to fail That being said, I’d like to think that paid marketing in any form should be secondary to other forms marketing, such as with the use of social media, creating a blog and writing valuable, useful content for users that explains your product well, and offers good insight based on your genuine experiences. Either way, implementing paid traffic appropriately can pay off for those who keep their focus on their overall product, and not just marketing.
Personally, I don’t use paid traffic today myself, never have for this website either, and I don’t plan on it. People who come here like my content, so they do the marketing for me. I managed to accomplish this by focusing on the site, its content, and the users directly. I use social media to connect with people, to post my articles, and to get feedback from others, which I use to make my content creation strategy and my sites better! Another added benefit to marketing through social media vs. buying paid traffic is that it doesn’t cost anything, and the majority of those who do come to your site arrive their out of personal interest in your content. More often than not, paid traffic isn’t well targeted, and displaying Ad about humming bird feeders to a trucker isn’t exactly helping you to market your product. With social media, traffic is well targeted, so the users are more likely to return to your site at a later date. In the end, I don’t recommend implementing paid traffic for a new product, brand, service, or content, and in fact it should never be your first marketing tactic. Remember, you want to build trust and authority with your users, not spin 30% of coupons at people you don’t know.
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