Should I buy traffic for my web site?

Key Takeaways

  • Paid traffic is traffic (website visitors) bought through advertising (display ads or search results on search engines)
  • Organic traffic is traffic that comes “organically” from search engines. Organic traffic is free.
  • Major upside of paid traffic is that it is instant and is available to sites of any age. Major downside is cost. Depending on the niche, paid traffic can become very expensive.
  • Organic traffic is free but is rarely available to new sites. To rank well on search engines takes time and consistent content production.
  • If you decide to buy traffic, avoid low-quality traffic sources, especially services that offer guaranteed number of visitors for a fixed price, those are always a scam or extremely low quality.
  • Should I buy traffic for my website? If you have decided that website investing is for you or you have an online business and you’ve invested your time and creative talents into publishing content on the web. For your website to garner the attention it deserves, you’ll want to make sure it pops up in internet searches when your target audience seeks out content in your specialty niche (How to find a profitable niche? To invest in), and that you provide them with quality content when they do.

    Several factors allow a website greater visibility, one of which is a strong number of site visits. Obviously this proves difficult to achieve if you’re just starting out, but various platforms and resources can help you shortcut the process by selling you website traffic.

    This can save you time and effort but there are also reasons to be cautious. Below we lay out the pros, cons, and possibilities so you can consider your options and choose the best way to get your content seen.

    You can purchase web traffic to jump-start your site’s publicity, or you can attract all your visitors yourself. There are benefits and downsides to each, and you can decide which fits your business plan and resources best.

    Millions of websites exist, so naturally yours will face a lot of competition. If it looks like you’ve farmed out your advertising campaign, other publishers and the public in general might take a negative view of your site. Anything that appears as cheating the system while others hustle and sweat through straightforward methods can be viewed as unethical.

    This perspective isn’t exactly incorrect, as buying traffic for website usually brings in people with little or no actual interest in your content, or bots and other automated software accounting for hits instead of actual people.

    Both hurt your advertisers who invested in your site in order to put their goods on display to a real live audience they hoped would have similar interests to your own. As bots produce numerous clicks on the ads with no purchases, your advertiser’s conversion rates suffer while they have to pay more and more for all the clicks. If the traffic you purchase turns out to be low-quality, your advertisers are in fact cheated. It’s hardly surprising that websites who employ this tactic aren’t favorably looked upon within the system.

    Low-quality traffic is bad for your site

    As it happens, this unsavory type of for-sale traffic is unfortunately rampant. It’s much easier for various web entities to offer you a whopping number of website hits at a low price if they are mass-produced by either bots or a hastily-collected group of people outside your target audience.

    Although a good deal on publicity might seem like a worthwhile investment at the outset, it can hurt your site. To turn a profit, you might have to resort to selling low-cost, low quality advertisements and get paid for the number of visitors or number of clicks. This almost always weakens the quality of your site’s content, which will quickly affect how well you engage with your actual targeted audience. Their browsing is interrupted by clickbait ads, multiple re-directs, and other methods used by sites in hopes of spiking the number of page views. You could be left with an audience who feels exhausted, bewildered, and bored instead of engaged and hungry for more.

    Focus on quality

    However, there is also genuine, high-quality website traffic out there for sale, and it may be worth the investment for you when a slow, quiet unveiling makes you sigh and wonder, should I buy traffic for my website?

    Dig in to your online research and find those advertisers who occupy a similar niche to yours. You can look into various companies and to social media platforms, where users gush about their interests and favorite new finds. When you connect with members of your targeted audience you’ll stand a much greater chance of gaining their attention for return visits as long as you prioritize offering them superior content on your site. Keep them coming back by sticking with only highly relevant material that stays updated and refreshed, and invite new and existing users to join newsletters and email lists.

    Organic Website Traffic

    What you really want, of course, is for people with a legitimate interest in what you’re putting out to go to their search engines, find your site via relevant and well-crafted keywords, and feel satisfied and intrigued with what they find there.

    If you’re working hard and producing exceptional content this doesn’t sound that hard, but the fact is, the web is saturated with sites. With that level of competition organic traffic takes time to accrue, and certainly takes time to bring in profit. Searches result in billions of options, so it takes quite a lot to get yours anywhere near the top of the list.

    You’ll do yourself many favors by becoming well-versed in SEO, or search engine optimization, learning which keywords people most frequently type in and the best ways your content can match with them. However, like most technology and technology-related things, SEO is not really as simple as that. You’ll have to keep up with the changing atmosphere and current SEO methodology to make sure your site stays in the running. It can all seem very time-consuming, even overwhelming.

    Even if buying traffic for website is the route you choose, web hits from organic sources provide the most reliable source of an audience you can connect with and expect repeat visits from. If you do the work of maintaining strong SEO, you really can climb up in the ranks of Google search results. Your profile in the ecosystem will only get better when it’s targeted traffic that arrives at your page and keeps coming back.

    Organic traffic may start slow, but it’s built of an audience who is already interested in your content before they find you. Gathering organic website traffic does take more of your time than the shortcut method, but it’s technically free. In addition, habitual visitors with a high interest level may even represent a source of passive income, provided you keep the content engaging, engrossing, and top quality.

    Is Buying Traffic Worth It?

    You undoubtedly need visitors to get your site off the ground, and the reality is that it takes a certain number of initial visitors to start to generate buzz and get the ball rolling. If buying traffic for website gets you there, the investment may very well be worth it. You can set up your website with enthralling content and then carefully screen traffic providers for quality returns with the greatest chances of connecting you with your targeted audience. If you decide to source Facebook and bid $5 on 5,000 viewable impressions on the platform and you conservatively estimate that maybe one person clicks on your site out of every ten that view the impression, you’re paying one penny per site visitor. Being that these clicks likely come from people with some level of genuine interest, this method offers a bargain price for quality visitors.

    Quality visitors stand a fighting chance of improving your conversion rate, or the percentage of visitors that turn into customers. Top publishers and elite publishing companies can afford to devote a lot of manpower into investigating whether investments like buying traffic are worth it. They come up with heavily-researched strategies, and they may have a certain amount of money they can afford to take chances with. Ultimately, the ‘should I buy traffic for my website’ question doesn’t have a resolution as far as whether the money is generally well spent.

    When looking into this issue, keep in mind that conversion rates have a lot of variance across businesses and industries. For websites, a 2020 study showed that conversion rates averaged between 2% to 4%. US-based websites, scoring at 2.63%, fell behind the average international rate of 4.31%. Meanwhile, the 1800PetMeds site converted 10% of visitors, and Google Play’s rate was as high as 30%. However, the goals you have in mind for your site may look different than just gaining customers, whether it’s signing up for a mailing list or the number of downloads of additional content.

    If pressed, most experts would likely give a general answer of no on whether buying traffic is worth it. If you have expert methods of dividing the quality traffic on sale from the hordes of automated software click sources, you can be confident about going forward with it, but beware of the many lesser quality sources out there.

    Risks of Buying Website Traffic?

    A number of variables are involved in determining what you should invest to get traffic to your site, ranging from your industry, your advertisers, your area of expertise, and the appeal of what you’re putting out. Buying website traffic can work as long as the visitors you pay for are both real humans and at least marginally within your targeted audience. Of course, if you purchase this kind of quality traffic you’ll be paying more, and costs are on the rise. You have to maintain conversion rates high enough to justify it, which might be challenging.

    If you purchase traffic sourced from bots, they can obviously not be converted into customers. Another type of low-cost traffic is sourced from what are known as clickfarms, usually people from other countries paid just to repeatedly click on ads to meet the quota, and these people have no interest in your content despite being real. Conversion rates will take a hit, and advertisers won’t want to deal with you.

    How To Buy Legitimate Web Traffic?

    One way to get straight to the people with an actual interest in your content is to track down niche groups and online organizations that share those common interests. Perhaps a quicker way, though, is to turn to the places online where immense groups of people congregate to gush about their avid interests and favorite new finds: social media. Let’s talk about how to buy traffic at prices that might allow you to actually turn a profit.

    Over one billion people visit Facebook daily. If you can get your content in front of loads of people, and perhaps even focus in on groups already chatting about your specialty, your campaign will likely be cost effective. You can use the ‘boost’ function and reach more people in specific audiences more likely to engage with your content, and take advantage of targeting tools as well to find people similar to your existing visitors. Facebook provides a lot of freedom as far as tailoring your ads, and scalable ads give you access to Instagram and Messenger at the same time. No wonder Facebook ads appeal even to media juggernauts like the New York Times.

    Twitter offers an audience of 326 million monthly users who might have more patience to look at advertisements because they aren’t inundated with them. The system necessitates short and sweet messages, so users can comfortably browse within their attention spans and time limits from busy lives. In thinking about how to buy traffic with potential interest in your content, Twitter’s structure invites easy, straightforward conversation, allowing you to identify the types of people and groups that might fit your targeted audience. It’s perhaps for these reasons that Twitter ads maintain a higher click-through rate than Facebook’s.

    If you’re thinking about purchasing site traffic, don’t forget to look into giants like Google as sources. A study from 2017 totaled the number of daily internet searches on Google at 3.5 billion, so campaigns on Google’s AdWords certainly stand a good chance of being seen. Again, you’ll need to be prudent in making the most of your keywords, as AdWords shows your ad in searches for relevant keywords. Advertising on Bing works similarly, and can also share it across Yahoo, AOL, and other partner sites. Hedging your resources and purchasing from both Google and Bing will cover a lot of territory.

    With video ads you are given a lot of freedom to paint a relatable portrait of your content, and YouTube brings in as many as 1.9 billion users monthly according to one 2018 study. These users often report having positive experiences as many of them log on for helpful how-to and problem-solving videos with very specific content. Use this to your advantage and key in to your targeted audience.

    The shiny lure of getting gobs of visitors fast for a low price sounds like it will take a lot of stress off of your shoulders, but unfortunately these offers are almost always as unrealistic as they sound. Some are internet scams who don’t deliver anything once they receive payment, and the others provide you with software-generated clicks or traffic from clickfarms.

    Is it Dangerous or Risky to Buy Website Traffic?

    These offer basically zero chances of conversion, and traffic that is well outside of your targeted audience doesn’t perform much better. Using these can even misdirect your analytics, building on similar audiences to these and inadvertently guiding your ads to the wrong groups.

    Hopefully the above pro and con considerations can help you plan your marketing strategy. Finally, here are some typical bottom-line costs from recent years that might fit your budget:

    • Google Ads – generally $1-2 per click
    • Facebook – about $0.97 per click, or $7.19 per 1000 impressions
    • Instagram – 20 cents to $2 per click and $6.70 per 1000 impressions
    • Youtube – as little as $1 per day, or 5-30 cents per view
    • Twitter – promoted tweets cost $0.50-2 per action like a like, retweet, and promoted accounts cost $2-4 per follow


    Andy is the author behind most posts, a web site analyzing and simplifying alternative and traditional investment vehicles.

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