5 Things to Know Before Buying Web Traffic

Bullseye TargetAs a small business owner or someone just getting started in online marketing, there are a few things you should know before blowing your marketing budget on a campaign.

1. Don’t buy traffic or ads from unrelated websites.

I thought this was common sense, but apparently not. I get small business owners approaching me nearly everyday trying to place their ad for a shopping or travel site on one of the sites I manage. The site I manage is related to SEO and online marketing. Does that make sense to you? Why would someone looking for information on SEO click on or be interested in an ad for shopping or travel? You might get lucky and get a few conversions, but I can almost guarantee it won’t work from an ROI point of view.

2. Fine-tune your target.

Understanding the intent of your visitors is the key to conversions. Picture this for a moment – the bullseye target on a dart board. From that visualization, you can understand how difficult it is to hit that target. That bullseye target can be equated to hitting your ideal customer. There are many spots on the dart board you can hit, but if the rest of the dart board counted as misses and only the bullseye counted as your “money” customer, wouldn’t it make sense to fine-tune your aim until you can hit that bullseye more consistently and more often? So, how does aiming for a target relate to SEO or online marketing? Easy. The aiming is how you target your marketing campaigns – factors such as demographics, keywords, location, etc..

3. Understand the source of your traffic.

If you are buying traffic or placing an ad on a site, you need to know exactly where the visitors are going to come from. For ad placements, it’s fairly easy to figure out where you ad will be placed. However, if you are buying traffic, you need to know where it’s coming from. Is it pop-up/pop-under traffic? Is it from a paid-to-click network? Is it PPC traffic? Is it direct navigation traffic? Once you know the source of your traffic, then you can start to assess the quality of it.

4. Do the math.

This is another one that should be of common sense. If you’re getting a positive ROI out of your marketing campaign, then you’re doing well. If you are losing money on it, then it is obviously not good, and you should either stop the campaign or try to fine-tune it. Some marketing channels will simply not work and there is no point in trying to force it. What may work for one company may not work for another.

5. Install your own website analytics.

Most ad networks and traffic sellers provide you with traffic stats. But, you can’t always take their word for it. There are scammers out there that may try to over-inflate or fake their numbers to make you happy. By installing traffic analytics on your site, you’ll be able to compare traffic stats with the provider and determine whether you’re close or not. I recommend Google Analytics. It’s free and the stats are fairly accurate.

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