Buying traffic for your website is more common today than it's ever been. There's also better targeting than ever, along with more and more ways to reach people. While organic search (showing up naturally for free in search engines) may still be ideal, it may not be the only strategy you want to use, since there are limited spots and it can be very competitive. A good way to diversify your traffic sources is to include paid traffic in the mix. Here is a breakdown of 3 ways to buy website traffic for your site.
1. PPC – Pay-Per-Click Search Ads
PPC advertising (Pay-Per-Click) is just that – you pay for each time someone clicks on your ad and comes to your website. PPC advertising has been around for a long time and is relatively simple: you pick a search term (keyword) that you want to show up for and create a campaign, ad group, an ad, set your maximum bid and geographical locations, etc. Provided your bid is high enough for the going rate, your ad will show up for your term.
Google Adwords is the most common platform for PPC advertising, since those ads show up on Google (the most popular search engine). Bing also has its own version called BingAds and can drive a sizeable amount of traffic even though it's much smaller than Google.
Within Google Adwords, two of the most common options are “search” and “display” advertising. Search campaigns show up on Google and affiliated sites that have a Google search bar. Display campaigns are different, and ads show up on websites that are related in nature to what you're advertising for but are not related to search. Search is much more expensive than display, but also generally has much higher quality traffic.
Cost per click for PPC campaigns can literally run from a few cents (particularly on Display) to over $100. Here is a great breakdown of ppc costs by category.
2. Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts
You can also buy website traffic from Facebook. Advertising in this way has gotten more popular in the last few years, and one of the benefits is that Facebook offers a lot of data about who you are targeting (more on that later). You can get very granular in Facebook advertising campaigns but it’s also important to have a holistic strategy in place. Advertising on social media is different than on a search engine, so you will want to make sure you adjust your ad copy & design accordingly.
Facebook advertising has some advanced and detailed targeting options. These can include things such as gender, location, age group, interests, marital status, people who have liked certain pages, etc. They don’t pass along personally identifiable information, however, so if you want contact with your audience once they reach your site you will need to have a good system to convert your website traffic into leads.
When advertising on Facebook, you can place ads in the news feed or the side bar. You can also place ads on Instagram (owned by Facebook) through the Facebook Ads platform. You can also boost a post, which allows you to pay to get your content in front of more people. This type of strategy could work well if you're trying to introduce your brand to a new market by sharing engaging content.
3. Retargeting Ads
The final way to buy traffic that we're going to talk about is retargeting visitors who have already been to your site. Retargeting advertising places a cookie on the browser of visitors who have been to a page on your site. That cookie then stays in place and will show relevant ads that you have set up to that person. You’ve probably noticed these ads online before, and while some may find it a little creepy, it tends to convert at a higher rate than showing ads to people who have never been to your site. Part of why this may be is that people often take their time making a decision, and retargeting ads allow your brand to stay top of mind.
Retargeting has grown in popularity in recent years, and you can set up your Google Adwords or Facebook account to retarget your site visitors on those networks. Keep in mind that you have to set up each one separately -- you can’t advertise on Facebook with visitors you tracked on Google’s platform, and vice versa. There are also retargeting services such as Criteo or AdRoll that focus primarily on this type of advertising.
Depending on your business needs, you may or may not benefit from buying website traffic. If you decide you want to buy traffic, it’s always good to further research these platforms and figure out which one suits your business best (or maybe a combination of them). If you aren’t sure and would like help figuring that out, contact us today.
Since 2002, Half a Bubble Out has been dedicated to providing marketing, advertising and small business consulting that meet the needs of our clients. We specialize in powerfully telling stories through Inbound Marketing to grow your business filled with more passion and provision. Based in Chico California, we serve clients throughout Northern California and across the country to New York.