Are you disappointed with the volume and quality of traffic your website attracts? Have you tried all the key tricks of digital marketing and success still eludes you? In such situations, experts recommend the application of some alternative marketing methods to drive traffic.
An extremely popular and effective way of attracting visitors to your website is using the paid traffic approach. So what exactly is paid traffic and how does it work?
In paid traffic, you get visits from those customers whom you have paid for advertising promotions. You can access paid traffic services from diverse platforms such as search engines, social media platforms, and media networks. The most commonly used forms of paid traffic are:
- PPC or Pay Per Click advertising which utilizes Google Ad Words.
- PPA or Per Acquisition Advertising
- Cost per Thousand (CPM)
While Google AdWords and Facebook are two of the most commonly used and reputed platforms for generating paid traffic to websites, there are many other paid traffic options also available that can deliver the desired outcome.
Still not clear about how paid traffic actually works? With its popularity rising in the digital marketing space, and with so many people willing to try to use this marketing option, it is a wise decision to join the bandwagon?
We will soon find out!
Paid Traffic Decoded
To many nascent businesses looking to establish their online presence, the term paid traffic might appear as a confusing phrase. It may take different meanings for different businesses. To some, paid traffic means the flow of visitors from their pay per click advertising efforts, while to others it may mean traffic coming in from banner ads and other types of paid advertising.
To make things simple, paid traffic can be defined as any website traffic that has been acquired through commercial means. Some examples of paid traffic are website banners, pay per click adverts, and YouTube advertising. However, it is important to understand that all types of paid traffic are not the same.
Let’s have a closer look at two of the most commonly used forms of paid advertising:
- Paid Ad Traffic
- Pay Per Click Traffic
Paid Ad Traffic
In this type of paid advertisement, traffic is generated by getting users to click on advertisements, banners, pop-ups, and videos. Advertisers are charged for a specific number of impressions (generally around 1000). This is an affordable form of advertising but the format does not come with any traffic or clicks guarantee. Paid Ad Traffic is also known as CPM or Cost Per Mile.
- It can be much more profitable if the converting advert rate is high.
- There is a high element of uncertainty as businesses may spend heavily and yet not achieve the desired results
- This is not the preferred choice of businesses as there is no guarantee of conversions or traffic
Pay Per Click Traffic
PPC is an extremely popular type of paid traffic and on an entirely different model than other forms of paid traffic. Advertisers are assured of a better ROI if the price they have agreed to pay is good.
- Payment has to be made only for visits received
- Advertisers can get detailed information about the performance of their PPC ads
- Offers optimization possibilities
- Makes it possible to reach a highly targeted audience
- The budget can be fully controlled
Paid Traffic Sources – The Advantages
1. Easy To Set Up And Use
Paid traffic can help nearly all types of businesses across diverse sectors improve their conversions. One of the key reasons for its wide preference is that it be can set up quickly and initiated instantaneously. You can practically start getting traffic to your website within no time as paid traffic offers much faster turnarounds and immediate results.
2. Boosts Exposure Massively
Paid traffic allows the targeting of a wider pool of users. PPC networks offer third-party display networks which means your ad can be shown on countless other websites as well taking the exposure potential to another level altogether.
However, Pay per Click traffic also has some downsides.
Paid Traffic Sources – The Disadvantage
The biggest disadvantage of using paid traffic ads is that it can cost you lots of money. If you are not sure how to do it right, there is a good chance that you will lose all that money you have invested in the campaign.
There is also the element of fraud that advertisers have to deal with. Billions of dollars are lost every year by advertisers to PPC frauds. However, with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, security features have improved tremendously. Advertisers can deploy fraud detection tools to mitigate the instances of fraud in their PPC campaigns.
Now that we have covered a wide ground about paid advertising campaigns, let us look at how it fares in comparison to organic traffic.
Paid Traffic vs. Organic Traffic
You can attract traffic to your website in a variety of ways. Search engine optimization (SEO) is certainly one of the most popular and proven ways of boosting traffic flow and enhancing the ranking of your website on leading search engines.
Your ranking on search engines can be improved by creating unique and interesting content, by doing guest posting on popular websites, creating quality backlinks, on-page SEO, and so on. All these may cost businesses lots of money but the money is well spent in most cases as the quantum of traffic increase resulting from such efforts is substantial.
How SEO Works
Results from SEO are not visible immediately. It may take a few weeks to some months before you can enjoy the benefits of SEO efforts. It is definitely a long-term thing because once traffic starts rolling it, it remains steady for a pretty long time and also grows at a regular pace. If you are willing to wait for the results to show up, SEO can be a cheaper option.
However, its implementation is a complex task and requires the involvement of digital marketing experts. SEO also takes a lot of persistence and patience. If you miss out on any key element in the SEO implementation chain, it can adversely affect the outcome of your campaign.
Now that we have covered all the key aspects of paid advertising and organic advertising, let’s try and answer that all-important question: Is PPC worth the effort?
To provide a straight answer – YES!
We have seen that there are various types of paid traffic options with ad traffic and pay per click marketing leading the field. Both these methods are capable of generating a lot of traffic and can be great for your business. However, you will have to keep your eyes wide open and look out for fraud.
It is advisable not to purchase a paid ad on a CPM plan as there are many robots in use, constantly viewing the ads, and wasting the impressions. It is very difficult to get genuine clicks through CPM. Of course, the fraud instances can be mitigated and even prevented completely if the ad network invests in some high-tech fraud detection tools and systems but that’s wishful thinking.
Your choices are:
- Continue buying impressions and hope to get clicks
- Opt for a different type of paid traffic
Frauds are as prevalent in PPC as they are in paid ad traffic. The mischief mongers (maybe a competitor) make use of fraudulent clicks by repeatedly clicking on the ads. You will lose money as you are charged per click, and gain nothing.
While there are no available solutions to stop paid ad traffic frauds, you can take some measures to stop PPC frauds. You can block specific users from seeing your ads by adding IP exclusions to your campaign on platforms such as Google Ads. It is an effective way of preventing deliberate and repeated clicks on your ads. The drawback is that it is a complex process and time-consuming as well. Your option? Choose an automated way for a faster solution.
There are software systems available that can monitor and block fraudulent clicks automatically. You need not put in your time and effort monitoring such unwanted clicks. This is a highly recommended solution for businesses running pay per click ads and wants protection from fraudulent clicking.