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Can you really buy web traffic?

Many people wonder about generating traffic to their websites through paid traffic offerings. This topic is highly debated among the industries top SEO managers because some believe in the practice and others do not.

Paid traffic services can be useful as part of an overall traffic generation strategy. I have used paid traffic services in the past and believe they do present some value when used in conjunction with Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, and Email Marketing.

So What's the Rub With Paid Traffic?

Have you ever wondered where paid traffic comes from? The services that generate paid traffic do it through a few key methods.

1. Traffic Exchange.

Using this method, these sites sell access to their traffic exchange networks where individuals surf for credits. As they earn credits viewing websites like yours, their ads/websites are displayed across the network for others to click on. If this method is being used, you may certainly experience a decrease in performance only because the same individuals are seeing your ad over and over, reducing their likelihood to click.

2. Search Engine Marketing.

A great way to generate traffic for others is through search engine marketing like Google, ExactSeek or Yahoo! Traffic generation sites buy keywords in bulk or many long-tail keywords and resell the traffic generated from them. If they can do this at a profit, its a win-win. This is a difficult strategy only because the cost of keywords change frequently based on industry demand.

3. List Marketing.

Traffic generation websites also generate traffic through email marketing and house lists. These techniques are usually leveraged through daily, weekly, and monthly electronic newsletters. Driving less traffic than the first two methods, the list marketing option usually rounds out a comprehensive traffic generation strategy.

So to answer the question about paying for traffic, is it worth? My answer is that as part of an overall traffic generation strategy, paying for traffic can be beneficial. It all comes down to how you use paid traffic acquisition as part of your overall marketing strategy, the quality of the traffic generated and the costs associated with the traffic.

The other factor to consider is the quality of the traffic you receive. The purpose of most traffic acquisition strategies is to improve sales, generate leads, and/or conversions. To that end, I would only recommend paying for traffic if you have a way to measure the traffic to your site, the path the traffic takes through your website and whether or not that traffic actually converts. Whether you consider a conversion to be the completion of a web form or the actual purchase of a product, your buying this traffic for one reason and one reason only - conversion. Keep this in mind before you spend any money on traffic.

Although you can find plenty of sites willing to give you traffic in exchange for a fixed fee, I personally prefer to sign up for my own traffic exchange, purchase my own keywords, and manage my newsletters and email lists. By doing so, I have a better handle on where the traffic is coming from and ultimately the value of this traffic. Keep that in mind before you run out and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on acquiring traffic that may or may not convert for your web site.

About the Author: Michael Fleischner is an Internet marketing expert with more than 12 years of marketing experience. To discover how to improve search engine rankings on Google and other major search engines visit and the Marketing Blog.

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