Should You Buy Web Site Traffic?
You spend a lot of time setting up your website, making tweaks to the code, and refining your offer. Now what? You need traffic. What do you do? You have two choices: optimize your site to rank well in Google (or other search engines) or buy web site traffic from a broker. You hesitate to buy traffic because you've heard everyone talk about how awesome free traffic is, so you go that route. You quickly realize that free traffic isn't really all that free. You end up dumping a lot of money into "SEO," only to find out you probably could have gotten traffic for a lot less had you just purchased it.
How's SEO Working Out For You?
One of the major problems with SEO is that it's totally unreliable. You could spend years and years on chasing backlinks only to be wiped out in one fell swoop by the major search engines. Aside from that, you can't control what descriptions get shown to users in the search results. Yes, Google allows meta descriptions, but it doesn't have to. You're allowed to do it because Google allows it. If that policy every changes, you're out of luck.
The Inherent Problem of Organic Traffic
The real problem with organic traffic is that it puts your website traffic in the hands of a third-party company. If that company believes in your site, and its value to users, you get traffic. If not, you don't get visitors. It's as simple as that. Because you're not paying for inclusion in the search engines, you have no right to complain if you drop out of the results.
Why Buying Traffic Works
Buying website traffic works for the same reason that buying advertising works. You're paying for space. You can do anything you want with that space. That small little detail is an important one. You have a right to demand whatever message you want when you're paying for an ad (as long as it conforms to the platform's guidelines). You also have the flexibility to change your advertising message whenever you want. If you want to run two different ads for the same web page, you can see which one works best for the page you're trying to send traffic to. Try doing that with organic results.
Ways To Buy Web Site Traffic
There are several ways to buy web site traffic.
The first way is to hire a broker. A traffic broker does all of the heavy lifting for you. Instead of you having to go out and write ads, test click-throughs, and continually tweak the ad, a broker handles the finer details while getting your input on major changes.
Another way to buy web site traffic is to use a third-party platform, like a pay-per-click or cost-per-impression service. These types of ad networks can get expensive, but the price is usually worth it. You get targeted visitors and complete control over the advertisement message. You usually have to write the ads yourself, but this often makes it less expensive than hiring a full-service broker.
Yet another way to buy web site traffic is to purchase it from an exchange or expired domain service. This type of traffic is pretty straightforward. A company buys up expired domains, or uses other marketing initiatives, to acquire traffic to a blog network. Then, the company sells that traffic to you. Usually the price per 1,000 visitors is very reasonable. The downside to this method is that it's easy for a company to cheap users by sending fake visitors (i.e. bots). The bots hit the customer's website and are counted as a "visitor." Obviously, that doesn't really help the customer at all. That's not to say that all programs of this nature are scams, but many of them are. If you go this route, do your due diligence.
The last way to buy web site traffic is to buy out other websites that already have traffic. Some webmasters lose interest in a website, can't (or don't want to) continue keeping up with the demands of hosting, have run out of ideas for content, or are looking to sell for some other reason. You might pay a high initial price for existing websites with traffic, but the long-term cost of this type of traffic is pretty low.
What To Do Next
Research. Research. Research. There's no substitute for researching companies. Call them on the phone. Grill the customer service reps. Ask how traffic is generated. For PPC and PPV platforms, study the competition you're up against before running a campaign (there's nothing worse than setting up a campaign only to find out you're going to pay $10 per click for leads). If, at any point, you suspect a company is hiding anything from you, the obvious thing to do is cut bait and run. While the siren song of free traffic is alluring, remember that there's no such thing as a free lunch. Even organic traffic has a cost. With paid traffic, at least you can quantify it.