Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Oct 15, 2008
A few years ago, I did something that I couldn’t conceive of doing again, but I figured it was worth a shot. I paid a company for traffic. It said it would be targeted traffic, and though I wondered how they would know, since I had a feeling they wouldn’t even be able to determine what my traffic would be, I went ahead and paid for it.
I believe it was around $13 for a guaranteed 10,000 visits, which sounded good to me. After I paid my money, the company wrote and said that I’d purchased during a special period, and that I’d earned another 5,000 visits.
I tracked the traffic for the month, and I didn’t quite get to 15,000; as a matter of fact, I didn’t get to 10,000 visitors for the money. I did get an increase, though, of about 8,000, and I figured that wasn’t bad.
However, I didn’t get any business from it. No one called to ask any questions. No one purchased any products. No one booked me for any speaking engagements.
This was back before Google Analytics, so I didn’t even get a sense of which pages anyone was visiting when they came to the site. Truthfully, I’m not even sure there were actual visitors. My ISP reports traffic statistics that say I’m averaging over 18,000 hits a month, but Google Analytics doesn’t come anywhere close to that number. My thinking is that most of it comes from a source that kind of “pings” your site, like the search engines do, only this is more deliberate, to throw off your stats.
I don’t remember the name of that company, and I’d pretty much forgotten about it until the last couple of days. The first one is that I came across a website that now does what that one did back in the day. It’s called Get Web Traffic Here, and for as little as $14.34 a month (I wonder how they came to that figure), you can get upwards of 200 visitors a day of “targeted” traffic. The best package, price-wise, will run you $154.95 for 2,500 visitors a day, plus a bonus of some kind.
It all sounds good, as far as getting visitors, but is it effective?
Well, if you research online and read articles on the subject, it would seem so, but everyone writing the articles has a vested interest in your possibly buying from them. Nope, can’t quite trust that, can we? One guy did make an interesting point, that being that if you purchase the traffic and make some sales, it may help build your confidence up and motivate you to try harder. That would be a more compelling argument if it had worked for me on my other sites a few years ago. Just a couple of sales would have gotten me there, I believe.
As I said, the big question on this is just how targeted the traffic can be. One example I read was a travel site looking for traffic geared towards that industry. What the article said is that companies often just purchase old domains that get some type of traffic, and then point those visitors your way. But they’re not as targeted as you might hope they would be, because, based on the numbers, it would be inconceivable for some businesses to be able to attain the type of traffic numbers for that particular field. So, some niches will work better than others.
Of course, there are some other ways to do it for free. Ben Pei of Make Money Online had this particular post that gave a list of free traffic exchanges, which was a pretty nice list, but to tell you the truth I’m not into that either. I’ve done it a few times, where you sign up with a site and basically trade visits. You visit so many pages and build up points, then people will visit your site. However, if you’re not interested in their stuff and they’re not interested in yours, then you’ve wasted your time and theirs; it’s not targeted traffic once again. Still, give it a look and see what else is there, because you might find something you like.
So then, what else do we do for more traffic? Blog commenting seems to be working fairly well lately for me, as well as mentioning my new posts on Twitter. I couldn’t tell you if I’m getting any new traffic from Facebook, and based on the fact that you have to “friend” people before they can view your site, I’d doubt it’s getting me far.
There is always commenting on forums to see if that drives more traffic, but that takes time. I also had a brief interaction with Lynn Terry (man, she’s real people; gotta love her!), getting her thoughts on article writing to drive traffic, and she says that, plus good SEO for your site, would work very well.
And, of course, there’s always your own bits of advertising through services like Adwords or purchasing other advertising. Link exchanges are always good, as well as getting listed on someone else’s blogroll if you’re writing a blog, which of course I am here.
For a website, something you might want to think about is SiteSell’s Value-Exchange program. Basically, you go in, give information about your site with your keywords, and if they approve your site, then they’ll send you webpages from time to that that seem to be a match for your site, and you get the opportunity to review them to see if you believe they’re a match, and then you can choose to contact them, whereas they’ll also get a chance to take a look back at you. Of course, you have to have a valid links page, and in my mind, if your links pages are hidden and hard to find, I’m not exchanging with you because it’s inherently unfair. But the program itself is great, and it’s free.
So, what am I going to do? I think, for now, that I’m not going to pay for more traffic, but I’m going to continue my posting on other blogs and getting back into forums, which I was doing a lot for awhile, but I’ve gotten out of it lately. I’ve enjoyed commenting on blogs, though, and having people come by for a visit is invigorating in its own way. I’m also thinking about starting two more pages on this site, which might help bring more traffic to the site eventually. Stay tuned for that, though; I don’t want to give it away just yet.