The total monthly revenue for any website mainly depends on the number of visitors per month. Therefore, generating targeted web traffic for your website that converts (sales, ad clicks, sign ups, etc.) is the key to a successful online business. Most newbies who enter the internet marketing space are buying traffic from many unreliable and cheap sources hoping to make some sales but fail to understand that not all web traffic converts. I was one of these fools who purchased many traffic packages and tried many unreliable companies that drive traffic to your website which is considered fake or unethical. I decided to write this post to share my experiences and to give you awareness of 3 types of traffic sources that I don’t think you should ever try.
Type 1: Bulk Web Traffic Sellers
Do you remember the popular saying: “it’s too good to be true”? Well, it definitely applies to the web traffic sellers in this category. These companies that drive traffic to your website always provide packages with high volumes and low price (ex. 30,000 monthly visitors for $25 or less). The reason why they’re affordable is because most of their traffic is server generated bots or low quality pop traffic. Most of these companies claim that their traffic is high quality and niche targeted but trust me on this….it’s pure BS. Buying web traffic from these companies/agencies may put your website in danger by destroying your SEO efforts and lowering website ranking on search engines. Also, it may lead your account to closure/suspension by Google AdSense and any other revenue sharing ad networks you’re signed up with.
So how can you find out if their traffic is real or fake? If you have a tracking system connected to your website and you’re able to analyze the traffic data, you can easily find out. For example, if you use Google Analytics and you buy web traffic from these sellers, the data will show that the bounce rate is very high (90% or more) and the average time duration on pages is very low (30 seconds or less). Also, if you dig more deep into the data you’ll realize that the visitors are not behaving like humans but more like bots (ex. Site and page navigations, clicks, referring URLs, etc.). There are tons of fake web traffic sellers available on the internet but just for learning purposes, you can find many of these sellers on fiverr.com in the web traffic and marketing sections. Fiverr is a great place to hire freelancers and I’m using it all the time but I don’t recommend that you buy traffic for your website from there.
Type 2: Guaranteed Sign-ups
This category is more popular in the social media space as many desperate marketing newbies buy followers, likes and interests in order to gain attraction and real following. But I’m actually going to discuss a different type of traffic service that people buy to drive traffic to their website which guarantees sign ups to their email lists, forms, free offers, etc. These sellers offer packages where they will continue to send you traffic in a specific niche until you achieve a certain number of sign-ups or leads (ex. $50 for 25 guaranteed sign ups from the US). So by now I’m sure you’re wondering , how can they guarantee such a thing? The answer is very simple…they send to your website a bulk of bad quality or bot traffic and they add in between a couple of their own people/employees/affiliates to sign up for whatever you have to offer. In other words, this service is just a pure SCAM!
When I was a naïve affiliate marketing newbie, I’ve tried a guaranteed sign up package that got me in BIG TROUBLE and so I will share this experience hoping that you don’t do the same mistake. One day, I was on Facebook promoting a marketing agency offer that I was affiliated with from cj.com (also known as Commission Junction). A guy approached me and he told me that I have a great landing page/product and he offered me a discounted deal from his company to drive high quality targeted traffic. He also mentioned that all their traffic packages guarantees sign ups in specific niches like marketing, make money online, sweepstakes, health and fitness, etc. Out of curiosity, I decided to try out one of their packages: $40 for 25 guaranteed sign ups. And to make a long story short, I got massive traffic and higher than expected outcome. I received thousands of visitors within a couple of days and I earned $1600 for 80 leads ($20 per lead). I was so excited and happy to make such an achievement in my first year as an affiliate marketer. A couple of days later, my account was disabled and I received an email from cj.com stating that I was involved with fraudulent activity and my account is banned permanently. The lesson learned from this experience is FAKE web traffic will only get you FAKE results. I regret trying out this traffic source until this day because cj.com is a great affiliate network and has many unique verticals to promote which I can’t find anywhere else.
Type 3: Solo Ad Sellers
Solo Ad sellers are considered to be successful email marketers who have huge email lists of niche targeted subscribers. They offer broadcast email services where they send marketing emails to their subscribers on your behalf for a fee. They usually charge you for each link click and they always guarantee a good lead/opt in rate (ex. $0.35 per click with 50% opt in rate). Online marketers who buy Solo Ads usually have a goal of building up their own email lists in specific niches. I have personally used Solo Ads to promote affiliate offers and had some occasional conversions (sales and form opt ins) but I also had seen suspicious behaviour from the traffic that comes from these sellers. After doing multiple split tests on some Solo Ad sellers’ traffic from soloadsx.com, I noticed the following points:
1. The opt in rate to my own personal capture page was 40 – 50% whereas the opt in rate for an affiliate vendor’s capture page/form was only 5% – 10%. And even after a couple of days, some of these leads were rejected by the affiliate network and I didn’t get paid for them.
2. People from their email lists are happily willing to subscribe to my email list but if I direct them to my blog, they don’t show any interest in the content what so ever (bounce rate of 95% or more).
3. After checking the data in my tracking tool, a lot of the traffic that was sent by these sellers was coming from different sources other than email like Facebook, twitter, etc.
4. The traffic prefers to opt in to forms more than just clicking a button. I removed the opt in form and replaced with a button for one package I purchased and the click through rate on the button was very low.
5. The people who subscribed to my email list from the Solo Ad traffic were not responsive and the email open rate was very low.
There is one point that I would like to make clear, not ALL Solo Ad sellers are scammers and in fact you may find some good and ethical ones who have high quality and converting email lists. I just had a bad experience with some sellers and felt like I need to share that with my audience but I know I will have a lot of readers who may disagree with me and consider Solo Ads as a reliable source of traffic. You’re entitled to your opinion if that’s how you truly feel but I would like to conclude this subject with a question that you should ask yourself before you reject my idea…if you had a large and high quality email list, wouldn’t you use that to promote your own offers and make lots of money instead of selling it to others? I would love to hear the answer to this question…