PostHeaderIcon Where to Buy Targeted Traffic

Getting site visits is a frustrating and often thankless task. Arguably the least glamorous part of web business, it involves getting people to visit your site and then trying to make them stay for more than ten seconds. And it’s a lot harder than it seems, even for owners of high-ranking websites. And in true entrepreneur fashion, we often play with the idea of just paying a bunch of people to get it done for us.

That’s the whole concept behind targeted traffic buying, an industry that promises to send thousands of visitors to your site for as little as $10. Ads such as “10,000 visitors for $10” have had bloggers and site owners wondering where to buy targeted traffic and how it works. Even with only 5% of visitors turning a $1 profit, that’s a return of $500 on your initial $10. Too good to be true, right? That’s because it is.

Companies offering targeted traffic work a variety of ways: by forcing visitors to your site through popup windows, squeeze pages, sometimes even false links. A few operate get-paid-to-surf schemes, paying people to spend a given number of seconds on a variety of websites. The most obvious flaw in this system is that the traffic is far from targeted—it’s hard to capture the interest, let alone the trust, of someone who was basically tricked onto a website. Another flaw is that search engines can flag a sudden surge of short-lived visits that seem to come out of nowhere, which means your ranking can plummet overnight.

What’s more, the terms of these services can be unsurprisingly skewed against the client’s favor. For example, on many targeted traffic contracts, there are disclaimers that say a visit will count even if the ad closes before it can load (often due to slow connections or lack of interest). Some even claim that the hit counters they provide may not be accurate. Then again, you can’t expect much from a ten-dollar service.

Experts are unsure whether buying targeted traffic is worth anyone’s money, but the general consensus, based on the evidence, is that it’s not. The best place to get targeted traffic is still from the tried-and-tested methods of networking and providing regular, useful content. It requires a greater investment in both time and money, but the returns are well worth it—and you don’t have to read through crafty fine print for your peace of mind.

PostHeaderIcon How to Get Traffic to Your Blog

Increasing web traffic is essential to making money off your blog. Whether it’s through pay-per-click ads, affiliate marketing, or some other business model, your income directly depends on how many people visit your website. If you’ve been in the business for a while, you may be familiar with some of the most common strategies, such as link building and forum posting. Each method has its merits, but often, the best approach is to use a variety of methods that complement each other. Learning how to get traffic to your blog is therefore an essential part of any Web business.

Link building is probably the simplest form of traffic generation. You want to put as many access points to your blog as possible. You can do this by participating in relevant forums or posting comments on other blogs, and simply adding a link to your site on your signature. This takes a lot more work than it seems—you have to read other posts, research your answers, and build a connection with members of the community, all in the name of establishing yourself as an expert in your field. A link building service can do that for you, but it’ll cost you more and you’ll have to shop around for the best services.

In the last two years, social networking has been essential to getting blog traffic. Bloggers who are active on Twitter, Facebook, and other social platforms get several times more followers than those who don’t do much besides blog. You can link to your latest blog posts on various status updates—there are apps that allow you to synchronize your posts or cross-post between platforms in seconds. Many users don’t even check their favorite blogs regularly anymore—they just get updates on their social media feeds every time someone posts an update. Having a social media presence makes it easier to keep followers.

Finally, the most important aspect of increasing blog traffic is staying ahead of the game. To be able to post meaningful content on a regular basis, you have to read up on your topic and be among the first to write about it when something comes up. There are dozens of bloggers in any given field, and the only way to stand out—and therefore get the readership—is to post what people like to read. It’s a full-time job for some of the world’s top bloggers. But it’s all part of the business—as long as you have something useful to say, someone out there will want to listen.

PostHeaderIcon How to Check Website Traffic

Knowing how to check website traffic is useful for two main reasons: getting to know your audience and learning about your competition. Traffic monitors now allow you to look beyond numbers and see other statistics, such as how long visitors tend to stay, where they come from, and which sections they read the most. They also offer a peek into competing websites and how they work compared to your own. Both provide valuable data that can steer your marketing and content in the right direction.

The most popular and widely recommended tool for checking website traffic is Google Ad Planner. Site statistics are provided both in country-specific and worldwide perspectives, and include total versus unique visitors, page views, monthly statistics, and average time spent on site. Its interface is also one of the most user-friendly in the market, making it especially useful for new site owners and those who like to focus on the business side of things.

Alexa is better known as a ranking system, a measure of a site or blog’s popularity. It provides useful metrics such as global traffic rank, country-specific traffic rank, page views per user, bounce rate, and search percentage. It also shows the top keywords that lead to the site, which can be useful in search engine optimization efforts. The comparison tool allows you to see how your site measures up with up to four others. The data is a little less accurate, but works well as a prediction and site-valuing tool.

For U.S.-specific users, Compete is also worth checking out. Its data is based on a list of 200,000 users in the U.S., which makes it a little limited but well-targeted for those who don’t really care about international traffic (such as community-based websites). QuantCast works in much the same way; like Alexa, its accuracy doesn’t quite match that of Google, but it serves as a supplementary resource for Compete or a similar service.

If your main goal for checking website traffic is ad revenue, BuySellAds may be worth a look. It’s primarily an ad network specializing in banner ads, but it offers very reliable traffic estimates. The catch is that you have to use the service (i.e. install the script) before you can get your hands on the data. Experts recommend it mostly for an overview of the most important metrics, including rankings on Compete and Alexa, social network shares and followers, and SEO statistics.

PostHeaderIcon Traffic Generator Software

When it first hit the market, traffic generation software was well-received—it was a way to sweeten website stats, increase hits, and boost conversions while barely lifting a finger. But like many get-rich-quick schemes, it didn’t last long: search engine Google promptly changed its policies, blocking access to 100,000 sites using its AdWords feature. It was a response to abusive traffic generation programs, most of them driving false traffic and using other unethical means to boost site rankings.

Lesson learned: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. It’s a cliché, but a hard-learned one for many web entrepreneurs. While some traffic generator software is legitimate and delivers as promised, many more are just after site owners’ money. The first thing to remember is not to go for the first program that presents itself. Lurk around forums, ask other site owners, and do your own research to see which traffic generator can get you meaningful traffic and keep you out of trouble.

Major search engines—Google, Bing, and Yahoo—usually offer guidelines that include acceptable means of traffic generation. No matter how long you’ve been in business, a quick look at these guides once in a while can come in handy. You’ll notice that some of the best-ranked ones offer a service more than a product—they don’t just get you visitors, but also guide you in marketing efforts that help you keep them.

Of course, you can’t leave everything to code. Traffic generator software can kick-start your business but it won’t work for the long haul, at least not if you plan on keeping a meaningful customer base. Part of your job is to keep providing useful content that will keep users coming back, and ideally spreading word around about your business. Whether it’s how-to articles, an insightful blog, or high-quality products and services, the key to success isn’t so much web traffic as it is good practice. It gives you more credibility not only in customers’ books, but also in the eyes of search engines, who take into account the relevance of your content.

A popular way to complement traffic generation is article marketing, which involves publishing articles on several channels that link back to your site. If they’re useful and well-written, they can drive traffic from people who are really worth your time. E-mail marketing and social marketing are also excellent ways to reach your target market. Whatever your methods, they should account for more of your traffic and conversion than traffic generator software.

PostHeaderIcon How to Buy Email Leads

Even as social media and other channels have opened up new forms of marketing, email leads remain essential to online business. Indeed, in some of the most successful online business models, social marketing is used as much as a media form as a means for gathering leads. These days, if you want to expand and keep your customer base, a good email lead list is still your best bet.

The easiest way to get leads is to buy pre-made lists. While gathering your own leads has its merits, knowing where and how to buy email leads can help you get started sooner. The first step is getting to know your source—while there are dozens out there for any given field, you want to make sure your source really knows its people and gives you a well-targeted group. It’s not just about harvesting email addresses from a database; a good lead provider follows up on them and makes sure there are no expired addresses, false leads, and unresponsive members on the list. Some of the most popular email lead providers include ZoomInfo, DemandBase, NetProspex, and ReachForce.

Once you’ve chosen a provider, you’ll be asked to make an account. Most companies only allow you to make your purchase online. Each one has different rates and specialties, so it’s useful to comparison-shop before settling on a deal. Sometimes it pays to shell out more for well-researched leads; the best companies call the contacts first to make sure they’re all active. These lists may cost more, but they give you more value for your money.

You may also be able to choose leads categorized by age, location, income, and other demographic data, depending on what your own market research tells you. This is an important part of the process—it ensures that the data you invest in is actually relevant to your business. Whether you do your own research on your target audience or have a third party do it, it’s important to know exactly which people you want to reach.

Most lead providers supply the data in a spreadsheet, which makes it easier to load onto your email marketing software. If you have a program that you already have the hang of, see if you can get your leads in a compatible format—you’ll usually have a range of options. This may seem like a minor detail, but automating the process can save you a lot of time and leave you more room for other aspects of your business.