There are thousands of sites out there that will sell you hits to your website. The big ones you may know are Google, and Overture etc. However, these are mostly overpriced as they work on a bidding system where you bid against others on keywords. For example, if you type “Christian Web Hosting” on Google you get all those links on the right and the top. These are paid advertising links. Every time you click a link, the advertiser pays … up to $50.00 for a click! I don’t know about you but I certainly won’t pay that kind of money for a click. The more “valuable” the word or phrase, the more you have to bid in order to get your site near the top. Crazy huh?
Then you get the smaller advertisers. These are usually small companies or individuals that run some kind of paid advertising scheme. In my opinion, this is where you will get the best value for money. But beware, some are good and some are outright crooks! Be very careful!
Examples of this kind of advertising include those who sell you paid niche market indices, pop-under ads, pop-up ads, pay per click ads, banner adds and redirected traffic. From experience, we have found only some of them are worth it. The rest are dodgy investments at best.
niche market indices
There are several Christian sites — big and small — offering this kind of advertising for a price. Shop around to find the best one for you. They come in two flavors:
* Pay per click
* Pay per month/year etc. (Recommended if the site has qualified traffic and enough hits).
* Pay per veiws
Pay per month is obviously much easier to budget for as your cost is fixed but it will depend on how much traffic a site gets. You may find the one better than the other. It’s very much a trial and error thing and you have to try it for a month with a given advertiser to see which works best.
This kind of advertising, is often the best since you will be drawing your visitors from a source that is related to your site. For example, advertising your yacht business from a banner on a large yachting message board will guarantee your visitors are mostly yacht enthusiasts. (It’s unlikely you will sell any yachts on a skate boarding site)
pop-under and pop-up advertising
Don’t! As simple as that. Don’t do it. Most Browsers these days block Pop-Ups so it has become a pretty useless form of advertising.
A relatively new development is redirected traffic reselling. How it works is that people buy up old domain names — sometimes by the thousands. These are all kinds of domains. For example, companies that went bust, old websites that were abandon by the original owners etc etc. These domains still get traffic simply because they are listed in the search engines and they come up from time to time when people search for certain words.
You go to a company or individual who bought a whole bunch of these domains and they set them up to redirect the traffic that would have gone to the old domain to your site instead. In principle this is a great idea but in practice it’s a failure. Don’t buy this kind of traffic.
Why not? You ask. Simple – you have no idea what kind of traffic is being sent you you. Let’s say you have a site which sells second hand antique furniture. What value would traffic intended for a manufacturing company specializing in the manufacture of rocket fuel have for you? No matter how many rocket fuel visitors you get, it is highly unlikely any would be interested in your furniture. Traffic must be targeted if it is to be of value.
“Social Networking” sites
I put this in quotes because this would include everything from YouTube to Twitter to the mega blogging sites and everything in between. All good and all will generate some hits, just be careful not to overdo it: getting yourself banned on YouTube or your blog about your website on BlogSpot is so obviously an ad doesn’t help. People want information, not more ads; we all get them up to our eyeballs on radio and TV every day. Be informative, give information but don’t advertise.
General Warning: Regardless of which type of traffic you buy or use, be very careful of who you get it from. There are several companies and individuals out there who will send you thousands of unique IP address hits to your site (which you can verify in your logs), but no one will ever see your page/s! There are several techniques for doing this and you could easily be caught. (Some of the techniques involve things like opening your whole page in a 1 * 1 pixel window for example. You get the unique hit but no one saw your page … not unless they had x-ray vision like superman!)
What works best?
It depends on several factors — your site, the sellers site and many more. Fixed text link and fixed banneradvertising are always the best. Why do I say that? Two reasons:
* Because you are not only getting the traffic from the sellers site but you are also getting a fixed link from the sellers site. This cannot be over emphasized. This will boost your ranking in all the major search engines and will do so for as long as your link/banner is on the sellers site. If the seller’s site is highly ranked in the search engines, your site will benefit greatly! Read what Google has to say about this here.
* Provided you have some means of knowing how much traffic the page gets your banner/link is on it is also thesafest form of advertising — you can go to the sellers site anytime to see your link or banner. With any of the other methods, you have no guarantees at all that anyone even went to your site.
Bottom line: You get what you pay for. If someone is offering you 100,000 hits for $25.00, think carefully before you spend your money because that is a price that is way too low and it might just be a scam. For pop-up/pop-under advertising (which you should never use!) expect to pay around $0.01 to $0.10 per page view and for banner advertising in the same order for monthly advertising and $0.20 and up for click through advertising.