Traffic Buying Evolves

Stephen Yagielowicz
For many adult website operators, quality traffic is harder and more expensive to come by today than ever before — despite the dwindling number of adult sites and the growing number of Internet users, because now, fewer players control more web traffic — but getting your website’s share is still of vital importance.

While much of the current discussion focuses on obtaining organic search engine traffic and viral marketing via social media networks or other time-consuming venues, there is still one quick way to get all the traffic that your server can handle: just buy it.

Is it that easy, however? Is all that is required to establish a steady flow of visitors a credit card number and a few check boxes on an online order form?

Let us take a closer look:

The first thing is to define what we mean by “purchase traffic.” This includes pre-paid or straight “spot lease” payments — or common usage schemes such as payper-impression and pay-per-click pricing of banners, links and other ads on other sites — including free sites, blogs, search engines and more. This is a very common form of advertising in the online space, but there are other promotional opportunities as well.

There are two basic types of purchased website traffic: clicked and non-clicked, with one requiring human intervention and the other being an automated process. More than a conceptual difference, one directly engages your potential customer the other does not — so buyers may be getting much more than marketable prospects — they may be paying for web crawlers and numerous other non-human entities tripping their ad. That does not mean that non-clicked traffic has no value, it just often has “different” values and usually a lower cost.

Obtaining search engine or other traffic via pay-per-click services can deliver some of the highest quality visitors, but seek expert help to maximize your profitability — and to avoid an outright loss on bid-based systems. Remember also that the first place position may not always be the best or most profitable position for your ad. Focus on the cost per acquisition and conversion ratio that your site currently has for new customers and then base bids on that amount or less as your starting point and target less-searched phrases to boost bid value.

One should not discount the value of non-clicked traffic, however.

For example, redirected traffic from expired domains, closed websites and otherwise unused URLs, including 404s, can be of extremely high quality — sometimes consisting of mistyped names and other typographical errors that deliver matches for targeted terms. This traffic, like all traffic, is only as “good” as the skills of the webmaster whose site it is being sent to — and doubtless some will scoff at the notion of “quality” 404 traffic — but careful keyword matching and targeted landing pages can make a huge difference in the profitability of any given campaign.

While some domain owners will generate this traffic internally from their own unused websites and URLs, others choose to use redirection services that leverage extensive in-house portfolios and robust publisher relationships to deliver mountains of this traffic.

It is important for adult traffic buyers to work with brokers experienced in handling the nuances of adult traffic — and that are able to deliver targeted visitors seeking adult themed content. Webmasters order traffic from brokers targeted by type and country, as well as by its access platform — an important consideration for mobile site promoters — and even by the time of day the visitor arrives. Niche targeting is available and is among the most important factors for many traffic buyers.

Today, social media traffic, instant messaging (IM) ads and a variety of sophisticated traffic building tools are available. The important thing is to find a broker you can trust to guide you through the traffic acquisition process. The adult social network is a great place to start. After that, test and re-test your traffic’s quality and conversion ratios before placing new and bigger traffic orders to fuel your growing empire.

When using traffic redirects to promote an affiliate program, be sure this method is acceptable under the program’s terms of service. Some programs will not accept this traffic because of its often-poor quality “as is.” This quality level can be dramatically improved however by simply sending purchased traffic to a landing page that filters it by at least several levels — cleaning out unproductive visitors and guiding productive traffic via niche-specific and other targeted links.

Whether you call it a landing page, traffic filter, portal, directory or hub, the use of this initial destination site as an intermediary step can make or break the profitability of your bulk traffic buys.

Exit traffic, such as pop-ups and pop-unders, is another popular choice, to pardon the pun, but a choice where the details make all the difference in profitability: for example, are you charged for the pop of the ad (impressions based on script activation), or will you be charged for actual surfer clicks on those ads? Remember, it may sound good to have a million surfers “exposed” to your ad, but if they close the window without even viewing its contents, let alone be interested enough in the offer to click through, it does no good.

This applies to all advertising: a consumer being “shown” an ad is much less effective a marketing vehicle than providing that consumer with content he is seeking.

A combined approach may use both a redirect as well as a filter page to send clicked traffic. For example, an expired domain may redirect to a same-niche directory listing or other offers — filtering traffic by category while counting on a surfer’s click to qualify it.

This is different than say, simply popping your webpage in a console, which can often be a wasted impression, as the traffic you receive is made up of dissatisfied surfers that are still looking for what they want, even if it means clicking a pop-up (or under) ad link.