Paying for traffic online to your website or products can be a powerful tool to increase sales and brand awareness for your business. 

In fact, many small to medium-sized businesses now consider Google and Facebook to be the most effective marketing methods for them, ahead of their own website or email list. 

So, let’s get back to basics first. 

What is paid traffic?

Paid traffic refers to any online traffic you receive, which has been paid for. That includes PPC adverts, website banners, YouTube adverts, and social media adverts.

But all paid traffic works slightly differently, and some of it works better than others, depending on numerous factors including: who you’re targeting, what you’re selling, and what you’re hoping to achieve.

Types of paid traffic

Here are some of the main — and most effective — forms of paid traffic:

  • Paid search (like Google AdWords)
  • Social media ads — sponsored content in your Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds, or on YouTube
  • Sponsored content — an article on a website, newspaper, or print mag that advertises a brand
  • Influencer marketing — a social media influencer promotes your business or offering to their audience
  • Display ads (the ones displayed on the side of a web page)

There are many sites — including Google Keyword Planner — that allow you to search for different search terms and see the monthly search volume as well as the competition level for that term. So if you find many people are searching for what you’re selling, and there’s not too strong competition, Google Ads might be a great place for you to start.

If you’re targeting a younger market, and you know they heavily use Instagram and Snapchat daily, then social media advertising or influencer marketing might be a better approach.

Benefits of paid traffic

When it comes to advertising, paid traffic has many benefits and can help almost any business improve their exposure and conversions. 

 

  • Instant results

 

While content marketing or social media marketing might take months to grow, take off, and require heavy time investment; paid traffic is almost instant. You can create a new PPC in minutes (if you know your way around), and have your business appearing number one on Google’s first page today.

If you don’t want to wait around to build your traffic organically, then paying for traffic to get yourself noticed straight away can help you gain traction and grow much faster — which can be crucial in certain industries. 

 

  • Target anyone, anywhere

 

Do you live in Australia, but your target customer is located in the U.S? Are they someone who is very active on Facebook, but never reads the newspaper, or watches TV? Do they have a strong interest in fashion and makeup? 

It doesn’t matter who you’re trying to target — Google AdWords and social media adverts allow you to display your ads on millions of websites, and reach millions of people who might be interested in buying from you.

 

  • Continuous improvement

 

You can already alter many specific things on your ad campaigns including age, gender, and location; but these tools are continually being updated and improved to make it easier for businesses to reach their exact target customer. 

Retargeting is just one example of a new technique that totally transformed the way businesses are able to increase their awareness and follow up with people who already expressed an interest in them. Expect to see more like this but even bigger and better in the years to come. 

 

  • Analytics

 

Creating a paid traffic campaign online also has the added benefit of being entirely trackable, meaning the return can be measured. This helps a business to double down on what’s working, and refine or let go of what’s not. This means money saved and invested as efficiently as possible.

 

  • Multiple platforms 

 

There are multiple platforms out there to suit your business and target customer, helping you to reach a specific audience and drive sales. 

If you’re not sure which one will be best for you, experimenting with a few and noticing which one performs best will help you narrow in on the best platform(s) for you and your business. 

Alternatives to paid traffic

There are many ways to drive traffic to your website and increase sales outside of paid traffic campaigns. These include improving SEO, creating written content, creating backlinks to your site, and growing your social media following organically. 

All of these techniques can be extremely effective, but they do require a lot of time and energy, to begin with, and it can take a while before you start to see tangible results. 

The reality is, there isn’t really a “free” way to gain traffic. Either you invest your money, or your time — which is money in a different sense. So if you’re looking to grow your business faster, and see leads and sales coming in right away, then paid traffic may be the best choice for you.

Why you should be using paid traffic to grow your business

So we’ve covered everything there is to know when it comes to paid traffic; from what it is, to the various types of paid traffic, and the multiple benefits of using it for your business. 

And as you can see, there are so many advantages to driving paid traffic to your website or products. This is the perfect approach for any startup or small business, looking to increase brand awareness, gain leads, and convert those precious leads into customers.

If you’re not sure where to start, there is a wealth of information to be found on all the different types of paid traffic we’ve mentioned, to help you get started and create your first paid campaign. 

Keep things simple to start with, and go from there. 

If you create an ad that isn’t effective, don’t fret. This is actually GREAT news — because you’re one step closer to something that does work.

It won’t be long before you’re a paid traffic pro. 

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