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  1. #1
    Newbie Houdas's Avatar
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    Question New website - boost traffic?
    Greetings,

    I'll be launching a new content website soon. I think of some ways to "boost" the starting traffic a bit. I know there are things like SEO, submission to directories, link exchange etc., but I want to ask about services who offer a certain amount of targetted visitors to your website for some $$. Is this an effective way to invest money? Or should I go with AdWords? Or something else? Any suggestion is welcome.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I want to ask about services who offer a certain amount of targetted visitors to your website for some $$. Is this an effective way to invest money?
    In a word: NO!
    Unless it's by some method I haven't seen or heard about yet. Since you mentioned AdWords as a seperate option, I'm assuming that you're NOT talking about PPC, but purveyers of "bulk traffic."

    There are various problems with those bulk-traffic "services." Which specific problem will depend on the service. But all the ones I know of, or have heard of, have some big problem.

    Some are outright frauds, and use robots to "visit" your site. Basically stated, they send a robot over to your site X-thousand amount of times and run up the counter. Sometimes they do things to make it look (in your logs) like real humans came, and sometimes they don't even bother with that. But analysis will show the hits to actually be robotic.

    Others aren't frauds in the technical sense, but are a waste of money because they send crap traffic that won't buy anything--and may not even look at your site. These crap-traffic types do things like pop your site up behind or on top of really lousy SE spam pages (as in, a page with nothing but keywords on it), expired domains that still get traffic, domain-park pages, etc. Those pops, since viewed by real people, will show in your logs as a "visitor," but chances are the person getting that kind of a popup will close it without even looking. And, the more unscrupulous places will charge you even when the pop has been *blocked outright* by a popup blocker!

    A few others put a "blind link" ("Click here for the mystery site of the day") on a high-traffic page. Curiosity clicks is what that brings you. Curiosity clickers don't buy anything. Such clicks are no good for sales sites. People who are willing to click a Mystery Link are generally in the mood for something quirky, like Zombo.com...

    Some places send crap traffic by offering incentives--a free contest, download, or somesuch, and making people click a link in order to get to it. The link would go to you, the "traffic buyer." Those people just stay on the site long enough to get their entry to register at the place or get whatever they came for, and then go away.

    All in all, I haven't found any bulk-traffic place that actually send GOOD (buying) traffic.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  3. #3
    Newbie Houdas's Avatar
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    Leader, thanks for your extensive answer! This opened my eyes. I guess it will be better to start with "natural" steady-growing traffic with the help of SEO, directories etc. Now I think it's better to have 10s or 100s of true, targetted visitors from search engines than 1000s of fake visitors.

    One more thing on directories - is it effective to register to every directory I find, or should I choose only the best/biggest/high-PR directories?

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    If the directories are free, I figure you might as well go for it. But, use a seperate "throwaway" email address for your registrations. Some of them will spam you to death... Also, most if not all of the legit ones will ignore automated submissions, so go to each one and manually submit your site. Most "directories" are wannabes that don't have a lot of (or any) traffic, but if it's free and you've got time, you may find some that actually have some visitors.

    Be very, very careful, though, of directories that charge to be listed (and list everyone who waves their credit card)! Some of them are poison to search-engine ranks! Google sees paid directory links as an attempt by the listed site to buy PR (PageRank), and there's a decent chance of being penalized. Not only that, they usually don't send any traffic of their own, making paid directories a lose-lose proposition.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  5. #5
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Go for AdWords and Overture (that is now called Yahoo! Search Marketing). FindWhat and Kanoodle are good too.

    Stay away from KeywordMarketplace and MetricsDirect!

    Ask about specific "advertisers" (at this forum) before you decide to use them.

    Good luck, Houdas!

    Geno

  6. #6
    Newbie Houdas's Avatar
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    Cool, I'll go with AdWords and look into Overture then.

    Geno, thanks for the tips!

  7. #7
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    My pleasure, Houdas...

  8. #8
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Just to expand on Leader's definitive "NO!"...

    I'm assuming you're talking about the types of places that will sell you 100,000 click-throughs for $100.

    Here's how it usually goes: You're thinking "Great! That's a tenth of a cent per visitor! That's 50 times cheaper than AdWords!" So you sign up. Your site gets a flurry of activity. You look at your logs. You've had 100,000 "visits" to your home page. 17 of them went to other pages on your site. None of them bought anything. None of them bookmarked your site. None of them ever returned. You've just wasted $100.
    Michael Coley
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  9. #9
    Newbie Houdas's Avatar
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    In fact, I was looking on targettedvisitors.info run by Dan Grossman, who I believe is quite respected here (or on sitepoint), so I thought it might be trustworthy. But I will stick to your recommendations and keep away.

  10. #10
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Here's how it usually goes: You're thinking "Great! That's a tenth of a cent per visitor! That's 50 times cheaper than AdWords!" So you sign up. Your site gets a flurry of activity. You look at your logs. You've had 100,000 "visits" to your home page. 17 of them went to other pages on your site. None of them bought anything. None of them bookmarked your site. None of them ever returned. You've just wasted $100.
    Wow, Michael! You've described my experience with KeywordMarketlace! Thanks... Houdas, learn from my mistake and: from guys like them.

    Geno

  11. #11
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Houda, that is expired domain traffic. No way will it be as 'targeted' as you can do yourself through AdWords. And since they use full screen pops and full browser pop unders, you will get a lot of what Leader said about people just closing out browser windows and popup blockers. Ever accidentally sufred to an expired domain? Rather annoying isn't it? I've *never* surfed through on those sites in the popups but rather back out as fast as I can and start hitting the browser close button (many times before the page even fully loads).

  12. #12
    Newbie Houdas's Avatar
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    Thanks Kellie, didn't know it "works" this way. Yeah, I surfed to expired domains many times, but didn't know people are actually making money from this. As has been recommended to me, I'll go with AdSense and Overture and hope everything will be OK Finally, there is paypal support in Czech Republic so the payments should be no problem now.

  13. #13
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Houdas
    In fact, I was looking on targettedvisitors.info run by Dan Grossman, who I believe is quite respected here (or on sitepoint), so I thought it might be trustworthy. But I will stick to your recommendations and keep away.
    Never heard of him.

    Feel free to try it, though. Substitute $39.95 and 10,000 for $100 and 100,000 in my example above, and I suspect it'll be pretty close.

    I've spent up to $5,000 at a time to try out different kinds of advertising over the years, and I've never found any "traffic generation" sites that converts well enough to even return a break-even ROI. All I ever got was useless traffic that wouldn't convert.
    Michael Coley
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  14. #14
    Newbie Houdas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    I've spent up to $5,000 at a time to try out different kinds of advertising over the years, and I've never found any "traffic generation" sites that converts well enough to even return a break-even ROI. All I ever got was useless traffic that wouldn't convert.
    Wow, $5,000 spent on advertising... beyond my imagination. No doubt you must have a lot of experience. Wish I could earn that money over the year But I am just starting so this is good motivation for me. Thanks.

  15. #15
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Hi Houdas,

    By "content" do you mean real content (i.e. impartial and useful) or "ad spin" dressed up as content.

    If it's *real* content, then directories can be useful to make your mark. Try:

    http://dmoz.org/
    http://www.zeal.com/
    http://www.joeant.com/
    http://www.skaffe.com/
    http://www.goguides.org/

    and I guess you can always try Yahoo, although in my view that's pretty much dead.

    Be warned though - if it's really a sales site then you will suffer bad karma

    Oh yes, AdWords *can* be pretty good.. I've spend $6000 so farthis year to good effect, last year it was $11,000. That's peanuts compared to the amount some people spend though!
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  16. #16
    Newbie Houdas's Avatar
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    Hi Dynamoo,

    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamoo
    By "content" do you mean real content (i.e. impartial and useful) or "ad spin" dressed up as content.
    I mean real, useful (at least I hope so) and constantly evolving content.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamoo
    If it's *real* content, then directories can be useful to make your mark. Try:

    http://dmoz.org/
    http://www.zeal.com/
    http://www.joeant.com/
    http://www.skaffe.com/
    http://www.goguides.org/

    and I guess you can always try Yahoo, although in my view that's pretty much dead.
    Thanks for the tips, I'll go check it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamoo
    Be warned though - if it's really a sales site then you will suffer bad karma
    Well, I plan to put AdSense there and join some affiliate program (amazon likely) and put the products there also (the products will be on the same topic as the site), but the content will always be the main thing... could this be a problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamoo
    Oh yes, AdWords *can* be pretty good.. I've spend $6000 so farthis year to good effect, last year it was $11,000. That's peanuts compared to the amount some people spend though!
    You guys trying to kill me with those numbers? But I really do believe that it has the desired effect. I would love to spend some $$$ on advertising if i knew it would help my business!

    Thanks for the tips.

  17. #17
    Not Verif-Lidated infoTim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Houdas
    You guys trying to kill me with those numbers? But I really do believe that it has the desired effect. I would love to spend some $$$ on advertising if i knew it would help my business!
    I guess that's why I'm a small-timer. I hate forking over cash to AdWords.
    Tim
    consultant by day, affiliate by night

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    I just set up my first adwords campaign last night. Damn easy and damn cool. My budget is $10 per day. I am going to watch this like a hawk and run reports daily. 1000 impressions of my ad with no clicks is all I've seen so far. So I uped my PPC price tonight. I'll be tweaking this daily for awhile.

  19. #19
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    If you got 1000 impressions with no clicks, your keywords aren't targeted enough and/or your ad isn't compelling enough. Google will continue to raise the minimum CPC rate required for your keywords if you don't get enough clicks.
    Michael Coley
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  20. #20
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Houdas
    In fact, I was looking on targettedvisitors.info run by Dan Grossman, who I believe is quite respected here (or on sitepoint), so I thought it might be trustworthy. But I will stick to your recommendations and keep away.
    Respected at ABW ... This cyber con-man and greed driven wank personally ushered in the .com bombs almost ruining affiliate marketing. He was a regular target at fu*ckedcompany.com during it's hayday before tha gay liberals and ABB crowd killed the forum. He was the man behind IdeaLabs and every commission stealing contectual advertising Adwhore operation incubated there.
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  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    Michael (greetings from Oklahoma City),

    Thanks for the information. I discovered what you mentioned right before your post. Google had disabled some of my keywords until I raised the cost. So I did raise the cost slightly last night.

    I wish that google had notified me that those were disabled. Is there an option someplace in there for that that I missed.

    Thanks,
    Patrick

  22. #22
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Patrick,

    The low click-through rate is a reflection that the keywords are poorly targeted. Raising the bid won't change that. It'll just let your ad continue to show.

    Here's an analogy that might help. If your car is losing a quart of oil every week, the solution isn't to just put another quart of oil in every week. You need to fix the source of the problem, and things will run much better.

    Poorly performing keywords and ads is a problem many of us faced when we started. You have to get far more specific with the keywords and more targeted and compelling with the ads.

    I don't think there's an option to notify you when keywords are disabled.
    Michael Coley
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  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    Michael,

    This information is golden. Thank you.

    Elaborating on this topic - what if you have a product that targets a specific audience. Laguna Beach (TV show) paraphenalia (sp?). What do you do when the key phrase "Laguna Beach" has a poor click through rate? That seems to me to be a key phrase that you'd want to catch on every time.

    Patrick

  24. #24
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    You're going to have a real problem trying to go that general. Not only is it a TV show, it's also a city. You're going to have people searching for city specific things (hotels, chamber of commerce, real estate, restaurants, etc.) plus people searching for TV things (pictures of the actresses, episode guides, etc.).

    Look at the specific products you're selling, and bid on keywords for those. For instance, if one of the items is a poster, bid on "laguana beach poster" and "laguana beach posters". You'll get far fewer impressions, but a considerably higher CTR and better conversions. You'll probably also pay quite a bit less per click.
    Michael Coley
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  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    OK. I just went in adjusted it combining some of my keywords. So instead of 8 I have rolled them up to 5 after combining. I did get that lowest CPC yet, but the traffic estimate was very low. Should I trust googles traffic estimate?

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