Paid Traffic vs. Free Traffic and Which Is Best?
We all love getting organic traffic from social media, and it is obviously ideal because you’re getting free traffic and free brand exposure.
Which is best free or paid traffic?
You must place a real value on your time and directly compare that to the amount you pay for paid traffic.
Only after you set a real value (the hourly wage you would pay yourself to do the work) to the time you spend on free traffic methods then you are able to compare free vs paid traffic.
Ask just about any online marketer on the planet if they have enough traffic, and I'll bet you dollars to donuts that their answer will be “no.”
Even those marketers that are pulling down the big traffic numbers want more traffic.
And the reason ... it is pretty dang simple:
More Traffic = More Customers = More Sales = More Money
Paid Traffic vs. Free Traffic And Which Is Best? [Money vs. Time]
Are You Making These Deadly Traffic And Marketing Mistakes
The thing is though, while most marketers want more traffic, there’s also a good chunk of marketers who’re making some deadly traffic mistakes.
That’s right, they’re locked and loaded and BAM ... they wind up shooting themselves in the foot and settling for a trickle of traffic when they could be getting oh so much more...
Mistake 1: Cherry-Picking Traffic Methods
You’ve probably read a ton of books, blog posts, articles and other materials about getting traffic ... maybe you’ve even started developing a plan for which traffic methods you’re going to use and which ones you’re going to skip.
Hold up there for a second...
If you’re completely skipping a traffic method because you think or even know that it won’t work, then that’s one thing.
For example, trying to generate traffic from some decade-old, untargeted source like mailing postcards to everyone in your ZIP code is pretty fruitless.
If you read about this in some old traffic report then yeah ... feel free to ignore it.
What I’m talking about are ignoring proven traffic methods that are sure to bring targeted traffic to your site.
So what if there is a traffic method that you don’t really feel like doing?
Then hire someone to do it for you.
Because if you want to build a thriving business, don’t skip over a promising traffic method just because you don’t feel like doing it yourself.
Mistake 2: Not Being Consistent
Sometimes marketers start off really enthusiastic about driving traffic to their site.
They start running ads, doing content swaps, blogging, setting up a Facebook page, optimizing their pages for the search engines, setting up an affiliate program… and so on.
This goes on for a few weeks, and the traffic starts coming in at a nice clip.
So when the marketer sees all the targeted traffic filling up his traffic logs, he diverts his attention and starts working on something else.
Many marketers think that if they stop working on their marketing, that somehow the traffic will just keep coming in on its own.
Of course it doesn’t work that way.
Content swaps lose effectiveness as the content drops off the blogger’s front page.
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Affiliates start to lose interest and go seek out other opportunities.
Facebook fans and blog readers drift away when they realize there hasn’t been any new content in a while.
The competitors in the search engines knock your pages out of the top spots.
And of course paid ads don’t bring in any visitors once you stop the campaigns.
So here’s the point…
If you want to keep the traffic not only coming in but building over time, you need to do something every day to increase your traffic.
For example, you may do one or more of the following every day:
And so on.
In short: Small steps on a consistent basis lead to big results over time.
And now the third mistake…
Mistake 3: Skipping the Tracking and Testing
Many marketers waste a lot of time and money chasing after advertising strategies that simply don’t work for them.
Maybe they’re using ineffective ads or calls to action.
Maybe their lead pages suck.
Or maybe they’re even posting ads in places where they’re getting very little action.
Why on earth would someone keep throwing money and time at advertising that doesn’t work
Simple: Because these marketers have no idea their advertising doesn’t work.
And you know what?
Unless you are tracking and testing your ad campaigns, you too might be wasting a lot of money and time running lousy ads.
So what you need to do is start keeping careful track of what works and what doesn’t.
You’ll need a tool to track and statistically test your ads and campaigns.
You can find plenty of tools around, such as Google Analytics, or the open-source alternative at Piwik.com.
Check your other tools, which may have built in tracking.
One good example is your email service provider, as many of the big providers can track open and click-through rates.
Once you decide what you’re going to test, then be sure to test just one element of your ad campaign at a time.
That way, you can be confident that any change in the conversion rate is due to that one element, rather than something else.
For example, if you’re testing the best time of the day to send emails – 9:00am or 9:00pm -- then you need to randomly split your list into two groups and send out the exact same email to both groups.
If everything else about the emails is exactly the same, then you’ll know that any difference in conversion rate is due to the time it was sent out.
These three mistakes seem pretty simple, and yet you’ll face dismal amounts of traffic if you make these mistakes too.
So be sure to test everything, diversify your traffic methods, and take consistent steps every day to build your traffic.
There Are Many Advantages To Advertising On Social Media, Both Free and Paid
However, you may need to consider paying for social media traffic over or at least in addition to free traffic.
First, you get to reach more than just the people who are already following you on social media the people that have already gave you a thumbs up and/or liked your page or profile.
As a matter of fact, if you wanted to and if you have the budget to match, then you can reach every single user on a platform, that would be nuts and a huge waste of money ... the reason is not everyone on say Facebook is interested in what you are peddling...
Again this would be a cool experiment, but a total waste of time and money and just not a very wise decision ... simply because you’ll also be reaching people who have no interest in your niche or industry.
However, the point is that if you want to reach all those people that currently are not in your sphere of influence, then you certainly could do it ... and that shows the power of advertising on social media.
Another advantage is that you don’t need to wait for would be followers to find you and get your message organically ... you can speed things up a bit...
Organic growth takes time, lots of it ... and you would have to publish lots of valuable content to get people to follow you.
But with paid social media traffic ... you can skip ahead a bit and bypass the majority of the wait.
All you need to do is publish a few posts and then promote them far and wide across your chose social media platform to grow your following.
Paying for it, then becomes a lot more appealing ... the thing is social media traffic is great for driving traffic to new brands who don’t want to wait for organic SEO and organic social media traffic to kick in.
And once you have grown to a good number of followers from your paid social ads, then you will start to see some organic traffic ... a "snowball" affect...
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With social media giants like Facebook continually updating their algorithms ... many on the platform are reporting a decline in organic traffic for their non-boosted or non-promoted posts ... aka paid ads.
At the end of the day, your strategy to reach your existing followers on Facebook, you need to pay for advertisements so you can reach these followers!
So in the case of Facebook, this virtually renders a page’s number of fans and followers a vanity metric ... or what could be seen as a method of "social proof" that might or might not be valuable and can be niche specific.
Remember, Facebook is just one platform...
And while there are other social media platforms out there where you can still drive good traffic to your website from organic posts...
Facebook has the largest share of Internet users at what could be argued to be the lowest price for the highest quality of traffic.
And compared to paying for traditional advertising, social media adverts are cost-effective and you get a much wider reach at a fraction of the cost.
To sum up it all up ... paying for social media traffic is a great option if you’ve got the budget for it.
And if you take the time to learn how to target and create the correct types of ads that match your audience to your offer you will quickly see that paying for traffic will have an almost immediate return on your investment.
Now that you know why paid traffic is so important and you are ready to become a paid traffic master...
Are You Overlooking Other Profitable Traffic Sources?
So you have the best traffic source in the world and no other traffic can touch your traffic source, so why bother looking, right?
Here is the thing ... right at this very moment, there is someone on your website and you brought them there from the best traffic source that you can find.
So they’re not just any visitor ... this is a targeted visitor.
The someone who is very much interested in what you’re selling, and they’re looking over your offers.
They’re are repeat readers of your blog and they’re clicking on your links.
Life is good, all the stars are aligned, the universe is in complete harmony.
And then ... They click off your page.
Now don't worry I am sure they have the best intentions of the world and will be coming back, soon...
I am sure they even bookmarked your site ... but we all know once they leave your site, that their enthusiasm is going to fade away and they will get lost in the ether of the Interwebs.
You’re going to lose a good prospect forever.
Now most marketers know that they should try to capture their visitors onto a mailing list.
Which is why you have opt-in forms all over your website, right ... and that’s a good thing.
But many times you are probably just letting your hard earned visitors slip away once they click the “back” button or otherwise try to leave your site ... and that is a mistake.
You see, just because someone didn’t buy something or even join your list when they first arrived on your site doesn’t mean “no” forever.
That’s why you need to give them a last-chance opportunity to “say no to an offer, such as a free lead magnet or even a low priced trip wire product.
Think about it...
When the visitor first arrived on your site, they didn’t join your list because you hadn’t yet built value and showed them you’re worth listening to.
So just because you offered something before and they didn’t take it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer it to them again as they’re leaving.
If you put the right offer in front of your exit traffic, you might just end up with an eye-popping conversion rate.
So that leads to this first question...
What is the right offer?
Most marketers put the same lead magnet in front of all their visitors ... and sure, that will pull in a few subscribers.
But if you really want a conversion rate that’s off the charts, then you need to give your exiting visitors an offer that’s directly related to whatever it is they were just viewing.
For example, if your visitor was just looking at your sales page for catching the big fish videos, then you can offer them one video for free if they join your list.
Or if your visitor was reading a blog post about power lifting training, then offer them a free report on the same topic.
Point is, the more targeted your offer is, the better your conversion rate.
Now then question number two...
How do you go about the “capture” of this exit traffic?
Redirecting exiting traffic to a special offer sounds a bit technical, right?
The Good News Is It’s A Lot Easier Than You Think, Especially When You Follow These 3 Easy Steps
Set up a professional lead page.
For this step you need an autoresponder (such as Aweber, GetResponse, MailChimp or any other reputable email service provider), and a method, usually a landing or squeeze page to showcase your offer and opt-in form.
If you’re not exactly a word class web designer, no worries – you can still set up a great-looking lead page with just a couple clicks of your mouse ... the pop-ups and all the opt-in forms that you see on this page ... and on this blog is powered by Thrive Themes...
Choose a targeted offer.
As mentioned above, you’ll get a much higher conversion rate if you create multiple offers and then send your traffic to the offers most related to what they were just viewing.
Just be sure your lead magnet product is valuable, it’s something your visitors really want, and it’s something that will lead to a paid product to buy.
Now here’s what most people think is the tricky part – how do you redirect exiting visitors to your lead page?
The good news is you don’t need to create any code or have any technical experience.
Again Thrive Themes has you covered on this as well ... and it’s pretty darn simple once you get started.
And Now The Final Question ....
Because as you know, you always save the best for last...
So where do you get all this traffic, other than that single best source that you use?
We've been talking about capturing your exit traffic and all that traffic needs to come from somewhere.
And if your traffic logs aren’t already flush with visitors, then you need to start generating a lot more targeted traffic, which naturally means you need more than one source ... or you could just double down on the single source ... if you think that makes sense.
And now that I know you are ready to discover how to fill your site with new leads and customers...
Imagine if you could find out the best way to discover how two of the net’s top marketers bring in a steady stream of traffic every day of the week – and how you can do it too.
So again, check it out here ... and be sure to do it now before your single source of traffic dries up and leaves you high and dry...
The Answer To Paid Traffic vs Free Traffic Which Is Better
The answer is neither nor and either or, both methods can be profitable.
But now is the time to start driving traffic, so pick one and get it started today.
And if you have less money than time, than free traffic is the best answer for you, for now.
So get started with free traffic, write that blog post and get it to rank on Google and start posting in Facebook Groups (someone else's to start and then build your own) and on your Facebook timeline.
Once you have built up a following and the money vs time problem evens out or flips and you have some money to invest, it's time to go paid traffic (have a set goal and measure that goal).
Paid traffic gives you the ability to free up your time and scale, this gets your targeted message to many more potential customers than free traffic alone.
Bottom line there is no Free vs Paid, that is just something marketers are trying to sell you, there is money and time and you need to pick the one you have most of, and which one makes the most sense in your business.
So your job is to use both (until you figure out which one works the best) to get to your end goal (make money now!).