Traffic — A post with pretty pictures

Traffic…not the kind you’ll find on your downtown streets during rush hour, but the kind that makes your web counter spin… is something all marketers want. Badly. Very, very badly.

And there’s a million products and services out there willing to sell you traffic… and a million methods touted for getting traffic for free.

So, I decided (after trying a few of those methods with one of my product sites) to see which methods brought the most traffic, and which methods brought the best traffic.

First I bought 10,000 loosely targeted hits from a company that sells traffic from expired domains. The site you advertise is delivered as a popup or pop-under when that domain gets traffic.

Second, I set this site up as one of my InstantBuzz toolbar ads. During the test period, I ran through 159619 bar ad views (give or take the number that may have been added between the time I ran the site stats and the time I thought to check my bar views).

Third, I used the site in my signature on four related forums and posted on each periodically.

Fourth, I tried a few thousand credits at a traffic exchange site.

Finally, I put the link to the target site on most of my other sites… which aren’t necessarily in the same market, but they were incoming links nonetheless.

So, here are the results:
Traffic from all sources

First, you’ll notice that only about half the traffic from the 10,000 targeted hits actually made it to the site. The rest, presumably, were killed by popup blockers. The other stats didn’t surprise me too much.

Now, lets look at which of these traffic sources actually converted to sales:
conversion of traffic from all sources

Again, not too surprising. The popups, although plentiful, didn’t produce a great conversion rate, while forum postings did. Traffic Exchange traffic was the worst, though if you’re desperate, it still does occasionally produce a result.

InstantBuzz did surprise me. I wasn’t expecting the traffic from it to convert as well as it does. Though it takes a LOT of impressions to get one click, once you’ve got a visitor from there, they’re a good prospect as long as you didn’t use a misleading headline.

One comment

  1. This is a great article. I love how you show the results of your project. I have learned a lot of great tips and pointers from your research. It has been very helpful to see what has worked for someone else. Thanks for the information!!

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