What Is Paid Traffic and How Can You Attract It?

Wouldn’t launching a marketing campaign and seeing a customer response almost immediately be amazing? You wouldn’t have to wait six months just to find out that your optimizations didn’t work. The company revenue would go up and your brand awareness would increase. These are, after all, the primary goals of most businesses. With paid traffic and advertising, these dreams can become a reality. Today, we’re looking at how engaging with paid traffic in your marketing can supplement your organic traffic efforts to bring in quick bursts of qualified leads and revenue when you need them most:

What Is Paid Traffic?
Why Does Paid Traffic Matter?
Payment Models for Paid Traffic
Benefits of Using Paid Traffic
Downsides of Using Paid Traffic
How Does Paid Traffic Work?
8 Paid Traffic Sources To Incorporate Into Your Marketing Strategy
What Is Paid Traffic?
Paid traffic is any engagement or visits your channels or content get from paid marketing campaigns. No matter how small the payment is, if you put money towards an ad campaign, any visitors or inquiries you get from it count as paid traffic. Companies use paid traffic to guarantee that their brand names and content appear where their audience members spend time. Paid marketing lets you manage different aspects of a campaign, like bidding and targeting options. You can also edit your campaign content in real time to outperform competitors.


Why Does Paid Traffic Matter?
If your brand already does well with organic traffic methods for attracting audience members and sales, you may wonder why you’d need paid traffic. Why would you waste money on something you can get for free, right? But here’s the catch: your competitors use paid traffic. And if you’re not using it too, even occasionally, you’re missing out on greater traffic potential you could bring in if you used it, too.

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When you do it strategically, paid traffic can help boost your organic marketing efforts. You don’t have to use it all the time or for every campaign. But if you’re launching a new product or placing a limited-time deal on your services, those might be times to engage in a paid campaign. The most important thing about attracting traffic is finding a balance between each method. The more you learn about your audience and the industry, the better you’ll be able to find that balance for your own campaigns.

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Payment Models for Paid Traffic
Within paid advertising, there are multiple payment methods and models services use to display your content and earn your money. Here are some of the most common paid traffic models you may encounter:

Pay Per Click (PPC) or Cost Per Click (CPC)
PPC or CPC models are often the most popular types of paid marketing models. With these strategies, you don’t have to pay to display or place your ad in a certain location or with a certain service. Instead, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. This model creates an incentive for the host sites to place your ad content in better locations if they want your money. https://dubai.ocubedigital.com/

Search engine marketing, social media ads, display advertising, and native advertising are some of the most common strategies that use a PPC model. In most cases, PPC models require companies to set a maximum bid for how much they’re willing to pay per click to show their ad in a certain location. The highest bidders for any keyword or location get the best placements.

Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM)
In a CPM model, you pay based on the number of views your ad content gets, not the clicks. Often, you pay a fee based on every thousand impressions or views your ad gets. Similar to the CPC model, you can set a max bid for how much you’re willing to pay for an impression. The ads with the highest bid get their ads shown more than those with lower bids.

Pay Per Acquisition (PPA)
The PPA model is similar to PPC or CPC models, but the difference is you don’t just pay when someone clicks on your ad. PPA models require you to pay only when a visitor completes a specific action beyond the click. You might be familiar with this type of business model in the real world. If you’ve ever watched a local lawyer commercial, they may say something like, “there’s never a fee unless we get money for you.” That means you don’t have to pay legal fees unless the lawyer wins your settlement.

PPA marketing models are similar. Your company doesn’t have to pay unless you get something in return. In most cases, PPA actions that require payment include visiting a website, subscribing to an email list, or buying a product or service. Like PPC models, you’ll often choose the maximum amount you’ll spend for each action and bud on your ad placements using those maximums.


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Flat Rate
When you choose a flat rate paid traffic model, you pay to display your content up front. There’s a set price that may or may not be negotiable. Flat rates may vary depending on ad size or length and the duration of the placement. Flat rates were most common with traditional advertising, like billboard ads or print advertisements in magazines and newspapers. You can still find this payment model in digital advertising for things like display ads or partnership marketing.

Benefits of Using Paid Traffic
Attracting paid traffic comes with a variety of benefits, including:

Faster Results Than Organic Traffic
Paid traffic brings quicker results than organic marketing. Where it could take up to a year for your content to appear at the top of organic search, using paid search marketing could put your ads there as soon as you click “okay.” It’s also quicker and easier to create a paid marketing campaign than it is to engage in SEO. You can handle paid marketing optimization while the campaign runs and see results in real time. This allows you to maximize your reach and traffic potential better than organic marketing.

Access to Analytics
Almost every paid marketing platform comes with analytics dashboards to let you track your progress. Whether you’re looking at clicks, impressions, or purchases, the platforms let you watch it all. Having quick and simple access to these metrics helps you make better decisions about your current and future paid marketing campaigns.

Experiments with A/B Testing
Most ad platforms also let you experiment with A/B testing in your paid campaigns. With this type of testing, you can change one element of your ad and display it to different audience segments. For example, you may use two different call-to-action buttons to see which is most appealing to your audience. You can combine the insights you get from your A/B testing with the data from the analytics dashboards to influence campaign changes or decisions about future campaigns.

More Conversions
Paid marketing often helps you get more conversions more quickly than organic traffic. When your brand name and content appear in more places across the web, people will see it more often. The repeated exposure may encourage them to click on one of your ads finally and explore what your company has to offer. More traffic often leads to more conversions because people are more aware that your brand exists.

Resources for Targeting Your Audience
Most paid advertising platforms put focus on audience-targeting features. Rather than blanket sharing your ads and wasting money, you can zero in on the people you really want to see your content. You can often target your audience by demographics like age, location, and gender. These features let you target your most qualified leads where they spend time. Doing so can increase your traffic and conversions across channels.

Downsides of Using Paid Traffic
Like any marketing strategy, paid marketing also has its drawbacks. Some of them include:

Budget Strain
Paid traffic costs money. It’s right there in the name. For some companies, the price they’d have to pay to compete with their closest rivals just isn’t in the budget. Paid advertising is a helpful marketing strategy, but not if you’re going to break the bank using it. If paid marketing is too much for your budget, don’t use it. Or, try to use it most strategically along with your organic marketing to get more eyes exactly where you want them.

Constant Attention
Paid marketing is a fast-paced game that changes from minute to minute. The perks that help you get more traffic and conversions more quickly can also work against you. When your competitors make a change, such as bidding more or switching up their text to be more relevant, you can lose your placement advantages. For this reason, you have to give your paid marketing campaigns constant attention. If you’re not testing and tweaking regularly, you could be losing the valuable paid traffic you’re trying to snag.

Lower ROI Than Organic Traffic
Paid marketing actually has a lower return on investment (ROI) than organic marketing. Why? Well, when you don’t have to put out any money for the campaign, anything you earn back is profit. With paid marketing, you have to work to break even on what you spent and then try to turn a profit. That’s why a combination of organic and paid marketing works best for any brand. Used paid marketing when the campaign is a sure thing to increase your chances of a better ROI.

The Human Behavior Effect
Just because your content appears in a user’s feed or is the first search result, it doesn’t automatically lead to clicks and engagement. While you have a better chance of grabbing traffic from paid ads because of their placement, you can’t control what your audience members do. That’s why it’s important to use paid marketing strategically. Otherwise, you’re spending money on ads and tanking your ROI for nothing. To increase the chances of getting clicks on your paid ads, make sure to optimize your text, images, and calls to action to make them more enticing to your audience.

How Does Paid Traffic Work?
Though you can snag paid traffic from a variety of sources, which we discuss in the next section, the process for generating it is similar no matter which one you choose. When a brand wants to engage in paid marketing for traffic, first its marketing team has to pick the traffic source. This could include search engines, partner marketing, or social media platforms. From there, your team works with ad creator programs or partner consultants to develop paid ad content and choose the right placement.

Throughout the process, you’ll consider elements like the payment model for your content, the characteristics of the audience members you want to target, and the quality and effectiveness of your ad copy and visuals.

8 Paid Traffic Sources To Incorporate Into Your Marketing Strategy
Paid traffic comes from a variety of different sources across your digital marketing channels. Knowing your options allows you to diversify your advertising and reach your audience where they spend time. Here are a few paid traffic sources you can add to your marketing strategy:

1. Paid Search
Paid search ads are the sponsored content that appears above the first organic search results, or underneath the last organic result on search engine results pages (SERPs). Here is an example of paid search ads when you Google the term “paid traffic”:

screenshot of paid traffic ads on google for the search term paid traffic

Many brands use paid search tactics to “win” a SERP for a particularly relevant keyword. Searchers are most likely to click the first result on a page. When you pay for search ads for a specific term, your content can appear in that top search spot. Google Ads and Bing Ads are the most common paid search services for English-speaking markets. If you want to engage in paid search on either search engine, these programs are your first stop.

Paid search typically operates on a PPC model, and the ad programs allow you to set your maximum bid for any ad or keyword. Programs like Google and Bing Ads also evaluate the relevance of your ad text to the bidding keyword. The programs give that content a quality score, which assesses the potential click-through rate (CTR) and the quality of the landing page where your ads send visitors. These elements help search engines figure out where to rank your sponsored ads for any keyword.

On Google, the service uses a formula to decide where to place a sponsored ad within a SERP. That formula looks like this:

Quality Score * Max Bid = Ad Rank = Search Position
Since there are often many organizations bidding on ad space for the same keywords, this formula helps Google decide which ads are most relevant to the audience and most lucrative for Google itself to make money. The ads that tick both of those boxes often get better positioning in the paid search ad slots.

2. Social Media Marketing
Social media ads work similarly to paid search ads, except they appear in your audience’s social media feeds instead of on their SERPs. Almost every major social media platform offers ad placements, including:

Most social media marketing ads use a PPC model and an interface similar to Google Ads that lets you create your content and bid on search terms or feed placements. Other great features of social media ad platforms include segmenting your ad placements by audience demographics, like location or age. With these features, you can target your audience beyond keyword searches to appeal to your most qualified leads.

3. Display Advertising
Display advertising is most similar to traditional advertising in the digital space. Banner ads that you see at the top of or on the sidebars of websites are the ones you’re likely most familiar with. While Google Ads does offer a display ad option, you can also work with specific websites or other display ad partners to get your banners placed across the internet. Try to place your display ads on relevant, industry websites rather than anywhere with available space. This way, you know you’re showing your content to the right audience, which boosts the chances of attracting more qualified leads.

4. Native Advertising
Like display ads, native advertising appears on websites and blogs. The difference is that native ads blend into the design of that website or blog to make it look like seamless—not advertising—content. Guest posts, syndicated content, and other long-form content may work best for native advertising. With this paid method, you’re not just vying for quick-click traffic. You’re also trying to build brand awareness and entice your audience to want to click and discover more great content from your company. Most native ads link back to your original site through anchor text and links or linked images.

5. Sponsored Ads or Posts
Sponsored ads or posts are often a cross between native and display advertising. Sometimes they blend seamlessly into a site and other times they don’t. One of the most important features of sponsored posts is the disclaimer that the pieces are, in fact, guest posts from another site. Make sure your content and your host partner are thorough and specific about sharing these details with your audience.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has rules about disclosing sponsored or paid content online. It’s important that you’re working with a partner that follows them. If not, your company could take a hit. You may be subject to fines and even lose business because of unethical practices.

6. Affiliate and Influencer Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a partnership marketing practice that allows you to sell products or services through a third-party service. Your affiliates may include other companies or individuals. When you engage in affiliate marketing, your partners do most of the direct selling and advertising to their audiences, and they earn a commission for selling your products and services.

Today, influencer marketing is one of the most common and accessible types of affiliate marketing. Social media created a new avenue for this kind of affiliate marketing and building a community of like-minded followers. Influencers often share content like tutorials or product reviews with their audiences in exchange for a fee. Similar to sponsored posts they have to mark their branded content and share with the audiences that they received compensation for their content.

7. Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing includes any marketing that your audience encounters from a mobile device. Almost all other paid marketing and traffic strategies can be part of mobile marketing, depending on how your audience experiences them. The difference between this type of marketing and other paid advertising is simply the divide on which your audience views the content.

Depending on your marketing partners, you may be able to create specific social media marketing campaigns, display ads, or push notification marketing campaigns that people only see when browsing on a mobile device. You may also engage in paid text messaging or email marketing campaigns that people can access right on their phones.

8. Push and Pop Traffic
Push and pop traffic uses push notifications and pop-ups to display your ad content. Pop traffic often happens on websites. The pop-ups trigger based on an action, such as a page scroll or hovering over a certain part of a page. Push traffic works like other push notifications from social media or an app. The difference is that the push notifications are ads rather than organic actions like a comment.

Push ads may work through third-party apps or services on mobile devices. You may also be able to use push advertising on desktop browsers through third-party sites when audience members opt in for that content.