Getting traffic for established sites is hard; and the challenge becomes infinitely tougher for new websites.
One of the commonly used way to generate traffic nowadays is to use pay per click advertising in the search engines. Unfortunately, pay per click advertising is not only costly, but rife with fraud as well. According to investigative search firm Click Forensics , the industry average click fraud rate was 14.8% for the first three months of 2007!
That’s a pretty high rate, especially for a small and home-based business. Imagine if you’ve got only $1,000 to spend a month on pay per click, and you get hit by click fraud at this average rate, then it means that $148 of your budget goes down the drain. Sure the search engine companies are working to combat click fraud; unfortunately the fraudsters are always a step ahead of them. You may want to read Google’s case study of a botnet they faced last year and how they were able to catch it in the paper “Anatomy of Clickbot.A”
Many search engine marketing companies are starting to say that pay per click is becoming a waste of resources, and enough of a reason for small businesses to consider other ways to get traffic.
In my opinion, getting good rankings in the organic listing of search engines is still the best way to get traffic. Sure, there’s the ups and downs of search engine rankings where one day you’re at the top and then the next you’re gone, but its zero-to-low cost is still the strategy to beat.
You may also consider the low-cost traffic building strategies I outlined in the article “Free Ways to Promote an Online Business.”