At one point or another many internet marketers reach a fork in the road in their marketing efforts by asking the question: Which way is better for me to produce more website traffic, paid or free? Many would argue that there is no need to pay for traffic just as long you are providing value to your audience and the traffic will come while another party would say the complete opposite, and a third group saying why limit yourself to just one form of website traffic? Nevertheless, when it comes to website traffic there is no one way that is considered right or wrong.
Paid traffic is great and preferred by many marketers because it is a targeted group of people looking for what the marketer is offering. Paid traffic also (big favorite) produce quick results while allowing the marketer to be a lead manager versus a lead generator. Various types of paid traffic include traffic from Pay-Per-Click Ads, ezine ads, banner ads, Pay-Per-Week ads, and online directories. Depending on the provider, some initial testing and sampling may be involved to determine traffic flow as well as budget allotment for advertisement. If you are looking to convert traffic at a faster pace, paid advertising may be for you.
Free traffic has been just as effective as paid traffic. Free traffic is great for producing quality traffic because of the way traffic is built, which when done appropriately, is more personalize. Being more personal or implementing personal branding helps in building a relationship with your audience and increases the know, like, and trust factor so that they would be willing to spend money with you. However, this form of traffic takes time to build substantial results but, the results would more long term versus a paid advertisement. For example, some sources of free traffic (such as video marketing, article marketing, blogging, and web 2.0) when use can post your work for long periods of time and can develop good organic search engine optimization results, to where your work has the potential to be posted on the first page of a search engine for a long time compared to most paid traffic, which stops when you stop paying for it, been penalized, or just discontinued for whatever reason.
There really is no perfect solution or single answer. Free website traffic and paid website traffic have their pros and cons. Even deciding to do both methods has its pros and cons. Consider which set of advantages and disadvantages that you are willing to handle. If you are an impatient person, for example, producing traffic for free may not be for you, unless you have zero dollars for a budget. If someone else was looking for massive results, they may want to utilize both methods. Another person may want long term results and traffic, therefore may want to focus on generating leads for free.
Some trial and error will probably be involved before realizing what is working best for you. Whatever worked well for someone else may not really be working for you, for different methods work best for different people. Nevertheless, regardless of whatever you decide to do, once you find a method(s) that is really working for you stick with it.