Paid Traffic Versus Free Traffic. Which Is Best?


When talking about website traffic, one of the most intense debates that immediately pops up is between paid and free traffic. On one side are the content marketing gurus and social media experts. They insist that free is the best way to go for online marketers.

On the other hand, there are the supporters of paid traffic who advocate this method because it is scalable hence better for your business.

So, which is better?

While both camps have valid arguments, the truth is neither is better than the other. Both methods have their pros and cons which is what every marketer should look into.

Paid Traffic Pros

Many online marketers have built their business and found success using paid traffic. Among them are Matt Lloyd and Jim Yaghi who are fierce advocates of the method. For them the advantages are as follows:

  • Scalable
  • Faster and quicker
  • Test offers can be done
  • More targeted

With paid traffic, one of its biggest advantages is the ability to provide faster traffic results. You can run an ad campaign now and you can expect traffic in just a couple of hours. If the campaign is right, you can even gain leads and opt-ins the next day.

A speedy result is definitely one of paid traffic’s main benefits. Of course, in order to get the kind of results you want, the right paid campaign should be implemented. And in case you’re new in internet marketing, here are some options to look into:

  1. Solo ads
  2. Banner ads
  3. Pay per click social
  4. Pay per click search

Paid Traffic Cons

While it has advantages, paid traffic also has its downsides. At the top of the cons list is regarding the money matter. The fact that it’s paid is risky. Newbies to the marketing world should take extra caution when using paid traffic. Better yet, study the method thoroughly before running ads. Going with it without much knowledge may cost you more than expected.

Free Traffic Pros

As its name suggests, one of the pros for free traffic is the fact that it’s free. There are no risks involved or additional expenses to worry about. You can mess it up, learn from it and get better over time. Other advantages include being able to leave campaigns alone and the potential of ongoing free traffic once you establish a presence online.

When it comes to free traffic, there are two common types:

  1. Content marketing
  2. Social media

Both options allow marketers to draw traffic to their websites without added costs. Social media allows you to connect and market your product via sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram among others. Content marketing, on the toher hand, is all about producing content for your blog, YouTube channel or other similar mediums, including article sites such as Ezine Articles.

Another plus is being able to leverage the task by hiring writers to provide content for you on a regular basis

Free Traffic Cons

If paid traffic has its downsides so does free traffic. As much as you want the free aspect, there are some cons that come with it.

  • Takes longer to attract significant traffic
  • Often it’s not scalable
  • Not effective for testing new offers or launches

If paid traffic can deliver speedy results, free traffic will take time to generate results. You will need to learn different strategies in order to make it work.

The Bottomline

Even if other marketers insist on choosing one over the other, you don’t have to follow their footsteps. The better approach is to go for a balanced one. Try paid advertising and complement it with content marketing via your blog or social media. This is the approach I’ve taken with the result being that I get ongoing daily ‘free’ traffic from my content marketing activities, and whenever I need a boost, I run some ads. Simple. If you keep at it, you’ll have enough leads and opt ins to grow our business more.



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