Guest post by Raja
There are many ways to get traffic to your sites nowadays, but along with the tried and true Search Engine Optimization for organic traffic and Pay Per Click ads on search engines, buying banners and ads on other blogs and websites remains one of the most effective ways to do it.
There are plenty of blogs and pages on social networks on pretty much any topic you can think of, and having an ad on them pointing to your site or a special landing page is a great strategy for getting new traffic, improving your SE ranking and of course, making money.
You should definitely start investigating the possibility of acquiring banners and ads on other sites, but before you actually go through with it, here are a few things you should do to make sure you get the best deal possible:
1. Check the site’s history. Before even contacting the website’s owner, you should check its history. A domain’s history is pretty influential for the sites it’s linking to. If the domain was used by squatters or worse, scammers or phishing rings, then it’s highly likely that its links won’t do you much good, and the site itself is probably not getting much traffic any way.
You should also see what kind of content was posted on the site in the past using the Wayback Machine – if the quality was good and consistent throughout its lifetime, then it’s a good candidate for purchasing banners on.
2. Check the site’s popularity. You should also make sure that the site is popular. Check the search engines to see how many pages are indexed and how many backlinks and mentions on other sites there are. Also, use services like WebsiteOutlook and Alexa to see the approximate the amount of traffic the site gets.
One of the best things you can do to check if the site gets enough traffic is to ask the owner for access to the analytics page – Google Analytics has this feature, and if the owner doesn’t use it, they can always take a few screenshots of their analytics panel.
3. Negotiate on the price. You should always negotiate on the price – there’s no reason to pay more if you can get the same for less. If the blog is great and there are no other ads, it means that the owner hasn’t yet gotten any offers, so you can negotiate a lower price at least for the first month to see how the traffic will convert. Also, you can get a lower price if you pay in advance for several months, which is always a good idea (you should get and test ads for at least 2-3 months).
4. Create a custom banner/ad. The best way to make sure you get a high click through ratio for your banners is to design them from scratch specifically for the site you’re buying them on. It doesn’t take that much time and effort, and the results are always worth it.
You should consider the site’s design, readership and the ad’s position when creating your ad – for example, something with a mix of beautiful colors or a funny image always works better if your banner is not on the first half of the page.
5. Set up tracking and analytics. If possible, you should set up separate tracking for every banner, so you can see how they’re performing and adjust them from month to month. It’s not that hard to do in Google Analytics, and the data will pay off in the long run for sure.
Buying media on blogs and pages related to your own site or product is a perfect way to get traffic and make money – that is especially true when you’re in a very competitive niche, where a selected few sites dominate the front page of the search engines and the PPC ads are too expensive. As with anything, though, you should proceed with due diligence, so be sure to use the above 5 tips when buying ads and banners on other sites.