To Buy or Not to Buy Website Traffic? Weighing the Pros and Cons

Graph showing website traffic growth.

Are you considering buying website traffic to increase your site’s traffic? Although it may seem like an easy solution to low traffic, there are several things you should seriously consider before making this type of purchase.

Just to make sure we’re on the same page, buying website traffic involves paying for visitors to your site from third-party sources. While it may increase your site’s numbers, it probably won’t improve your site’s engagement, conversions, or reputation. And, in my experience, these are the more important measures and predictors of business growth.

Here are some very important things to think about before you buy website traffic.

  1. The Quality of Traffic

    When you buy website traffic, there’s no guarantee that the traffic will be any good. In most cases, the traffic will actually be bots or people who’ve been paid to click on your website. These visitors are highly unlikely to care about your site — or your business. And this disinterest will likely result in high bounce rates, low engagement, and poor conversion rates.

    According to Cyber Talk, in 2022 40% of the total internet traffic comes from bots. These bots are programmed to visit websites and interact with them, making it difficult to determine whether the traffic is real or not. This means that if you buy website traffic, there is a high chance that you will receive bot traffic, which won’t be useful to your site.
  1. The Source of Traffic

    It’s essential to consider the source of the traffic you plan to buy. Some sources may offer traffic from high-quality websites and social media platforms, while others may offer traffic from low-quality sources. Low-quality traffic sources may include pop-up ads, clickbait sites, and spammy email campaigns.

    An important note here is that people sometimes refer to running ads as buying website traffic. Ads are a reliable source of traffic because you’re targeting your ideal market. Google AdWords is a reliable source of traffic, but it is also one of the most expensive. Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, can also be a great source of paid traffic via ads.

    However, it’s important to ensure that your ads are targeting the right audience or you could wind up spending a lot of money for few if any results.
  1. The Cost of Traffic

    Obviously, you’ve also got to factor in cost when buying website traffic. Some sources may offer traffic at a lower cost, but it may not be of good quality. You’ve got to consider the return on investment (ROI) when buying website traffic. If the traffic you receive does not convert into sales or leads, then it’s too expensive.

    For example, if you pay $100 for 10,000 visitors to your site, and only one person makes a purchase worth $50, then your ROI is negative. In this case, it would be better to invest in other marketing strategies that have a better ROI — even if they take longer to develop.
  1. The Impact on SEO

    Buying website traffic can have an impact on your site’s search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines like Google use algorithms to determine the ranking of websites. One of the factors that influence ranking is the quality of traffic. If the traffic you receive is of low quality, it can negatively affect your site’s ranking.

    Google also penalizes websites that use black hat SEO techniques, including buying website traffic. If you’re caught buying traffic, your site could be penalized or even banned from search engine results pages. And this would be a disastrous result.
  1. The Legal Implications

    Buying website traffic can also have legal implications.

    Some sources may offer traffic that is not legitimate. According to GrowTraffic, it’s not illegal to buy traffic. BUT if you happen to buy traffic from a hacker who’s compromised a legitimate site and redirected their legitimate traffic, you’re effectively buying stolen goods. This can result in legal action being taken against your site.

Buying website traffic may seem like a quick and easy solution to increase traffic to your site, but it can have several negative consequences. And you need to consider these seriously before making a purchase.

You also need to know there are lots of legitimate ways to increase your site’s traffic. You can drive more traffic to your site by optimizing your website for search engines, creating high-quality content, and engaging with your audience on social media platforms. These strategies may take more time and effort, but they’ll result in higher-quality traffic and better engagement rates.

If you do decide to go against my not-so-subtle advice and buy website traffic anyway, you need to research the sources thoroughly and choose a reputable provider. Look for those that offer traffic from high-quality sources, have positive reviews, and offer a guarantee for their services.

I know buying website traffic may seem like an easy solution to increase your site’s traffic, but it could be too costly. You need to carefully weigh the pros and cons and consider the quality, source, cost, impact on SEO, and legal implications before making a purchase. Investing in legitimate marketing strategies may take more effort, but it will result in higher-quality traffic, better engagement rates, and a stronger online presence in the long run.

If you’d like to explore how we can help you increase the traffic to your website, schedule a consultation.


Karen Finn, PhD