Practical Ecommerce

Buying Sites to Boost Traffic

Purchasing and maintaining established, niche websites may help online retailers increase site traffic and sales.

Boiled down to its essence, much of online retail marketing is devoted to increasing site traffic in the hope that more visitors will ultimately lead to more sales and more profits. To achieve this, retailers have many excellent marketing channels to choose from, including blog content, videos, social media and sharing sites, banner ads, and pay-per-click advertising.

To this arsenal of traffic-boosting marketing tactics, it may also make sense to consider buying websites that already enjoy a steady stream of search engine traffic.

An Extension of Pay-per-click Advertising

The concept of buying one website to send traffic to another may seem a bit odd,. But to help make sense of it, consider how PPC advertising works on a service like Google AdWords.

A portion of the PPC ads placed on Google show up on Google’s results pages. When a user types in a query like “learn to snowboard,” Google shows a page that has both organic results and PPC ads.

Many PPC ads are displayed on search engine results pages.

Many PPC ads are displayed on search engine results pages.

This is, however, not the only place that Google PPC ads show up. In fact, a significant portion of Google PPC ads are displayed on niche websites that are part of the AdWords network. For example, one of the top organic results that showed up on the “learn to snowboard” results page was for ABC-of-Snowboarding’s website, which features ads from Google’s PPC service.

A significant number of PPC ads appear on network sites, not Google's results pages.

A significant number of PPC ads appear on network sites, not Google’s results pages.

Online retailers selling snowboarding gear are buying PPC ads that show up on ABC-of-Snowboarding.com in an effort to drive traffic.

If the ABC-of-Snowboarding site could be purchased and those ad spaces devoted to linking directly to the purchasing retailer, the site could be a source for many, relatively well-qualified shoppers. That is the concept behind buying a website to boost traffic.

How to Find Websites to Purchase

If a merchant does decide to purchase a website to help drive traffic, there are at least three places to look for potential candidates.

First, look in Google Analytics. If there are niche sites that are already driving traffic to the retailer, those sites would be the most natural fit. In many cases, when a merchant uses PPC advertising, these referring sites will actually be part of the Google AdWords network. Contact the site’s owner to learn if buying the site is an option.

Second, search for terms important to the retailer’s market on Google or Bing, looking at sites that appear high in the natural search results. These sites could be good candidates for purchase.

Third, visit website marketplaces like Flippa or Latona’s that regularly list sites for sale.

Buyer Beware

While buying a website so that it can provide an additional source of site traffic can be a good idea, it is not without risk. Be sure to check out any website thoroughly before buying it.

Armando Roggio

Armando Roggio

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