Over 61 Paid Traffic Sources To Buy (Real) Targeted Website Traffic

The Best Of The Best Paid Traffic Sources

There are plenty of paid traffic sources on the web from where you can buy targeted traffic to your website. The best thing about online advertising (unlike television, radio, print, etc.) is that it’s totally accountable and you get to know the exact returns of every single dollar that you are spending.

Online advertising is a multi-billion dollar industry and the digital ad spending in the U.S. is all set to surpass television ad spending. Paid advertising on search engines and social media accounts for over 50% of the total ad spend (dominated by Google, Microsoft, and Facebook).

The good thing about online advertising is that it’s super easy to kick-start an ad campaign and it could attract a lot of targeted traffic in the shortest span of time. But the bad thing is that it may be effective only in the short-term because when you stop your ad campaigns the traffic may pause.

However, online advertising is extremely flexible and efficient (in terms of ad targeting, spending, and tracking) and it basically means that if you have a solid marketing strategy then your online ad campaigns can bring in higher return on investment for the short-term as well as for the long-term.

As I have already mentioned, majority of the ad spend happens on paid search because of the superior traffic quality (and hence the performance). Also, you can reach 96% of the U.S. searchers by signing up as an advertiser on Google.com (via Google AdWords) and Bing.com (via Bing Ads).

Over the past several years, I have published a dozen blog posts about website monetization and it was all about selling ads on your website and rarely about ad spending. Actually, I’m a lover of organic traffic (or search traffic). But it’s also true that it takes a lot of time to get some traction that way.

So if you start a new business and want to tap the online advertising space then the best way is buy paid traffic on different traffic sources like search engines, social networks, display ads, video ads, etc. Here is a curated list of some of the best paid traffic sources on the web — categorized and subcategorized.

Traffic Sources: Quick Glance

Search

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or more commonly known as pay-per-click advertising is all about increasing the visibility of your website in search engine results pages through paid advertising. It’s the quickest way to attract more customers to your business and apparently it’s one of the most expensive traffic source as well.

comScore U.S. Desktop Search Market Share – January 2016

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Ask.com, and AOL have a combined market share of over 95% in the U.S. search market and they account for almost 99% of the U.S. search ad spend. What makes search ads so attractive is the the fact that it follows a pay-per-click advertising model and it means that you will be charged only when someone clicks on your ad and visits your website (or a landing page).

Moreover, your ads will be shown only to relevant users (as you can target them in multiple ways) and you will never overspend on your ads (as you can set a daily/monthly budget). The actual cost per click varies and it depends upon the keywords that you are bidding. For instance, it can be as low as $0.05 per click or can be over $50 per click (on Google).

1. Google AdWords

Google AdWords is an advertising program that allows you to advertise your website on Google’s search engine results pages as well as on the publisher websites in the Google AdSense program.

Google has over 60% search market share and its AdSense is the most popular affiliate program on the web connecting millions of advertisers and publishers. This makes Google the preferred (and most popular) online advertising platform.

U.S. Search Ad Spending (Google vs. Bing)

Google AdWords supports a variety of advertising models like Cost Per Click (CPC), Cost Per Mille (CPM), Cost Per Action (CPA), Pay Per Call, Retargeting, Shopping Ads, Local Ads, etc. and it lets you create text link ads, banner ads, and rich-media ads.

The best thing about AdWords (or almost any other pay-per-click advertising program) is that you pay only for results and you can start your campaign in minutes — without any contract or lock-in. What’s more? Google is so confident about their ad program that they offer free AdWords credits to new advertisers.

Google also offers a fully automated advertising solution for small businesses called Google AdWords Express. It lets you advertise your business on Google, Google Maps, and relevant partner websites — even if you don’t have a website.

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Minimum Spend: N/A
  • Minimum CPC: $0.01
  • AdWords: Sign Up | FAQ

2. Bing Ads

Bing Ads is the Microsoft equivalent of Google AdWords. According to comScore, Bing now powers almost one-third of U.S. desktop web searches. And the ratio is going to get better over time as Bing now powers AOL search as well (apart from Yahoo).

The best thing about Bing Ads is that its traffic quality is better than that of Google and yet the cost per click is low. It means your return on investment on Bing Ads could be higher than Google AdWords (though the traffic volume can’t be matched).

And just like Google AdWords, Bing also offers free Bing Ads credits to new advertisers and supports Retargeting, Shopping Ads, Local Ads, Native Ads, etc..

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Minimum Spend: N/A
  • Minimum CPC: $0.05
  • Bing Ads: Sign Up | FAQ

Don’t Miss: Bing Ads vs. Google AdWords: 10 Features Unique To Bing Ads

3. Baidu

Baidu is the most popular search engine in China with a market share of over 70%. However, the global search market share of Baidu is less than 10%. So, if you are targeting Chinese audience then you should advertise on Baidu (and probably not on Google).

  • Self-Serve: Unknown
  • Minimum Spend: $2,000/month
  • Minimum CPC: Unknown
  • China Search International: Sign Up | FAQ

Note: China Search International is Baidu’s international partner.

4. Yandex Advertising

Yandex Advertising lets you advertise your business on the largest search engine in Russia with over 50% market share. And it also lets you advertise on millions of websites in its publisher network through Yandex Direct.

  • Self-Serve: No
  • Minimum Spend: Unknown
  • Minimum CPC: RUB 300
  • Yandex Advertising: Sign Up | FAQ

5. 7search

7search is a pay-per-click ad network that places your ad on websites (it includes niche search engines and partner websites) across the web. 7search is an independent ad network and hence it lets you tap audience that you can’t find from Google or Bing. What’s more? The top countries for searches are U.S., Canada, U.K, and Australia and the bid prices are lower than that of Google AdWords and Bing Ads.

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Minimum Spend: N/A
  • Minimum CPC: $0.01
  • 7search: Sign Up | FAQ

6. LookSmart

LookSmart is another pay-per-click ad network that places your ad on its syndicated network of search engines and partner websites. They are offering a $50 matching coupon for new advertisers and if you’re an affiliate marketer then you get a $250 matching coupon.

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Minimum Spend: $50
  • Minimum CPC: $0.01
  • LookSmart: Sign Up | FAQ

Social Networks

Social networks are exploding in popularity and that’s why social media ad spending is skyrocketing. It’s an excellent medium to reach active Internet users and drive traffic to your website or to increase the visibility of your brand.

Social Media Ad Spending (by Platform)

Image Credit: SurePayroll

Here is a list of some of the best (and most popular) social networks from where you can buy ads.

7. Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads (or Facebook for Business) is the advertising platform of Facebook — the biggest social network on earth with over 1.6 billion users (or over 1 billion daily active users). If there’s one thing that makes Facebook Ads stand out from its competitors or search advertising or any other advertising program then it’s their ad targeting options.

Of course, both Google AdWords and Bing Ads have advanced targeting options but they do not have the ability to target audience by demographics, interest, behaviour, etc. In fact, you can even target your friends and their friends with Facebook Ads.

Another interesting thing about Facebook Ads is that it’s not only good for sending traffic to your website but it can also boost the “posts” on your Facebook Page (known as Boosted Posts), get more “Likes” for your brand, get more “Installs” for your mobile app, get more “views” for your video, etc.

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Minimum Spend: $1-$5
  • Minimum CPC: $0.01
  • Facebook Ads: Sign Up | FAQ

8. YouTube Ads

YouTube Ads lets you advertise on the world’s most popular video sharing platform, which is also the second largest search engine. With YouTube Ads, any video that you’ve already uploaded to YouTube can be an ad or you can upload a new one. All you need is a Google AdWords account to get started.

YouTube supports a variety of advertising formats and units like display ads, overlay ads, skippable & non-skippable video ads, and sponsored cards. You can go here for more details and to explore all the available options.

The best thing about video ads is that you pay only when someone engages with your ad and it means if they skipped it before 30 seconds (or the end) then you won’t be charged. And it’s got built-in analytics so that you can see how your ads are performing and can make changes accordingly.

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Minimum Spend: N/A
  • Minimum CPC: $0.01
  • YouTube Ads: Sign Up | FAQ

9. LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn Ads (or LinkedIn Business Solutions) lets you advertise LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with over 400 million users. Just like Facebook, LinkedIn Ads offers advanced targeting options.

For instance, it allows you to reach a targeted professional audience by job title, industry or company size, seniority, etc. And you can stop your ads at any time as there are no long term contracts.

LinkedIn Ads offers two ad formats, Sponsored Updates and Text Ads, and you pay for clicks or impressions. Its average CPC or CPM are on the high side but it’s the best platform for B2B targeting.

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Minimum Spend: $10
  • Minimum CPC: $2
  • LinkedIn Ads: Sign Up | FAQ

10. Twitter Ads

Twitter Ads (or Twitter for Business) lets you advertise on Twitter, the most popular micro-blogging platform with over 300 million active users. Twitter Ads offers unique advertising options like Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, and Promoted Trends.

You can start a Twitter ad campaign to drive traffic to your website, to get more app downloads, or to gain more followers or visibility for your tweets. And there’s absolutely no minimum spend required.

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Minimum Spend: Nil
  • Minimum CPC: N/A
  • Twitter Ads: Sign Up | FAQ

11. Instagram for Business

Instagram for Business lets you advertise on the most popular photo-sharing website on the web. Because Instagram now has over 400 million monthly active users and it’s got more advertisers than Twitter. Instagram offers a variety of ad formats like photo ads, video ads, and carousel ads.

You can start an ad campaign to get more traffic to your website (and conversions), or to get more mobile app installs (and engagement), or to get more views for your posts and videos. Wait, you can create an Instagram ad campaign via Facebook as well.

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Minimum Spend: $1-$5
  • Minimum CPC: $0.01
  • Instagram for Business: Sign Up | FAQ

12. Pinterest Ads

Pinterest Ads (or Pinterest for Business) lets you reach more people on Pinterest with “Promoted Pins”. You can promote your best “Pins” so that it will attract more audience and you pay for engagements or visits to your website.

Since Pinterest is a female-dominated social network (80% of Pinterest users are female), it’s a great platform to target women. The only problem is, Promoted Pins are available to U.S.-based business accounts only and it’s invite-only.

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Minimum Spend: $1-$5
  • Minimum CPC: $0.01
  • Pinterest Ads: Sign Up | FAQ

13. StumbleUpon Ads

StumbleUpon Ads are actually full web pages itself and it follows a cost per view (CPV) pricing model. It’s a great ad product for content promotion as your content is the ad and there are no click-throughs or ad copies. All you need is a URL and it can be anything — article, video, slideshow, and the like.

Every paid “Stumble” becomes a visit to your website and the cost per view depends upon the targeting (it ranges from $0.10 to $0.50 per Stumble). While StumbleUpon allows you to target audience by age, gender, location, device, and interests, it can’t match the traffic quality of Google AdWords or Facebook or LinkedIn.

Now the best thing about StumbleUpon Ads is that you can earn free traffic to your website (in addition to the paid traffic). Here’s how! It also means that, even though StumbleUpon has just 35 million users, it has the potential to send more traffic than any other social media platform.

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Minimum Spend: Nil
  • Minimum CPV: $0.10
  • StumbleUpon Ads: Sign Up | FAQ

14. Reddit Ads

Reddit Ads let you advertise on Reddit, the most popular social news website with over 200 million users. Reddit offers two advertising programs, one is self-serve and the other is managed (both follows a CPM pricing model). Self serve ads lets you buy “Sponsored Headline” while managed ads lets you buy video ads, banner ads, and mobile ads.

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Minimum Spend: $5
  • Minimum CPM: N/A
  • Reddit Ads: Sign Up | FAQ

15. Tumblr Business

Tumblr Business lets you advertise on Tumblr, one of the most popular microblogging platform with over 500 million monthly users. Tumblr allows brands to create content and then promote it via Sponsored Posts, Sponsored Video Posts, Sponsored Day, etc.

  • Self-Serve: No
  • Minimum Spend: Unknown
  • Minimum CPC: Unknown
  • Tumblr for Business: Sign Up

Web 2.0

Why not buy (real) traffic from some of the top destinations on the web? Here is a list of some of the most trafficked websites from where you can buy native ads.

16. Yahoo Gemini

Yahoo Gemini is a self-serve advertising solution that lets you advertise on Yahoo, one of the top destinations on the web with over a billion visits a month. Yahoo Gemini allows you to buy search ads as well as native advertising and you can manage your ads within a single interface. Your search ads will appear on Yahoo’s search results and your native ads will appear on Yahoo.com and its network of websites.

17. Amazon Advertising

Amazon Advertising lets you reach over 300 million users who search and buy at Amazon. You can use Amazon advertising to drive traffic to your website, or to increase app downloads, or to get more sales for your Amazon listings, or to get more book sales.

Amazon offers a variety of advertising solutions like:

Everything Else — Advertise On…

Display Advertising (Quality > Quantity)

Display Advertising is all about ads on the web (or ads on your favorite websites). And it includes a variety of ad formats like text, images, flash, video, and audio. The idea is to reach as much users as possible in a short span of time.

Display Advertising usually follows a CPC or CPM pricing model and it means you have to pay for each “click” or “ad view” (and never both). Display ads are inexpensive when compared to search advertising as the CPC is extremely low when compared to search ads. It’s a perfect choice for advertisers who want to attract massive traffic and gain quick visibility.

Display ads that follows a CPC model ensures that you are getting traffic to your website while the display ads that follows CPM model ensures that your brand message is rapidly reaching more users.

ROI for display ads could be on the lower side when compared to search ads as the traffic quality of display ads is not as great as search ads though it depends upon several other aspects as well like your business, landing page, user experience, etc.

18. Google Display Network

Google Display Network lets you advertise your business across the web by showing your ads on the Google Network (includes Google AdSense publishers, Google properties like Google Finance, YouTube, Gmail, etc. and DoubleClick partners).

It’s the most popular and biggest advertising network on the web connecting millions of advertisers, publishers, and customers. The traffic quality is not as great as search ads, but it’s a fantastic way to reach more people quickly and create awareness of your brand so that they may come to you when they need what you’re selling.

Google Display Network

With Google Display Network, you can create text link ads, image ads, video ads, and mobile ads and can choose to place the ads only on websites that you think is relevant.

Google Display Network thereby enables you to place your ads on news websites, blogs, niche sites across the web to reach more eyeballs. Again, all you need is a Google AdWords account to get started.

Don’t Miss: Over 41 Google AdSense Alternatives You Didn’t Know

19. BuySellAds

BuySellAds lets you buy media directly from some of the most popular websites, at scale. It’s actually the easiest way to buy display ads, text link ads, and sponsored content as it gives instant access to thousands of independent publishers at-once (organized by category).

Display Advertising (Quantity > Quality)

It’s true that Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL reaches over 90% of the Internet users worldwide. However, I have cherry-picked few more ad networks from where you can buy display ads.

U.S. Display Advertising Revenue

Most of them support multiple pricing models (CPC, CPM, CPV, CPA, etc.) and advertising options (Display Ads, Contextual Ads, Interstitial Ads, Pop-Under Ads, etc.). The traffic quality of these ad networks is low but they are cheap when compared to Google Display Network, BuySellAds, Facebook Ads, etc.

20. Adcash

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Ad Formats: Display Ads, Interstitial Ads, Pop-Under Ads, Slide-In Ads, Footer Ads, Background Ads, Video Ads, In-App Ads
  • Pricing Models: CPM, CPV
  • Minimum Spend: Unknown
  • Adcash: Sign Up

21. Clicksor

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Ad Formats: Contextual Ads, Display Ads, Interstitial Ads, Pop-Under Ads, Inline Text Links
  • Pricing Models: CPC, CPM, CPV, and CPI
  • Minimum Spend: $50
  • Clicksor: Sign Up | FAQ

22. AdMedia

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Ad Formats: Contextual Ads, Display Ads, Overlay Ads, Interstitial Ads, Slide-In Ads, Video Ads, etc.
  • Pricing Models: CPM, CPV, CPC, CPA
  • Minimum Spend: Unknown
  • AdMedia: Sign Up

23. Propeller Ads

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Ad Formats: Display Ads, Interstitial Ads, Pop-Under Ads, Slide-In Ads, Video Ads
  • Pricing Models: CPM
  • Minimum Spend: $100
  • Propeller Ads: Sign Up

24. Propel Media

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Ad Formats: Contextual Ads, Display Ads, Interstitial Ads
  • Pricing Models: CPC, CPV
  • Minimum Spend: $1,000
  • Propel Media: Sign Up | FAQ

25. Yes Advertising

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Ad Formats: Contextual Ads, Display Ads, Pop-Under Ads, Inline Text Links
  • Pricing Models: CPM
  • Minimum Spend: Unknown
  • YesAdvertising: Sign Up

26. Infolinks

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Ad Formats: Contextual Ads, Interstitial Ads, Inline Text Links, Footer Ads, Background Ads
  • Pricing Models: CPM
  • Minimum Spend: Unknown
  • Infolinks: Sign Up | FAQ

Media Buying

Programmatic media buying is all about buying advertisements on publisher websites, at scale, using automated ways. It involves identifying new websites, real-time bidding, and automated placements of ads.

Programmatic media buying usually follows a CPM pricing model and it can also be at a fixed fee per month. Media buying doesn’t include advertising on Google.com, Bing.com, Facebook.com, etc. as they are just classified as search ads or social media ads.

Here is a list of advertising networks from where you can buy traffic at scale.

  1. Matomy
  2. CBS Interactive
  3. Conversant (formerly ValueClick)
  4. RhythmOne (formerly Burst Media)
  5. Exponential (formerly Tribal Fusion
  6. ONE by AOL (formerly Millennial Media)
  7. Advertising.com (by AOL)
  8. Sovrn
  9. Vibrant Media
  10. Rocket Fuel

Video Advertising

  1. BrightRoll (by Yahoo)
  2. YuMe
  3. Giant Media (by Adknowledge)

Don’t Miss: The 18 Best Affiliate Programs & Networks For Anyone And Everyone

Content Distribution

Content Distribution platforms shows a combination of image + text ads as a recommendation on their publisher websites. It usually show ads at the end of a blog post (or a web page) as “Sponsored” or “Related” content.

Such platforms uses behavioral targeting to increase the quality of the traffic and most of them follows a cost per click pricing model. It’s extremely popular among viral blogs as they use it to generate more pageviews or to make money by sending traffic to one of their sponsors.

  1. Outbrain
  2. Taboola
  3. Revcontent
  4. Content.ad
  5. Adblade
  6. Nativo
  7. LockerDome

Don’t Miss: 37 Content Discovery Tools To Find Great Social Media Content

Cost Per View (CPV)

Cost Per View (also known as Pay Per View) is an advertising model in which you pay for “pageviews” and not for ad views, clicks, events, or conversions.

The traffic sources and the costs depends upon the marketplace from where you have purchased the traffic. And the traffic can come from expired domains, parked domains, redirect traffic, referral traffic, etc.

I would say it’s only good for increasing the pageviews of your website and never to get quality leads or sales as the quality of such traffic is extremely low (unless you are lucky).

Also, it appears like such traffic can artificially increase the traffic rank of your website as otherwise I don’t understand why some of the big e-tailers are buying it. Or, maybe it’s just that they have allocated an advertising budget for such campaigns.

Now the good thing is that the cost per view can be as low as $0.001 (we can’t expect quality traffic for just $0.001, right?). And it can be displayed as a pop-up, pop-under, or in a new browser window/tab, or something like that and it depends upon the traffic marketplace.

47. DNTX

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Minimum Spend: $50
  • Minimum CPV: $0.002
  • Traffic Sources: Parked Domains
  • DNTX: Sign Up | FAQ

48. MediaTraffic

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Minimum Spend: $200
  • Minimum CPV: $ 0.015
  • Traffic Sources: Adware
  • MediaTraffic: Sign Up | FAQ

49. Zeropark

  • Self-Serve: Yes
  • Minimum Spend: $50
  • Minimum CPV: Unknown
  • Traffic Sources: Domain Redirect
  • Zeropark: Sign Up | FAQ

Pop-Unders

Pop-Under ads is a form of advertising that’s closely related to Pop-Up ads and it follows a pay-per-view advertising model. It’s less annoying (but still annoying) than a pop-up ad as it shows the ad (which can be a banner ad or even a full web page) under the current browser window.

Once again, it’s only good for increasing the traffic to your website and never to attract sales or leads. In fact, Facebook is also buying a lot of pop-under ads on different high-traffic image sharing and file sharing websites.

50. PopAds

  • Minimum Spend: $10
  • Minimum CPV: $0.001
  • PopAds: Sign Up | FAQ

51. PopCash

  • Minimum Spend: $5
  • Minimum CPV: $0.001
  • PopCash: Sign Up | FAQ

52. PopUnderTOTAL

  • Minimum Spend: $10
  • Minimum CPV: $0.0001
  • PopUnderTOTAL: Sign Up | FAQ

Retargeting

Retargeting (also known as Remarketing) is a form of online advertising in which you’re targeting users who previously visited your website (but is visiting other websites), and left without taking an action.

Now why should you retarget users? The reason is… less than 5% of the first time visitors convert to customers. If you have an e-commerce website and you used a pay-per-click campaign to attract targeted users, then it’s more likely that they will leave your website without buying or signing up.

The bounced visitors may come back to your website once again or maybe they won’t. So you can target those users once again by showing retargeted ads and that makes it easier for them to find you.

All the popular advertising platforms like Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, etc. lets you create retargeting campaigns. However, if you are looking for an independent retargeting solution then you can try any of these platforms:

  1. Perfect Audience
  2. AdRoll
  3. ReTargeter

Don’t Miss: Kickstart Your First Retargeting Campaign In 5 Steps

Mobile

I personally do not like to see ads on a mobile device (as a user or as an advertiser), but it’s also true that we live in a mobile era — thanks to better connectivity, and the penetration of smartphones and tablets.

In fact, people are spending a lot of time on their mobile device that the number of Google searches on a mobile devices is more than that of computers in over ten countries. It also means that mobile as a platform is important for advertisers as well.

If you are an advertiser on Google AdWords, or Bing Ads, or Facebook Ads then you can easily target a majority of the mobile users. Anyway, I’m listing some of the mobile ad networks that are good to buy traffic from mobile apps and websites.

  1. InMobi
  2. Airpush
  3. BuzzCity
  4. Go2mobi
  5. Tapjoy
  6. Leadbolt
  7. Admoda

Closing Thoughts

You don’t really have to buy ads on all the above search and ad networks. Instead, focus on quality and relevancy and be where your potential customers are there. In case, you don’t have a clue about it then it’s worth to try all of them (provided you have enough budget for online ad spending) and then individually track the ROI.

Or, maybe you can take some hints from your competitors and see how they have placed themselves in the marketplace. Nonetheless, the idea is to track the results of your ad campaigns so that you will be able to scale up/down your ad spend and know what’s working and what’s not.

As you might have already imagined, paid traffic sources can be extremely effective if you do it the right way. The only problem is that it’s expensive and if you didn’t do it right then you end up spending a lot on advertising, possibly with a negative return on investment (ROI).

However, if you have a solid marketing strategy and have a long-term goal then paid traffic can bring a lot of value to your business.

Have I missed your favorite paid traffic source? If so, let me know as a comment below!

Happy Advertising! 🙂

Note: I haven’t personally tried all the above search and ad networks but the details are accurate (if not, do let me know!).

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