For an SEO agency, the return on investment that your customers expect is better rankings and more traffic through the strategies that your agency implements. A lot goes into making an SEO campaign successful, and there are some powerful tools out there that can help. We’re going to talk about one SEO agency secret that no one openly talks about. This tactic can be used honorably to great benefit in the right hands. In the wrong hands though, it can be used to deceive clients and self-protect.
Let’s Talk Traffic
How your site fares on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP), is a very important factor in getting traction and gaining traffic for your site. The higher you rank on a SERP, the more traffic you will get and the effects of being on page 1 vs page 2 of a SERP can make a drastic difference. CTR studies show that roughly 75% of clicks will be on the first 3 SERP results, while the second page yields under 1% of all clicks.
More traffic means more money, whether it be through e-commerce, affiliate sales, ads, or just lead generation, so the more traffic you can have coming across your site the more goal conversions you will have.
Ironically enough, increasing traffic to your website is a great way to improve your SERP ranking. It creates a chicken and egg situation because you want to rank high to get more traffic, but you need more traffic to rank high. There are now tools that can help get you over that traffic hump to put the chicken and egg debate to rest.
The Dirty SEO Agency Secret
Now that we’ve talked about the importance of site traffic and how it can heavily affect your business, we’ll go into the details of the SEO agency secret tactic, which is using paid bot traffic services. Paid services are out there that can send automated traffic customized for your needs to your site and they make it look genuine. Now let’s look at the tried and true tools of this tactic and then we’ll go into how they are used for good and evil.
This service is the most reliable and customizable tool out there for sending automated bot traffic to your site. Since Google is looking at all sorts of metrics, this service can give you the ability to craft your traffic to look more appealing to it. Do you have a high bounce rate doesn’t look great in Google’s eyes. Well you can configure your traffic campaign to go to multiple pages. Are the times of visits too short? Your custom campaign can define how long you want your visits to be to make it appear like users are hanging around and are engaged with the content.
You can customize your campaigns in any way you’d like to improve different metrics. Define time on site, page views, device type, button clicks, and time of day and all with geo-targeted ‘users’ so that your traffic will be coming from the location you want it to. Google is smart, so a sustained campaign with a realistic upward trend is the ideal way to craft your traffic plan.Try Babylon Traffic
This sister service of Babylon Traffic is more specifically targeted at increasing your website’s click-through rate (CTR) for specific keywords. For this tool you set up geo-targeted campaigns by keyword. The bots will search using those keywords in search engines and then visit the site when it is found to improve the CTR, while keeps a variance on other attributes to make it not seem automated. This is going to improve your SERP ranking by increasing your CTR.
This method is based on the Rand Fishkin experiment from a while back where he used his twitter following to purposefully increase a page’s CTR to boost his SERP ranking from #7 to #1 in 3 hours. While Google has become a lot smarter since then and a short-term fluctuation like that will not achieve what it used to, a longer-term campaign can still yield positive movement.Try SERP Empire
The Right Way
The point of these improvements is to get you that extra boost. If Google sees more sustained traffic and better metrics, then maybe it will be enough to boost you from page 2 to page 1, or from position 5 to position 2. Any of these jumps will result in a great boost in REAL user traffic that can potentially be sustained organically as long as you do have high-quality content to keep the momentum going. This real traffic is what makes the money and makes this service worth its cost.
It’s not going to help with conversions because bots are not going to make purchases. If you are working with any sort of e-commerce site, expect the conversion rates to plummet. This won’t matter in the long run with a better SERP ranking though as the total sales should still increase.
This service also won’t help you with ad revenue. Bots are not going to try and click on your ads, which would not only be a violation of any ad network terms of service, but it would also get you some nice lifetime bans from them.
The Dark Side
I know I’ve been talking about all the benefits these services can actually provide, but what about the dirty, shady, black hat uses I mentioned earlier? Well, agencies often have to show results. These results are proof of their efforts and justification for the payment they receive.
If the results are not there, then an agency could easily use these bot traffic services to show improvements in reporting before the client notices. It can also be used at times for crisis aversion if poor results were presented and the client is ready to cancel their retainer or threatening any sort of messy lawsuit because of it. The promise of the search engines needing more time to adjust to the changes can be all the time needed to launch a superficial traffic campaign and fix any negative perspectives.
If you are a business working with an agency, then there is one main thing you can look out for if you are worried about these services being used to pull the wool over your eyes. That thing is goal conversion rates.
• If traffic is way up, but your authentic leads have not increased at a relatively equal pace.
• If traffic is way up, but your sales have remained stagnant with the normal business cycle.
• If traffic is way up, but your ad revenue hasn’t increased in a proportionate way.
These services currently are going strong and there are probably more people out there using them than you’d like to believe. The reality is that they are going to continue being a part of the landscape for now until there comes a way to fully determine what is a bot and what is not.
The fact is that Google can’t entirely penalize a site even if it could tell that one of these services was being used because then they would be used as weapons against other sites. You could easily launch a bot traffic campaign directing fake visitors to a competitor site to get them penalized. For now, Google can only try to ignore temporary fluctuations and focus more on the long-term trends of traffic.
While these services can a valuable tool in your arsenal, you still need to make sure that you are providing quality content. Without quality content to keep users engaged and visiting once you get higher up in the SERP ranking, your site will go right back down and you still won’t be getting the return on investment that you were hoping for. These can help speed things up, but they aren’t a silver bullet on their own.
If you need any help starting, planning, or operating your SEO agency the right way, then I highly recommend Ryan Stewart’s “The Blueprint Training” course. It covers all the topics you need to start and scale your SEO agency and it comes with access to an amazing slack community where you have direct access to Ryan and other brilliant agency minds.