Traffic provider checklist

If you’re considering purchasing traffic to drive to your site, you should spend time understanding exactly what traffic you’ll be receiving. Specifically, you should understand how the traffic provider will send you traffic and what kind of traffic you'll receive. You also should set up your Ad Exchange account and web analytics program (such as Google Analytics) in a way that allows you to monitor the traffic.

We’ve put together a list of questions to ask when you are starting to explore how you and a traffic provider can work together. The list is meant to help guide your discussions with any traffic provider you are considering, but is not meant to be exhaustive:

  • Where will your ads be shown?

    • If you don’t recognize the pages where your ads will be placed, ask how those pages get their traffic and if you can see those pages’ traffic sources.
    • If the traffic provider is unable to provide specifics like example URLs, or information about whether the pages get their traffic from organic or purchased sources, you should proceed with caution, since you do not know what type of traffic you'll receive.
  • How you can verify your ads' placement?

    • Ask to see it in real time.
    • It’s a warning sign if you are unable to get sample URLs where you can view your ads. You may not want your ads showing on adult pages or other unrelated content.
  • How does this traffic provider’s cost compare to others?

    • If this traffic provider is charging much less for similar ad placement, ask how they are providing low prices.
    • If prices seem too good to be true, and the traffic provider can’t provide a reasonable explanation for how they can pay so little to their network, then it may be a sign that their traffic is not appearing on high value pages.
  • Who are the other partners that buy traffic from this same provider?

    • It’s good to know if those other partners use ad verification services and what have those services generally said about the traffic the provider has sent.
    • If you’re unable to find other partners who are also placing ads with this traffic provider, that may also be a sign to proceed with caution.

Other questions you may want to ask include:

  • How consistently traffic will flow to your site, day-to-day or week-to-week?
  • Whether detailed traffic source reports are available?
  • Whether traffic sources can be identified in traffic logs or web analytics programs?
  • How you can measure the conversion rate of your ads?

Once you've spoken with a traffic provider and want to move forward, it’s also critical that you have the ability to monitor the traffic they are sending to your site. It’s always best to start with a small test, such as sending traffic to only a few of your pages and monitoring how it performs. For more detailed instructions on how to monitor traffic, see our article on how to segment your traffic. If you find that a traffic provider is sending traffic that you weren’t expecting or you’re worried about the quality of the traffic, we suggest you turn off that traffic source immediately, and please let us know. For more information in general about invalid activity, please visit our Ad Traffic Quality Resource Center.

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