I Paid For Views

I paid for views. I feel a little dirty. Just a sec while I wash my hands again.

Ok, I’m back.

I like to test everything on myself first before I offer it to clients. In this way I am like the scientist who discovered the cure for ulcers by drinking Helicobacter pylori bacteria and waiting for what happened. Wasn’t pretty. But he was the only human patient he could ethically recruit.

I recruited myself to pay a guy on Fiverr to send a burst of 5,000 unique visitors to my site. That cost $5. For an additional $5 he upped the total to 15,000 visitors, and for another $10 he said he would spread the visits out over the month. So I was into my five dollar gig for $20. How did it turn out?

The Analytics hockey stick graph.

I got a hockey stick graph in my Analytics for the site. My Unique Visits went up 400% and stayed there. I admit that brought on some warm and fuzzy, like the tingling feeling you get when you bear down on your Tesla accelerator and slip off down the Pacific Coast Highway into something like science fiction. Eighty-six percent of the people showing up at my site were new. Eight thousand fresh eyeballs in just the past week. It was an Analytics feel-good moment.

Google Analytics feel-good moments are rare.

Alas, upon examination those numbers turned out to be themselves a form of science fiction. I received a 4% boost in visits to my Contact page, so that’s good, but the rest of it is a sordid tale of Lance Armstrong-level juicing for the end result.

My returning visitors spent eight minutes checking out the site. That’s common for me, because visitors are reading blogs or otherwise appreciating the site. Those new people? Twenty seconds. A handful signed up for something, downloaded something, spent 19 seconds on my About page, which is hardly long enough to sneeze at it. These were people from California, Texas, Virginia, and some offshore people from Taipei and Dublin, and they were all doing their job. They clicked.

When you pay for views what you’re often paying for is clicks. Click, bang, move on. It’s a potato chip of an engagement. You’ll get the same result – maybe worse – when you pay for Facebook likes, Twitter followers, Instagram likes, and the rest.  Just somebody clicking for a buck, or less. Would you call that person a prospect? A potential customer? There is a relationship, but it is vanishingly short and insubstantial as a Speedo.

Clicks matter for YouTube views, because if you’re working with a reputable company like ebuzzing, they turn those clicks into views, and views mean better ranking. When your video is higher in search, more people will discover it.

Juicing for clicks won’t matter if you’re looking for the viewer to take an action, gain some understanding of what you do, engage. They’re just doing their job, and doing it well. Click.