Why You Shouldn’t Rely 100% on SEO or Organic Traffic
While pursuing the holy grail of abundant, organic traffic to your website is a worthwhile endeavor, solely relying on SEO or organic traffic isn’t the best strategy. In this post and video, I’ll discuss what SEO is and why it’s only part of an overall strategy.
What is SEO Anyway?
It seems like everybody has an interpretation of what SEO means.
In general, SEO or Site Engine Optimization, is how one gets traffic to a website organically or, as some believe, for free.
The reality is SEO actually is a lot of different things.
For us here at Elevate Marketing Solutions, it basically defines the activities that we do in order to rank organically on search engines – Google obviously being the biggest search engine and then Bing being next in line.
There are hundreds of different tactics that you can implement in order to rank organically or improve your SEO. Content marketing runs underneath SEO and quite frankly it’s the most popular and effective tactic. When you produce content you’re letting Google know that you are able to effectively answer the questions that people are typing into Google during their searching/researching about your product or service.
If Google recognizes your content as worthy of answering a query than your website will be shown in search results. In short you write a good blog post and voila Google shows it to everybody. No effort at all, right?
SEO is Not Free or a Guarantee
Yes, SEO is a big portion of where your traffic comes from, but search engines are constantly changing. There are algorithm updates that are happening all the time and relying on SEO puts businesses in a dangerous spot.
There are several different ways to get traffic to your website like various channels of paid ads. I know you might think, “Whoa, I can’t afford it. I can only work on organic.” And that might be plausible if you think about organic traffic is free. But it’s not free.
SEO with all the tactics, technical items, development items, and content creation has a price. If you do it yourself, consider how much your time is worth, learning curve and all. Whether you’re trying to do it yourself or whether you’re hiring experts to do it, SEO costs money. SEO falls into the advertising category and, in general, advertising isn’t free.
Some think of SEO as similar to advertising by word of mouth but online. To some extent, that’s true. However, just like you wouldn’t solely rely on offline word of mouth for business, you shouldn’t exclusively rely on SEO to get the word out online.
Relegating your marketing efforts to one activity means success depends on that one thing. You just don’t want to have all your eggs in one basket.
There are plenty of ways to get online with various platforms like Google Ads. Within Google Ads there’s Search, Display, Remarketing, Video with YouTube, and Facebook. Within Facebook there’s Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger. Amazon is another contender with its own ecosystem and paid ads.
In reality, SEO is a long-term strategy and you might eventually get some traffic out of it. I guess I shouldn’t say eventually. You will get traffic out of SEO efforts, but it will take time. Additionally, we’re at the mercy of Google and its algorithms. If you work on SEO best practices today and then six months later Google decides to change the algorithm then what you did today is no longer valid. You’re going to be in trouble and you’re going to feel like you wasted time.
SEO or Paid Ads?
For simple, functional SEO build a website that effectively answers the questions that people have about your business. What are the steps that people typically take in order to buy your product or service? What questions do they typically have? Whether you’ve been running your business for years or months, ensure that your website answers people’s questions when they search online.
If you take care of the user, the person buying your product or service, then you’re going to be effective when it comes to SEO.
Paid ads allow you to amplify your ability to be seen. It works faster than SEO. Ads make sure that people see your message: not all the people but the right people. Paid ads put you in front of people who are more likely to buy your products or services. Ad platforms have many ways to find the right buyer for you…at a cost.
Both is Good
For example, if you’re a painter looking for upper-income homes within a certain geographical area and your message is about how you can professionally paint a home and make it look beautiful then there are ways to spread that message using paid ads.
The delivery will be slightly different depending on the platform, but the advantage of getting the message out faster and more accurately is the same and a compelling reason to use paid ads.
You can get messaging out through SEO as well, but it’s going to be a little bit more difficult and you’re at the mercy of Google.
So the moral of the story is diversify. Make sure that when advertising your business online that you’re not restricted to one tactic. That way if that one thing fails, all is not lost because you have a number of options in your advertising plan that perform.
Ultimately, you assess how to accommodate a customer online. Often, that will involve activity on multiple platforms using SEO and paid opportunities to attract customers to your business. Yes, it will cost money. Yes, it will cost time. Yes, it will produce results.