As you gathered from the title, the topic of traffic (paid or organic) is the subject of today’s post. Let’s look at the pros and the cons of both SEO and SEM (search engine optimization and search engine marketing) to discuss what makes each necessary or useful for short-term or long-term implementation for your business.
Paid Traffic Delivers Visitors Quickly
Traffic being the crux of the web is the deciding factor in the success of any website. You can have the best looking most usable website online, but without traffic it simply will not matter.
Similarly, you can have an ugly website that lacks usability with a strong call to action and benefit-rich user appeal and reap a fortune in contrast to the beautiful website without traffic. In essence success is a balance of traffic, usability, direction and appeal.
SEO Works But It Takes Time
While the argument of those who are too impulsive to engage the SEO process may suggest it takes too long, the real fact is that if you have a properly cultivated offer, SEO can produce long-term visibility and benefits rivaling the best paid campaigns.
While the #1 position for a keyword garners 40% or more of the click throughs for that keyword in search engines, keep in mind that 80% or more of all click through traffic occurs from the organic search positions in search engines.
While paid traffic may be more readily available, think of it as a way to determine which keywords are delivering consumers who convert, then use SEO to seal the deal and anchor your position in the search engine result pages.
The time it takes will depend on:
- The competitiveness of the market
- Consumer demand or seasonal purchasing habits
- What type of secondary online or offline exposure the market receives (tv, radio, print, etc.).
- The budget your competition is will to spend to dominate the market.
- The degree of authority the top websites occupying the top 10 positions exhibits.
- The number of topical pages they have dedicated to each keyword / query.
- The quality and quantity of links or social proof (via social media) your competition is allocating to stay ahead of the pack.
In most instances, content wars backed by domain authority are the defining factors that distinguish the top 5 results, but occasionally, those at the top rest on their laurels and a virtual newcomer can push through the paper champions with ease to chisel out a place for conversion and website monetization within a market.
There are still things you can do that are algorithmically inclined from search algorithms (such as using exact -match top level domains) like redwidgets.com ranking for red widgets or implementing a keyword-rich sub domain to add a layer of inurl relevance (having the keyword in the domain or page URL).
However, the main thing is not to confuse traffic with conversion, or a band-aid and a flawed marketing strategy. The takeaway from having PPC dependency (after getting dozens of leads or sales a day) only to have to keep paying to keep things moving or having to wait for the SEO rankings to kick in is the missing ingredient of split testing and conversion optimization. In other words, creating the right triggers at the right time for the right consumer despite the traffic source.
There is no right or wrong way to go with organic SEO or search engine marketing, it all depends on (a) if you can afford to wait (b) how much exposure you need from the standpoint of your PPC spend or SEO pricing and (c) what the tipping point and ROI are for either.