By Lance Williams, Contributor
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, can be an important part of your online business. Basically, it amounts to you ranking your website very highly in Search Engines like Google, Bing, etc. You would want this to happen so that you’d get a lot of “free traffic” to your website and make sales, generate leads, be able to sell advertising, and things of that nature (make money).
However, lets be honest here, SEO can quite frankly be a complete pain in the ass. First of all, you’ve got to constantly pay attention to Google changing its algorithm. They are constantly changing the way they are ranking websites. And you’ve either got to pay attention to these rules yourself, or hire somebody to do that for you.
Along those lines, you’ve also got to worry about competition. You have other websites, especially if you’re in a competitive market like “weight loss”, constantly competing with you. They are getting more links, perhaps even trying to “cheat the system”, and also trying to climb up the “Google ladder” to rank #1 for your keywords. This can get truly annoying.
Finally, SEO can take a long time. Its usually not something that will allow you and your website to rank highly for a keyword quickly that will actually make you money. It may take months to rank for a specific keyword that gets a lot of search engine traffic. However, you may be able to rank for your name “Bob Schedleberg” fairly easily. But, how many people are searching for your name?
So, it can be time consuming. Now, if you have a local business like a “Houston Dry Cleaner”, there still may be some competition. But, you may have less competition and you may be able to actually generate some business by ranking highly. This is an exception. And the TRICK with SEO is to FIND those exceptions – keywords that are easier to rank for that will still MAKE YOU MONEY.
That also takes a bit of work. So, back to the title of this article… is all of this work WORTH the effort? It can be, yes. If you rank #1 for “weight loss help” then you will make an enormous amount of money, most likely. But, there are other ways aside from SEO as well… paid traffic being the obvious choice (like pay per click, etc.)
Paid traffic can be good, but it also can be time-consuming and quite costly. You have to have a test budget to see if what you are paying will actually generate profits. On the plus side, you can get your results almost instantly. Where as with SEO, it can take months to see results. So with paid traffic you can run a test, see what your conversion rates are, and know you have a winning sales page/landing page/product/service, etc.
However, there are some negatives associated with paid traffic. For example, there is also competition in this space. Other people are most likely selling your product. You also have to have money to spend “up-front” just to test the waters. Sometimes, as with Google Adwords and PPC, those who have the biggest budgets can “squeeze out” the competition.
You always must be improving your advertisements and landing pages to compete with those who are also buying traffic on whatever platform you are using.
These are the realities of E-Commerce and doing business online. Depending on your budget, you really need to be doing BOTH of these things. You can have someone do SEO for you (go to wickedfire.com or odesk.com or warriorforum.com and hire someone to build links for you, do directory submissions for you, and educate you on what you need to do for YOUR website, etc.) WHILE you use paid traffic to make money NOW.
With paid traffic, the trick is to “one-up” your competitors. You want to offer a better product and/or have a better landing page that leads to more sales (a higher “conversion rate”) than the others you’re competing with. But, that’s the subject of a whole ‘nother issue.
In the meantime, if you’re a guy like me with no patience, and have a budget – stick to paid traffic to start with and try to start generating a profit. It can cost you some money at first, but if you have a “hit” on your hands, you can make LITERALLY millions of dollars of additional sales for you or your company. Because with paid traffic you often can scale up extremely quickly and add traffic sources once you perfect your conversion “process”. As you do that, pay someone (shop around) to do some SEO work as well.
If your budget is limited, things like SEO and Article Marketing ARE worth it to focus on initially, and you’re going to need to find the best balance between “money making” keywords that generate SOME traffic, but are fairly easy to rank for. If you use your head, you can figure these out. Focus on things like new competitors products that are just coming out – try to rank highly for them perhaps and become their affiliate. This is just one idea, but you get my point.
So, yes, SEO CAN be a money-maker… but, also, don’t sit there and spend SIX MONTHS trying to rank for a keyword that is almost impossible to rank for and make $0 in the process. There must be a balance in place, and you need to focus on other traffic methods so that you can generate sales in other ways as you’re working on it. UNLESS you are able to perfect ranking very highly for things quite quickly such as new product releases AND you know how to monetize that traffic AFTER you get your rankings. More to come.. we’ll keep explaining things to you guys and hopefully help you add $ to your bank account.