Why SEO traffic is not free traffic

There seems to be this understanding in the Online Marketing community that you can have either paid traffic or SEO traffic, the later being free.

And while it’s true that once you are ranking for a specific keyword, you don’t need to pay for that traffic, that does not mean that getting there was all free.

If you are going to do SEO, you will need to invest time, and probably money too.

And all that work can be wiped away if Google changes its algorithm, or decides that they don’t like your site anymore.

The thought process for many people goes as follows:

  • They find a specific product to promote, or a specific niche
  • They build a website targeting related keywords
  • They do SEO work to rank better and get traffic from search engines.

At this point, one of these things will happen:

  • The page will never rank, so all work is wasted
  • The page will rank ok, but it will not convert (ie, no sales)
  • The page will rank and convert, so money comes in

So assuming that there is a 33,33% for each possibility (which is a lot to assume), most chances are you won’t make money (or not enough).

What you should do is, instead, as soon as you get your page up and running, send paid traffic to it. Then see if the traffic converts. If it does not, tweak, and see if you can improve things.

If money is coming in, NOW is the time to do SEO work, once you have proven that your business model works. Try to rank for some keywords, and make money out of that extra SEO traffic.

If you start doing SEO before you know if you have a profitable site, you could be wasting time (and money).

In the past, when ranking in Google was a matter of throwing a few backlinks and repeating your keyword a few times in the post, it was not so painful, but in these competitive days we are living, you will need to put extra work to rank.

Just saying 🙂

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