It’s not the first time I’ve heard it discussed … nor will it be the last.
Is it better to play the Google ‘game’, research your keywords, work on your SEO, keep your content fresh and relevant and get those all-important backlinks … or just abandon Google altogether and pay for your traffic.
There’s a frequent debate in the office regarding whether you would get more traffic if you spent time on doing SEO-type stuff, or spending the same amount of time in some form of extra paid employment then spend the resultant wages on advertising.
After many pages of scribbled notes, furrowed brows and a few sharp intakes of breath, it was decided that the answer was … it depends.
You see, if your site was extremely ’niche’, then the SEO route would probably be better, as there is every chance that your site would show just as high in the rankings as any results you may have paid for, no matter how cheap they were.
On the other hand, if your site was in a more popular niche then the amount of competition would mean there are so many more sites to get past on the SEO front, and the amount of work needed before you saw any results at all would be enormous – which could mean you may well give up before you ever really got going – so in this scenario, paid advertising may be the better way forward…
The amount of competition will, of course, mean that advertising will not come cheap, even on other platforms like Facebook or Twitter, but you would certainly get some traffic to get you started.
The other answer, the ‘Tim’ answer if you will is, as you would expect, to do both … or at least a bit of both. There is nothing to stop you spending part your time working on your SEO, and the rest doing whatever it is you do to get funds so that you can advertise.
This way you are equipping your site to attract a steady stream of natural traffic, (if not now, in the future) while you at least get some early results from the paid advertising, even if it means you’re not quite getting the amount of return you may have originally envisioned.
The lesson here then is that while commitment is admirable, you should never to put all your eggs in one basket – especially the one marked ‘I’m going to try and do everything for free’.
Aside from the fact that your time isn’t really ‘free’ – doing things this way from scratch can be a long, hard road. Instead, mix in a bit of paid traffic so there’s still a bit of instant gratification, some immediate results that could take an awful long time coming otherwise … and that early traffic will also tell you whether or not you have been barking up the wrong tree entirely.
All The Best,