In the previous post we had a look at the pros and cons of PPC, now it’s time to turn our attention to search engine optimization and have a look at the pros and cons of this way to attract traffic.

With PPC we established that getting traffic was the easy part, the hard bit was knowing how to set up and manage your campaigns correctly, then how much time and money it could cost to make them profitable, and finally managing your cash flow.

If you want to use SEO as a way of getting visitors you can do it for virtually no cost, but it will take more time than PPC to build up a decent volume of traffic. If you’re running an established business, you could argue that the time it takes to get traffic with SEO is a cost in itself, because you count the time as lost business?

If you’re only just getting started with internet marketing though, then attracting free traffic by using search engine optimization techniques can be a great way to start. Time is not really an issue because you’ll need some time to learn about internet marketing anyway, and if you’re an individual or don’t have a lot of cash available, then you can do the necessary tasks and work yourself, and you won’t run the risk of losing your shirt with PPC.

As with the PPC post, this is not meant to be an SEO tutorial, but rather a look at why or when you might want to consider which of these techniques to use.

If you don’t really know what search engine optimization is?

It’s basically a term concerned with putting your website and its content together in a way that the search engines like. Sometimes your site will get a manual review by an actual person, but most of the time how well your website ranks will depend on how it appears to the search engine algorithms. This is basically an automated way of judging a number of things about your website and its content such as, what it’s about, it’s relevance to a particular search query, and it’s quality. There are other factors such as load speed, bounce rate, and others that also have an impact on where your site ranks.

In fact when considering SEO, one of the first things to understand is that it’s not really where your website ranks, but where each piece of its content ranks. Although the overall “strength and quality” of your whole site plays an important part, it’s actually each piece of content such as pages, posts, or articles that is ranked individually.

Factors that you need to work on with search engine optimization are usually split into on-page and off-page areas.

On-page concerns things like titles, descriptions, h1 tags, basically revolving around use of keywords and phrases. Off-page is mainly about incoming links and anchor text and all things being equal, tends to be the most important of how high your content will rank in the search engine results pages, or SERPS.

So although like PPC, it does take time to learn about SEO, it’s really all about building trust with the search engines, if they “like your content and think it’s very relevant to a users search query, then you’ll probably rank on the first page, which is where most of the traffic is. If it’s considered to be the most relevant, then you’ll probably rank at the top, or number one position.

A number one ranking usually means that you can attract roughly 43% of the total searches for a given phrase.

So in our PPC example for the keyword “weight loss diet” that gets around 673,000 searches a month, if you had a number one ranking, you might get about 72,000 visits a week!

Now before all the keyword experts shoot me down, if you check that term globally under exact match, then the search volume drops to 40,500 per months, but that still means you should be able to get well over 4,000 visits a week if you ranked number one for that term.

So it’s pretty obvious that although attracting so called natural SEO traffic can take time, and for a term like that would be fairly hard to get, the rewards can again be extremely good, and with no PPC costs it means a very high level of profit, sometimes virtually 100%, can be achieved.

One thing that’s worth pointing out about using SEO techniques to attract traffic though, is that it doesn’t always take as long as you might think?

If you go after very competitive, high traffic terms then it can take months, maybe even over a year, but if know how to choose the right keywords, with lower search volumes and much less competition, you can still get high rankings and start bringing in visitors in as little as a few days!

You just need to target more of them.

Targeting 20 keywords getting 2,400 searches a month (exact match) would bring you more traffic than the highly competitive keyword in our previous example.

Hopefully you now have a better idea of some of the pros and cons involved with using  SEO and PPC?

If you’d like to learn a lot more about how to effectively implement these methods and how to get tons more traffic to your websites?

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