This Isn’t The Traffic You’re Looking For (Organic SEO Is!)

There are a lot of ways to get traffic on the Internet. Just listing them all here would wear out the keyboard. But for realistic ways of getting traffic to flow, there’s only a few:

  • Social media flurries
  • Black hat SEO
  • Pay per click advertising
  • Organic SEO

Social media flurries have two problems that make them not the traffic you’re looking for: first, they’re flurries. Unless you’re FEMA, you don’t want your business model to be based on occasional and unpredictable floods of too much traffic. Second, they’re just as often negative as they are positive — rather than looking to buy your stuff, they’ll be looking to string you up.

Black hat SEO is just stupid. You’ll win big for a week, then Google will figure out what you’re doing and tank you, and you’ll have to start all over. Basically the same unpredictability as social media, but without the chance to recover should you stumble.

Pay per click advertising is a completely functional way of driving mad traffic, but it has a couple of disadvantages as well. First, it’s expensive: one study put it in terms of the 80/20 rule — 80% of money is spend on PPC, but it brings only 20% of all traffic. Of the remaining 80% of traffic, almost all of it is SEO driven — even though only 20% search engine marketing expense is spend on SEO. Second, when you cut your PPC budget, you cut your PPC results by a proportional amount — so you’re trapped in a PPC loop forever. It takes a truly skilled PPC management firm to wean a company off of PPC without making it a painful process.

Organic SEO, on the other hand, brings traffic in for pennies on the dollar compared to SEO, and when you stop spending money on SEO, the effect is that the rate that you’re climbing slowly decreases — but it takes a while for it to decrease to the point that it’s a decline at all; it just climbs more slowly for a long while. Sure, SEO takes a while to invest in — time has to pass for SEO to kick in — but unless your business model involves only being around for a few months, SEO is the traffic you’re looking for.