There are a lot of discussions about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The one side thinks that SEO is the best strategy to build an online business while the other side thinks that SEO is a waste of time.
But who is right?
What is SEO?
The goal of Search Engine Optimization is to rank your website high on search engines like Google.
That is achieved by creating valuable content for specific keywords. The more content you have the more websites Google can index and the more traffic you can have.
Let’s at first have a look at the advantages of SEO.
Free source traffic
I believe that is one of the best arguments for SEO. You don’t have to pay anything for your traffic.
That’s also a reason why so many people try to succeed with SEO at the beginning of their online marketing career. You don’t have to invest any money (besides website hosting) and you can already earn your first money.
If you think about it that can be a very effective method. Let’s say you pay $50 per year for website hosting and you earn $500 the first year. That doesn’t sound like a lot but compared to your input you 10X your investment!
Compared to the return on investments in the stock marketing (usually between 5-10%) that’s more than 10 times more effective than investing in stocks!
Another great benefit of SEO traffic is that the traffic is highly targeted. As the user is already searching for a specific keyword on Google they show interest in a specific topic.
If you now can provide value and show them that you are an expert in your niche you can convert these people into your buyers.
There are over 3.5 billion searches on Google every day! That is a huge potential for traffic.
Of course, not everyone is searching for information in your niche, but there is more than enough traffic in your niche! If you want to you can use the free Google Keyword Planner and search for the volume of keywords.
For example, the keyword “banana cake recipes” has between 10,000 and 100,000 searches every month! And believe me, the people on the first site of Google for this keyword don’t have a problem earning money 😉
Besides all these great benefits there are also some disadvantages of SEO we want to have a look at.
Takes a lot of time
The common mistakes people do at SEO is that they think that they can get a lot of traffic within the first month. However, if you have a brand new website it can take between 3-6 months to get your first traffic.
And that really depends on your niche! If you are in a niche with a lot of competition (like earning money online or weight loss) it can take much longer to get a good amount of traffic.
That’s also one of the reasons why people quit early. They set up a website, write posts for 2 months, they don’t see any results and they quit before even Google recognizes their website.
This is compared to paid traffic where you can get your first traffic within minutes a very long and demanding road.
The reason why this process takes that long is very obvious. Google needs to know if your content is valuable and helpful before they help you getting traffic.
Takes a lot of work
As I said it takes minimum 3-6 months to get the first results of Google. In this time you have to stay active and post new posts regularly.
Only if you keep updating your website Google will give you more and more traffic.
As I said, one of the advantages is that the traffic of Google is free. However, you have to put in a lot of work to get that free traffic. That means you don’t have to invest any money but a lot of time.
You could hire a writer to outsource the content creation but that questions the advantage of the free traffic. Maybe it would be more effective to pay for traffic instead of paying a writer but that is a decision you have to make as an online entrepreneur.
One of the biggest disadvantages of SEO is the controllability. You can’t control the amount of traffic you get from Google. That may be 10 clicks today and 50 clicks tomorrow.
That makes it really hard to build a reliable business if your only focus is on SEO. There are stories about online businesses that crashed with a Google update.
I heard from one business that went from $10,000/month to $400/ month within one month. The reason for that was a Google update that destroyed the ranking of that website.
I believe that you can’t say you have a successful online business if your only traffic source is SEO. As I said from one day to another it can happen that your earnings shrink.
A good way to avoid that problem is to build other traffic sources. This can be paid sources like Google Adwords or Facebook Ads or other free traffic sources like Facebook or Pinterest.
I believe that the best way is to try to convert the SEO traffic into email marketing leads. That way you can create a huge email list and be independent of Google updates. If you want to know how to start with email marketing you can check out this post with 8 steps to email marketing.
I believe that SEO can be a great way to build a huge source of free traffic. However, you should be careful to also build on other traffic sources so you’ll be independent of Google updates.
Also always you should have a look at the big picture and not think that 30 posts will give you a huge amount of traffic. Have a look at website with a lot of SEO traffic. They usually have more than 150-200 posts and create new content every day!
If you want to learn more about SEO I can recommend the Wealthy Affiliate. In this training program, you’ll learn how to build a website based on SEO and how to earn money with it! (Click here to check it out)
What has been your experience with SEO? Do you think SEO is great or do you think otherwise? I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment below!