Do you need better SEO, or do you need more traffic?

Updated: Mar 18, 2021

“How do I get my website to rank first on Google searches?” That’s a question I get a lot and you may have asked it, too. But is it the right question?

I’ve been working with one of my clients for several years on their ecommerce and digital marketing. Because I built them a new site from scratch, we didn’t start out with great search engine rankings. People had to either put in very specific search queries to find us, or they had to go pretty deep into their Google results—page 3 or beyond. We were doing okay in sales, but not as well as I thought we should be.

I spent a fair amount of time trying to improve our SEO. And then it occurred to me that we were approaching things the wrong way. What we really needed was more traffic. Better search engine results were one means to that end, but they were not the end in and of itself.

That’s when we started running Google Ads. It took me some time to figure out the right strategy, keywords, and ad copy, but even before I had everything optimized, we saw an increase in both traffic and orders. Over time we were able to 10x our online revenue because we stopped focusing on our search rankings and started focusing on generating traffic.

What are some other strategies you can use to increase your traffic besides paid ads? You can:

  • set up your social media so that people are rewarded in some way for clicking over to your website.

  • build your email list.

  • post videos on YouTube.

  • leverage other people’s traffic to get more of your own.

I’ll get into more detail on all of those strategies in future articles. But for now, I want you to think about whether what your website needs is better search engine optimization, or what you really need is more website traffic. SEO is important--it's free advertising, after all--but it’s only one way to get to the end goal: more people buying your products and services via your website.

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