Most of us web marketers start out about the same way. We hear all about the level playing field of the Search Engine Marketing world and we think that we'll be making money in no time. Just put up a quick web site, submit it to the search engines and wait for the checks to start coming in...
Alas, soon reality cracks us in the face. You see, making money on the web is different then making money in the real world, it's just NOT any easier. Ah but let's face it, deep down, we kind of knew that all along.
Case in point is the world of Organic SEO. Organic SEO is the Holy Grail of web marketing. Its promise is that you can get free targeted web traffic to your sites and this traffic will buy whatever it is you're trying to sell. While it's true that a search engine like Google does freely send millions of users to these free listings everyday, and Google does its best to show its visitors only listings that are relevant to what they're looking for. There can be substantial costs associated with these "free" listings.
First off there is time. Hey, we all know that time is money. Getting a top five listing on Google for a"money keyphrase" is not a quick proposition. For any given keyphrase, there can be literally millions of competing listings. It can take months maybe even years to get your site within striking distance of the top spots. Fact is, if you're not in the top five results, you're not going to get any meaningful traffic to your website.
Next factor you need to consider is the cost of performing the actual SEO work. You can hire a SEO professional to do the entire job for you and this could cost thousands of dollars. Plus SEO is not a job that you can do once and forget about. It's an ongoing proposition. The Search Engines are constantly updating their algorithms, what's working today may not work tomorrow. A SEO needs to keep monitoring your pages and performing various tweaks even after you're in the top spots. Make no mistake; they don't do this for free.
Doing your own SEO is often a viable solution; however, while it's usually cheaper, it's not free. You have to learn the techniques that are effective today and then you need to put those techniques into action. All this costs money in the form of learning, plus it takes time and like anything else, it takes practice to get right. Keep in mind, all the time you'll spend learning about SEO and the time you spend actually performing the work is time you can't spend doing other things (things like finding new markets, or following up with existing customers).
So what's the answer? An approach that I've always had success with is to pick the low hanging fruit first. To do this I look for keyphrases that are easier to rank for, phrases that don't have a lot of competition. I can rank for these keyphrases much easier and quicker then the "big money" phrases. An added benefit is that these "long tail keyphrases" are often more targeted and better converting then those other more general phrases.
David Olsen has been an Internet Marketer since 1999. In his career he has developed well over one hundred affiliate websites and promoted dozens of products. He is an expert in SEO and writes extensively about it at his flagship website, D-Olsen.com
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