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A Healthy Balance between Paid Traffic and SEO Investment

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Sometimes, the word just doesn’t manage to get out that your website is a killer that could please millions – if only they knew it existed. Without traffic, even a well-designed site can end up struggling to get people interested in visiting. If you also rely solely on organic methods to build an audience, it can take months to get enough traffic to make your site look successful.

To turn a low traffic website into a high traffic sensation, you will need to adopt a variety of proven online strategies like buying traffic and investing in Search Engine Optimization. But, how do you balance each to make sure you get the best of both worlds?

The Difference between Paid Traffic and SEO

articleimage110The Difference between Paid Traffic and SEO

Paid traffic is a “push” marketing technique that invests in a particular demographic to create demand via broad advertising to a specific segment of a population. It is a reliable way to build interest for your website quickly, but it doesn’t make use of “pull marketing” techniques like SEO. SEO can take that traffic that you buy and create even greater exposure for your online content with techniques like keyword targeting, a/b testing, content marketing, and social media publishing.

SEO tends to attract traffic that is not paid, and it does so from all over the web. Thus, the demographic can be much larger in comparison to a paid traffic campaign’s demographic. To get the best results, a combination of both paid traffic and SEO can catapult your website to the front of the line by leveraging the strengths used in each method.

First, Get Attention with Paid Traffic Campaigns

articleimage110getattentiontopaidtraffic

If you want an instant audience, you can’t beat a paid traffic campaign. Nothing grabs a new crowd’s attention like a crowd that has already gathered. You can specify the demographic you want to an exact level. For instance, you may want to only target countries from specific countries or individuals who are a particular income level. You can choose the “perfect customer” profile to target and this will increase the odds that they will also be more interested in your products and services.

By buying traffic, you begin the process of advertising your site’s potential as well as it gives you an opportunity to convert some of that traffic to sales. A paid traffic campaign can also provide the necessary load on the website to do some a/b testing to find out which offers work best for the target audience. However, before you attempt to do a/b testing, you might want to fine tune your SEO campaign.

Keywords and the New SEO

articleimage110keywordandseo

Google updates have made it harder to attract traffic via campaign via a single keyword. Content that is published today has to have a keyword theme so that the entire article is noticed for the content, not just the keyword. Google has learned the art of semantic searching over the course of its lifetime, and this search for meaning in content has impacted how keywords are used within the articles and how they are noticed by Google.

They will also want to see topical content in more than one place, like a blog, a social network, and an article directory. It’s not enough to use SEO just on your website. You need to do it in status updates on networking sites and in articles you publish in other areas. Instead of one keyword, you may target a grouping of keywords to try to convince Google that you are knowledgeable on a particular topic, and not just adding keywords to try to reap traffic without any expertise. Once you have an SEO keyword strategy in place, you will need to publish content regularly to your readers in various parts of the web.

Test Your Site to Prep it for Success

A/B testing allows a marketer to test two different versions of a particular article or email to see which is most effective. By tweaking small changes in the content, like the headline or the call to action, one can direct half the traffic to one version and the other half to the other. You can also play around with keywords in SEO to see which work best this way, too. When you track traffic and conversions for both sets of content, you will eventually figure out what works best or your audience.

Not only is the classic strategy to do a/b testing on your site important for marketing and SEO purposes, but when you combine it with a paid traffic campaign, it can also test the host’s ability to manage larger streams of traffic on your site. You will find out what content works best and whether you have any traffic bottlenecks that affect performance. Without the extra traffic, you can’t collect enough data to make the a/b testing results meaningful. Without the SEO campaign, you won’t know which keywords and strategies are more successful to drive traffic to your website. Thus, you can create a good balance between both paid traffic and SEO to optimize your content as much as possible and generate more sales.

Have a Content Publishing Schedule

Fresh, original, content is even more important in 2014 after all of Google’s updates. However, so is authorship. Google wants to give you credit as an author, but only if you tag your content that way. When you publish more content under your own name, your author rank increases with Google and it gets your content more highly placed in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) over time.

Make sure to keep to a set publishing schedule if you have a blog or forum so that your audience will come back more often to read your latest updates, at least 2 or three times a week. Use SEO techniques and make sure to index your content and make it easily searchable on your site. This can help website visitors locate topics of interest, even when the blog post may be over a year old.

Actively Promote the Site

Once you have quality content and enough eyeballs to test and market it, you still want to try to generate more views from social networking sites that are organic. You don’t want to duplicate your content, but you can set up keyword-rich snippets that link to it from other areas around the web. This will bring you more traffic from other online areas where your demographic congregates. As long as your content is relevant to the topic and discussion, you can promote it according to the other site’s guidelines.

Avoid spamming sites with your posts if they have nothing to do with the current discussion taking place. Not only will it get you blocked from the site, but Google will also use that as evidence against you in their ranking algorithm. Once you have generated more organic traffic, you can start to reduce your paid traffic volume as the word gets out about your site. You’ll continue to reap the benefits of good SEO techniques retroactively as long as any new Google update does not affect your efforts.

 

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James Parsons

I'm an avid blogger on SEO, social media, and design. When I'm not working with the awesome guys at AudienceBloom, I'm writing for my personal blog at JamesParsons.com or working on my next big project.

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