James: In an age of paid ads, how essential are SEO and organic traffic? Can I build a profitable business using paid traffic only? Is this wise? If not, what’s the simplest way to get started generating organic traffic?
Will: That’s a really good question. When I first started my career in marketing, I was of the opinion that SEO and stuff like that just doesn’t matter. It takes too long, a lot of unknowns. I’ve come to become a more of a nuanced marketer in understanding that there are places where SEO definitely makes sense. And I’ve seen really good results come from the right SEO operators. So for example, Gert for instance, I know that he does a really good job for clients, and they see actual results. So yes, SEO definitely has a place.
One of the things that I always advocate, though, is looking at your situation and your runway to results. So the reason why we chose to go down the path of advertising and copy is because I can launch a campaign really quickly and understand tomorrow if I’ve got sales coming in or not. So if you have to sell as quickly as possible, SEO to me isn’t the right play for you. You should be looking at spending money to get your message in front of people and get them responding in some way.
That being said, SEO is a long term game and over the long term, SEO can be very profitable for businesses. So it’s about that balance. It’s about, you know, can you have a strategy that runs in the background where you don’t see results for six to 12 months, but you know that long term, the results will be there? But in the meantime, can you upload or front load some of the results by doing paid advertising?
I’ve seen businesses grown to $30 to $50 million a year off the back of only paid advertising. But those businesses are now looking at, well, what is our SEO play? So it depends on the business. It depends on how competitive your industry is, and how good you are in advertising and converting those leads from advertising.
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