Myth 1: SEO Traffic is Better or Cheaper Than Paid Ad Traffic

Nothing is free – is SEO better than PPC?

So often I hear from business owners that they want to market the free way. I completely respect wanting that to be true, but I respect it within the same space that I respect someone that wants to win the lottery – it is cool to want it but to live your life as if it was going to happen might not be advisable. Think about the implications of that want – I want to gain money without having to spend the time or money to obtain it. I want customers to come to me over my competitors because they should know that I am inherently better. Sure, it would be nice if this were true, but it is just not a realistic approach to running a business.

Customer value has many faces

If you gain $500 by obtaining a new client, how much is it worth to you to procure them? What if they can buy your product multiple times, then how much is it worth? And if they are likely to refer new business to you, then how much?

When you think about getting new customers from this perspective, it makes sense that you will need to spend time or money to get more customers but you also see that it will be worth it. The good news is that if you think this through and create systems, hopefully automated ones, you can minimize the cost of obtaining new clients and increase your customer loyalty.

Whether you spend the money for paid ads, content creation or spend the time yourself to run an epic social campaign, there is always a cost. The good news is that with some planning and doing, you can optimize your efforts and maximize your results!

Not getting results (quickly) has a cost to your business

It is both easy and logical to measure what the costs to your business are strictly in direct monetary terms, but it is not the only way (or the most accurate way) to measure them. It costs money to run a business. You need to make X amount of dollars in order to continue devoting time to your business. Lack of money or lack of motivation driven by a lack of money is why most businesses fail. We can only be without revenue for so long before we either lose funding or lose interest.

It is not only to avoid financial and emotional burnout that you might want to consider increasing your new customer flow in short order. , reducing the cost of delivering your product and increasing profits. Of course you don’t want to grow too big, too quickly, for your britches but a healthy pace of increased profits and activity is a good thing for blooming small businesses.

Free exposure is unpredictable

There are many ways to obtain “free” exposure. It can be done through SEO, social media, press releases and word of mouth efforts. These are, of course, great ways to gain exposure for your business but they also take time to gain traction AND you are not in control of how far these efforts spread or how quickly.

You are talking, but who is listening?

We have all posted items on social media feeling as if our pithy nature will certainly pay off, only to me met with no likes, shares or comments! I can’t count the number of times that I sent out a press release, for my own business or someone else’s, that resulted in nothing. SEO is a viable means for driving web traffic but that takes time, effort and skill. Word of mouth is a wonderful way to gain new business but that will happen on your client’s timeline, not yours. Sure, you can send out emails and write blogs to keep yourself in the front of a client’s mind but, you guessed it, that also takes time.

So what is the take away here? I am all for content creation, social media and SEO, however, I am also a big fan of being honest about what results can be expected and what it actually takes to achieve them using those marketing channels. Everything will take a combination of time and money and what matters most is finding a strategy that aligns with your business goals and your budget. Take the time to play out your strategy to its logical conclusion and then decide what makes the most sense when it comes to promoting your business and growing your client base!

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