SEO Alone is Not Enough to Be Successful Online

calendarRecently I was asked for some advice by someone looking to start thier first online business. This person reminded me a lot of myself, because I had no clue what I was doing when I first started online. In response, here are a few things that first come to mind.

You can start a successful online business without implementing SEO. Conversely, however, you’re not going to be very successful online if all you’re counting on is SEO. With that said, search engine optimizing a high-quality website can grow it tenfold.

SEO is still a relatively new practice; one that is constantly growing. So the way one professional defines search engine optimization can be completely different than the way someone else does.

Since I’m writing this post primarily for the typical newcomer, based on my experience, I’m going to assume most people outside of the industry think of SEO as the practice of getting their website top rankings in the search engines, and that’s it. But to me, it is a lot more than that. I’ll explain later. Considering the above definition though, SEO, without offering anything of value, is not enough to be successful online.

Here is a list of the mistakes I made with when I jumped into my first online endeavor:

  • I ONLY focused on getting top search engine rankings.
  • My first website sucked! It was just a site filled with a bunch of affiliate links and not much content (which you could get away with a little more back then).
  • I only thought about the first sale, and didn’t worry about getting visitors to return or give them any reason to recommend me to someone else.
  • I spent most of my time researching and chasing what one of my major competitors was doing. Or at least what I saw them doing. I should have been paying more attention to Internet marketing leaders.
  • I didn’t start blogging soon enough. You don’t have to blog, but you should at least be updating or adding new content to your website on a regular basis, i.e., your website should always be growing.
  • I threw a bunch of money at PPC, directing people to a crappy, poor-performing website.
  • I tried to build out multiple half-assed websites, hoping one of them would stick, rather than putting in the work necessary to become successful with the first one.

You can still be successful with an affiliate website. However, you need to offer additional value, i.e., a lot of additional content people can use. Perhaps really good product reviews, how-to guides, or a glossary. I think you get the idea.

Today, I think of SEO quite differently than I did in the beginning; I worry about my search engine rankings as well as bounce rate, conversions, unique visitors, return visitors, natural links, popular content, user experience, subscriptions, new customers/clients and of course revenue and ROI. Just to name a few important KPIs.

Starting an online business takes a lot more than what I can explain in a single blog post. Just take your time, do your research, provide great value, and don’t try to monetize too early.

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  • March 18th, 2010 at 11:08 am khairul2311 said:

    nice info bro..actually i’m still learning SEO technique.In my opinion,comment method is one of good way to increase website traffic.What you opinion about it ?

  • March 18th, 2010 at 12:30 pm Wesley LeFebvre said:

    Yeah, it helps. As long as you have something informative or opinionated to say.

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