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SEO & Content Marketing: Traffic is vanity, lots of traffic is sanity!

We’ve all heard the phrase “turnover is vanity, profit is sanity” however it in the world of seo and content marketing “traffic is vanity, lots of traffic is sanity”.

If you’re reading this blog there is every chance that you’re building up your online presence or your running an SEO / content marketing strategy for someone and you’re thinking about the amount of content you’re getting out there compared to the conversions you’re getting (or the lack thereof).

These days SEO and content marketing is a slow process so you need to know a few basics about online marketing, such as the average number of people you need to get on your site to convert into one conversion and where to look in analytics to find out if your campaign is having any impact on your online presence.

The first thing to tell you about is a couple of friends of mine, they set up a website and did some (admittedly sporadic) content marketing, they did this in their spare time for years and it took them 4 or 5 years before the business could sustain the two of them full time. Content marketing (and to an increasing extent SEO) is a long term strategy, however it is tried and tested and it will take a business to where it needs to go. In my experience it takes around 2 years for a content marketing campaign to mature – although there are exceptions in both directions.

You can definitely improve your seo in various ways, your other online marketing activities are going to help you convert and are going to create other signals that will help you continue to grow faster but ultimately if you’re reliant on content marketing, expect to be in it for the long haul.

I’m not talking about lots of rubbish traffic you’ve bought from Fiverr for $5 – that will get your homepage somepage views – but those impressions will come from some random for of advertising that won’t give you any kind of relevance and you’ll probably find most of that traffic is automatic non-human traffic.

I’m also not talking about any old content, sure you can create content left right and centre about any old topic and you might get some traffic, but you want to make sure you’re creating content that will deliver a good chunk of related traffic. You can get this traffic through various networks as long as you know how to play their games and by their rules, this is highly engaged traffic that will create the kind of user signals you want your site to have, the more traffic you get, the more user signals you’ll get.

Of course Traffic is vanity, conversions are sanity, but until the moment that you get conversions, you’re going to need to get lots of traffic to make sure you’ve got the right kind of signals coming out of your site. This will benefit your seo, gain you more natural related organic links that will increase the authority of the website and make everything look healthy and normal (which it will be!). You just need to be conscious that using content marketing for seo, it’s a long term strategy and you need to find what works in your industry and look at what your distribution network will enable you to promote and get away with promoting (more to the point!).

In my experience as a freelance seo consultant and content marketer, traffic generation from a purely content based strategy is a long and hard going process that is pretty thankless!

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